Persuading Executives That Plant IT Matters

Oct. 25, 2013
MESA’s mission is to build bridges of understanding from the plant to the enterprise by educating the marketplace on how and why to use manufacturing enterprise solutions.

Who gets hurt when sales overpromises? Who looks bad when the schedule is impossible to execute or materials come in that do not meet specification? Who must scramble to find data in the event of a new customer request or problems with products in the field? Who must figure out how to execute an engineering change to a product and still meet customer order deadlines? Probably you. People in production operations and people who manage the software and hardware automation in the plants bear the brunt of these day-to-day realities.

If these situations make your blood boil, don’t settle for feeling frustrated and powerless. You know it doesn’t have to be this way. Automation and integration of information across the plant and the enterprise can change those situations. You know it’s possible, but the managers might not. So the business suffers.

You must educate your management about what you need to help the entire business succeed. You must persuade them to make the right investments—in hardware, software, skills, process changes, total company-wide review of the impact of new initiatives, and implementing best practices to measure performance and focus on the areas that can truly improve it.

If that sounds scary, realize that no one can do it alone. That’s why MESA International exists. MESA’s mission is to build bridges of understanding from the plant to the enterprise by educating the marketplace on how and why to use manufacturing enterprise solutions. MESA has leveraged the challenges and successes of its members to develop an entire set of best practices that are guiding hundreds of companies’ success with manufacturing IT. These were developed by people like you—so MESA speaks with a unified voice of the plant practitioners.

Why is that unified voice important? It gives you, the practitioners, far more power and clout. It gives you credibility and authority. MESA can help you put things in business terms.

Without this unified voice, your executives will be more likely to listen to someone else who is an “expert” even though no one knows more about your situation than you do. Who might they listen to? A consultant, an industry analyst, a software provider, or a systems integrator. All of these types of practitioners are part of the base of MESA members, along with manufacturers and producers from around the world.

Be a part of this movement to educate corporate leaders to improve your life and the lives of many others. We need to move to a point where it’s not such a struggle to get capital and human resources for projects. We need support for education, skills development, and better ways of working. You deserve to have good information flowing in your area and between production and other parts of the business. The problems are not primarily technology ones, but revolve around organization, education and understanding.

Do you share MESA’s vision of manufacturing and production with information flowing across disciplines, facilities and through the entire enterprise? If so, join with your peers and not only get information, but share your successes and help MESA craft high-quality education and points of view that you can pull in for discussions with executives, peers and business partners.

The lack of clarity, both at the plant and enterprise, hurts manufacturers and producers, keeping you from building a competitive advantage for your business through your production operations. Don’t keep taking the brunt of disconnected information flows and processes where production is an afterthought at best. MESA is building bridges of understanding from the plant to the enterprise.

Take advantage of the opportunity to be part of the movement that is changing how manufacturing businesses value what you do. Persuade your management not as a lone voice, but with the credibility and experience of the unified voice of the practitioners.

>> Mike Yost ([email protected]) brings more than 20 years of industrial, marketing and sales experience to his role as president of MESA International.