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Post on 18-Aug-2015




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  1. 1. when selecting your MES integrator 10 tips
  2. 2. Selecting the correct product for your MES project is only a small part of the battle. The biggest battle will be ensuring you choose the right integration company; one that will turn your ideas into reality and exceed your expectations for the whole project journey. How do you work out if they are fit and able to deliver your project ? In order to help you, the following is a set of questions that you may consider asking or contemplating when making your choice. The integration is a key part of the overall solution if this part is let down by poor service and standards, then the whole project will be compromised, irrespective of how good the initial MES package is. Things to consider
  3. 3. 1 Experience What is their experience in delivering your required solution? When selecting an integrator, its vital that theyre familiar with your chosen platform. Using a preferred supplier that hasnt used the system before may lead to numerous issues. You should look for an affiliation with the software developers as standard, as well as asking for an industry reference or even requesting a visit to an existing user; unbiased opinion is invaluable in order to make the right selection.
  4. 4. Who Is Your Team ? 2How many experienced engineers/support representatives are available? You want to ensure that your project is given the appropriate amount of focus and you also need to know that if required, the vendor has the ability, capacity and willingness to be flexible in order to meet the time demands of your project. The impact of delays can often prove to be more costly than the original capital project cost, so this is one consideration that should not be underestimated.
  5. 5. What is your main driver: cost, quality or speed? While every business needs to be aware of cost drivers, its important to recognise the overall value that any potential investment can offer. One of the main benefits of implementing MES systems is that when done correctly, they can offer a rapid ROI - and by bringing fast returns on the bottom line, initial cost implications are soon outweighed. If youve been offered a price that seems too good to be true, ask yourself what important elements may be missing from the deal and the subsequent effects this could have on your business. Cost, Quality & Time you rarely get all 3! Cost, Quality & Time 3
  6. 6. What will be the delivery method? As the customer, you have a right to transparency; your vendor should offer you a clear breakdown of the methodology, tools and processes they will use to deliver your project, as well as demonstrating a full understanding of the scope of work you require. You should also check that GAMP (or similar) standards will be adopted and ask if youll be assigned a dedicated Project Manager. Expect your vendor to clearly explain what documentation youll be given and what testing procedures will be followed to ensure that your solution is of the highest quality and works first time as expected. Delivery Methods
  7. 7. What testing will be performed prior to deployment? In order to guarantee that your solution begins to perform from the very outset, you should ask your vendor what testing will be executed on the system prior to site deployment. Ask if they will provide a document to demonstrate CFAT/UAT and also enquire as to the methods or software packages that will be used for testing within the Application development lifecycle. Unit tests, system testing and regression testing should all be familiar terms to them; have them explain their methodology to you, as this will enable you to proceed with confidence in the system. Unfortunately your application will contain bugs (defects)during the development stage. What about defects that arise after the system is installed? Ask about their defect management process. Testing Methods 5
  8. 8. What other software tools will be used during the lifecycle? Ask your integrator how they manage their internal processes for the software development, testing, defect management and post installation support. Do they use industry recognised testing packages such as Team Foundation Service ? Also ask what project management tools are employed to track time, resources and costs, as well as what packages they use to effectively manage support requests once your system has gone live. Will they provide transparent access and visibility to these tools? If they dont have an answer and these systems appear to be absent, take this as a red flag and be wary of proceeding. Software Development Lifecycle 6
  9. 9. What support levels are available? The level of required support will depend on how critical the system is to your business and your hours of operation. Make sure that your chosen vendor has a sufficient number of support representatives and infrastructure and that they can cover all the hours you require. You may also want to consider response and resolution times, as well as minimum onsite times in the event that such services are required. Support
  10. 10. Is the vendor financially stable with a good credit rating? You should view your chosen vendor as a long term partner, so its important to consider whether or not they will still be operational in 5 - 10 years, so that you can be confident in a consistent and stable provision. Additionally, you dont want to be in a position where halfway through your project there are issues with payment or risks of liquidation. Financial Stability 8
  11. 11. What is their internal IT policy/how safe will my data be? During the project lifecycle your vendor may have your intellectual property in their care. You need to be certain that this data is safe, so make sure that you know how it will be stored & who will have access. Will it be loaded onto USB drives which could be lost or stolen, or do they have reliable and secure procedures in place for managing your data and looking after your intellectual property? Your Intellectual Property 9
  12. 12. What is the integrators main area of business? Look at your vendor as a whole; is MES system deployment the main area of business that they offer, or are they more focused on delivering alternative services or perhaps even products? Product-based companies can become more concerned with the higher margins available on the sale of products, leaving your project as a lower priority. Dont be tempted to use a vendor for work which is outside its core business. Pick a vendor for the real benefits and quality they offer, not just because youve worked with them before. A positive, long-term business relationship comes from trust and cooperation. Is This Their Core Business ? 10
  13. 13. At Cimlogic, we believe in transparency and support at every stage. If you have any questions or require any further advice based on the information in this document, please dont hesitate to contact us on 01274 599 955or email us: 1. Experience 2. Who Is Your Team ? 3. Cost, Quality & Time 4. Delivery Methods 5. Testing Methods 6. Software Development Lifecycle 7. Support 8. Financial Stability 9. Your Intellectual Property 10. Is This Their Core Business ? So Remember
  14. 14. Outstanding solutions for improving manufacturing efficiency
  15. 15. Cimlogic Ltd, 11 Baildon Mills, Baildon, Shipley, West Yorkshire BD17 6JY e: t: 01274 599 955 f: 0870 762 5559 Outstanding solutions for improving manufacturing efficiency