MES and MOM: Understanding the difference

Dec. 14, 2023
A look at the difference between MES and MOM and why the two terms are used side by side

Most have heard the term MOM — manufacturing operations management. More often, it’s used in combination with MES (manufacturing execution systems). But what’s the difference between MES and MOM and why are these two terms used side by side?

A look at MES 

This shop-floor application directs the activities of labor, resources and materials to provide the right information at the right time. MES refers to guiding the operator in production tasks to be done, collecting genealogy data as products are produced, and collecting production data in real time. This data makes it possible for companies to optimize production activities from product creation to final production.

MES can be considered a component of MOM. Think about gaining visibility and control over shop-floor execution. Its primary purpose is to monitor, manage, and optimize the day-to-day processes inside the facility using data. This includes production tracking, work instructions, and machine connections, for example. 

According to the ISA95 standard, MES roughly corresponds to the production dimension set of capabilities. A manufacturing transformation is achievable through MES providing full control over factory operations and improved production visibility. 

An MES provides these capabilities: 

  • Helps to standardize production processes within a production facility for improved efficiency and product consistency 

  • Improves efficiency, quality control and decision-making on the shop floor and in the warehouse 

  • Integrates with ERP systems 

  • Enables data-collection in real time for continuous improvement 

  • Provides companies with real-time visibility and optimization for shop floor operations, production processes and resource management 

 A look at MOM 

Manufacturing operations management includes MES but also all activities that support production. Things like quality management, logistics, materials management, time and labor (is the labor certified?), maintenance, calibration, and more. MOM is related to the overall management of production operations across all manufacturing-related disciplines. 

MOM is more comprehensive, and has access to more data in its architecture, so that means it delivers more intelligence to better support decision makers. It readily enables continuous improvement through better tracking and reporting as well as supporting operational agility by making process changes easier and faster to implement. 

MOM is an extension of MES; it includes all basic MES (or production) capabilities as well as extended capabilities in logistics (warehouse management), quality, labor tracking, maintenance, machine Integration and supply chain. A global MOM extends all of these capabilities across a global, multi-plant enterprise. 

A global MOM solution provides these capabilities: 

  • Delivers visibility into, control over and synchronization across all operations globally, enabling global best practices and process improvements that lead to lower cost, higher efficiency and improved customer service 

  • Unifies operational intelligence, enabling corporate management to accurately see and evaluate performance across divisions and plants, and thus identify areas that are performing well and areas that need improvement 

  • Converts a group of individual sites into a true manufacturing network where quality and efficiency can be maximized 


So, why are these two terms used together and how can we easily understand the differences? The reason may be obvious as they complement each otherLooked at this way, you could say that MES is really a subset of MOM. That makes sense, since MOM developed from MES. Stated differently, MES systems tend to comprise plant-based applications; MOM is more of an enterprise solution to manage the larger footprint of manufacturing, whether for one plant or across an enterprise. 


About the Author

Mike Bradford | Director of Strategic Business Development, DELMIA