What is P2E? It's "Plant to Enterprise"
You have enterprise systems to run your financials, your supply chain and your warehouses - and to manage all your business' resources. And, you have plant information systems that help manage and control production.
But, what do these groups of systems know right now, in real-time, about the other?
Minding the Gap
Your enterprise resource planning and supply chain systems and the people that use them are hungry for the information generated by manufacturing operations. And your production systems depend on the demand, material, product design, and scheduling data that flows from your business systems. Many manufacturers still rely on manual, paper-based techniques, or inadequate, fragile point-to-point systems integration to support the processes and applications that comprise communications between these mission critical systems.
All too often, this results in a "gap". It can manifest as an inherent delay between when events happen in production, and when they're visible or actionable in the enterprise system. It can also surface in the form of inaccurate or unreliable data. Data collection errors often stem from personal bias or judgment, simple human error, or through the process of aggregating data from many sources and into a form that enterprise systems require.
Given the sheer volume, granularity, and speed of data produced continuously on the plant floor, enterprise business systems simply aren't designed to absorb most production data in its original form. It needs to be put into the context of orders, inventory levels, or product status for example. And, manual or paper-based data collection is a non-value add activity for production operators that takes them away from their work and adds cost and lag-time to your operations.
Today there is ample evidence that companies who synchronize plant information with enterprise systems optimize both investments, creating a more agile production profile while simultaneously improving their competitive posture and regulatory compliance efforts.
P2E is Information Framework Strategy
Integrating production operations with enterprise systems is NOT about simply installing a middleware layer. Systems Integration, achieved through a service-oriented-architecture (SOA) or otherwise, is certainly part of the overall solution. Creating a more connected enterprise requires thoughtful attention to a framework of plant-wide information applications, the business processes that connect them to the rest of the enterprise, and a supporting IT infrastructure.
Many enterprises today are engaged in strategic initiatives such as Lean, Six Sigma, Real-time, or Continuous Improvement to drive manufacturing excellence. The common thread among these initiatives is a reliance on high-fidelity manufacturing information. Creating a closed loop information flow allows executives to monitor and metric efforts, then adjust tactics to ensure that financial outcomes meet expectations. An enterprise-wide P2E strategy leverages information technologies to synchronize the people and processes that comprise your business.
Implementing a P2E strategy can revolutionize service delivery and productivity by enabling the real-time information collaboration that characterizes best-in-class execution. The gap between plant and enterprise systems has become the new frontier, where world-class performers build flexible, agile manufacturing systems that extend the plant floor into the far reaches of their supply chain.