Skip to main content

MESA Metrics Guidebook: ROI and Justification for MES

Over the years, manufacturing executives have understood the benefits that Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) could deliver to their manufacturing operations in terms of increased process efficiency. However, it also becoming increasingly clear to them that in order to execute a buying decision on any MES, they need to get a buy-in from other stakeholders in their organizations. Given the finite resources that organizations have, they need to justify their MES projects with respect to other equally critical projects from their organizations’ perspective.

Quite often, the manufacturing executives find themselves inadequately prepared for a discussion with the controllers of their organizations’ resources on what value MES solutions would bring to their organizations and whether the returns from such projects would be attractive compared to other investment avenues available to these organizations.

Similarly, most product vendors, fail to position MES initiatives as something beyond mere efficiency improvement initiatives and convey the comprehensive extent to which these initiatives can drive business value for their customers’ organizations. In the process, the product vendors may end up underselling their propositions to prospective customers.

This guidebook will act as a reference for typical cost justification frameworks that could be used in value centric discussions between:
1. Manufacturing executives or IT departments and resource owners, typically the financial budgeting function in an organization
2. Manufacturing executives and IT product vendors

This guidebook should enable manufacturing executives to build a business case for their MES implementations by helping them clearly identify value drivers that can bring tangible value to their organizations. These frameworks could also be useful for these executives to evaluate multiple sourcing (e.g. single vendor versus best of breed) and deployment (e.g. point systems versus integrated platforms) strategies. This guidebook will also provide examples of companies that have used cost justification frameworks during their projects, not only to justify investments in these projects but also to ensure adequate governance during and post implementation to ensure that the promised business value was achieved.

Date Published: May 2014


  1. Darren Riley - Dassault Systems
  2. John Dyck - Rockwell Automation
  3. Julie Fraser - Inyo Advisors
  4. David Frede - GE
  5. Anita Gatti - Sun Life Financial of Canada
  6. Steven Lichon - Rockwell Automation
  7. Jeevan Prakash Achar - SAP
  8. June Ruby - Motorola Solutions
  9. Larry White - RCA Institute
  1. John Jackiw - Alta Via Consulting
  2. Michel Devos - M.E.S. Consult
  3. Sam Meer - CSL
  4. Arne Svendsen - Arla Foods
  5. Japp Both - Actemium
  6. Jose Luis Maldonado Ortiz - SAB Miller
  7. Tim McEntee - Rovisys
  8. Brad Williams - Invensys