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Top 5 Reasons to Select a Best-in-Class MES Over an ERP with an MES Feature Set

For many ERP vendors, enhancing their core solution set to include MES features is a natural extension. But is it just that, an afterthought?

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems help manage and automate front-office business functions like accounting, procurement, and sales quoting.

Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) help manage and automate shop-floor operations, like tracking the transformation of raw materials to finished goods and providing visibility into production activities in real-time.


ERP software and MES require many touchpoints to stay in sync to minimize interruptions but that does not necessarily mean that selecting one vendor for both solutions is the right answer.

Just as you wouldn’t bring your prized convertible to a lawnmower repair shop, avoiding risks to your production process requires a system built specifically for the task at hand.

Here are the top 5 reasons to select an MES provider over an ERP provider with an MES extension:

We selected ShopVue because it is designed specifically for manufacturers, has a proven track record, interfaced with our old ERP and the ERP system we were transitioning to, allowing production to run uninterrupted during the migration. ShopVue now runs on over 40 touch screen devices collecting attendance, labor, machine, and production data, sending over 3000 daily production updates to our new ERP.

– Director of IT, Medical Equipment Company

1. Factory Friendly User Interface

Real-time data and manufacturing visibility depend on accurate reporting from the Shop Floor. Reporting within an ERP system typically involves interacting with a busy screen, a keyboard and a mouse, which requires too much time away from the direct labor activities. MES is built with the shop floor in mind, with the goal of less time transacting, and more time producing. Easy, fast, and fool-proof Operator touchscreen transactions are an essential component of a successful MES implementation. 

2. A Perfect Fit

Don’t modify your proven and profitable manufacturing processes to fit new software that was built without manufactuing in mind. MES systems are built to be flexible and configurable so that factory operations remain unchanged.    

3. Shop Floor Expertise

MES providers employ staff who are skilled in the manufacturing process. Professional Services and Support staff are experts in knowing the manufacturing industry and their MES application inside and out.  ERP vendors have expertise in other areas, not typically within factory operations.

4. Risk Management

If the ERP system needs to be upgraded or swapped out, can this be done without disrupting the Manufacturing floor?

5. Flexible and Proven ERP Integrations

ERP and MES systems need to work hand in hand. Working with one software vendor for both does not ensure this is the case. The proof is often contained under the hood and can only be proven out based on years of experience and referenceable accounts.

ShopVue picks up where many ERPs leave off: on the factory floor.

Supply chain managers need to ensure the right systems are in place to protect the production process, from production to traceability and labor tracking. Knowing this, is it safe to trust the effectiveness of your manufacturing operations to a system that was built as an afterthought? While ERP systems claim to include MES functionality, they often lack the granular data necessary to provide true insights to improve production.

ShopVue has been a leading MES provider for manufacturers across the globe for over 35 years and has developed over a dozen ERP integrations (Epicor, SAP, Oracle, INFOR, Syteline, XA, Point.Man, IFS, Microsoft Dynamics, AX, Great Plains, NAV, and Syspro…..just to name a few).


Shopping for an MES? 

At ShopVue, we understand how critical it is to find an MES that fits your unique needs. If you’re interested in partnering with an MES provider that offers all of the above and more, ShopVue might be the right MES solution for you. Download the ShopVue Buying Guide now to find out.