What is a Manufacturing Execution System (MES)?

What Is A Manufacturing Execution System (Mes)?

What is a Manufacturing Execution System (MES)?

A manufacturing execution system (MES) is a specialized business software solution that helps automate and manage manufacturing, inventory, and production processes. It tracks, monitors, and collects data related to manufacturing-focused operations with the help of an extensive network of technologies, e.g. barcode scanners, IoT devices, operational sensors, and others.

Manufacturing execution systems provide all production stakeholders with access to real-time data related to the entire production cycle, which helps engineers, plant managers, and quality control officers to comply with regulations, improve product quality, reduce waste, and ensure efficient manufacturing.

In addition, by acting as a conduit between process control systems and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, MES tools help decision-makers access insights that support efficient and streamlined production.

What is the Relationship Between MES and ERP Systems?

MES and ERP systems help manufacturing units automate, track, and manage production and business processes. While an MES focuses on generating insights about manufacturing and production processes, and maximizing production efficiency, an ERP helps automate and manage various business operational processes and manage resources such as inventory management, order processing, accounts, customer service.

An MES acts as a functional layer between an ERP and process control systems, generating insight that leads to enhanced, real-time, production-related decision making. An ERP streamlines different day-to-day operations and helps improve overall business performance. Integrating an MES that collects real-time data on factory machinery and production lines with ERP software, helps Manufacturing companies significantly improve manufacturing efficiency while streamlining various business processes and day-to-day operations.

What are the Benefits of an MES-Integrated ERP?

Manufacturing units often require both MES and ERP systems to run their production and business processes efficiently. As both tools must communicate and share data, seamless integration is necessary. A specialized MES-integrated ERP helps manufacturing companies have control over their production and business operations while reducing the need for multiple tools and expensive integrations.

An MES-integrated ERP enhances profitability, improves productivity, and significantly minimizes wastage. Such a tool has all the modules necessary to handle orders and inventory on the top layer, in addition to being able to focus on real-time floor operations. Moreover, it generates insights that consider both production and business processes.

The Key Differences Between MES & ERP





Streamlines and integrates various business processes, including manufacturing.

Monitors and controls production processes


Data entry can be manual or automated.

Data entry requires input devices such as sensors and barcodes.


ERP tools can be integrated with both business and production-oriented applications.

MES tools are integrated with various floor-specific applications and with an ERP.

Customization & Flexibility

Some ERP tools can be easily customized when required.

MES tools are less flexible and more complex when it comes to customizations.


Both Manufacturing processes and Financial transactions elicit triggers.

Triggers are related to production events, such as machine downtime, quality issues, or deviation from production schedules.

Schedule today!

Schedule a no-obligation call with one of our experts to get expert advice on how Priority can help streamline your operations.

Artboard 6 100
Rb 95


An ERP streamlines various business processes, including manufacturing, sales, marketing, inventory management, customer relationship management, and finance. It shares data between modules to generate valuable insights that a manufacturing company can connect to real-time production performance. An MES helps monitor and control manufacturing-specific processes such as choosing suitable raw materials, gathering real-time production data, generating reports, etc. An MES-integrated ERP balances the business and production-side roles of the tools on a single platform without integrating different tools.

Rb 3


ERP holds data from both manual and automated entries, depending on the use case. In most business use cases, data entry is hybrid. In contrast, MES collects real-time data using barcode scanners, IoT sensors, machinery sensor systems, and sometimes production floor personnel. Businesses seeking simplicity should consider implementing an MES-integrated ERP system tool to integrate various input methods, allowing different organizational stakeholders, including production line workers, to enter or update. Changes are stored in the database so that historical data is always available, making cross-referencing data from various organizational departments easy.

Rb 4


A modern ERP that's open and flexible can seamlessly integrate with a wide range of software products and apps to enhance system functionality and the overall user experience. When combined with an integrated MES tool, an ERP system can be connected to additional applications that are customized to the manufacturer's requirements. As a result, production floors and manufacturing units can access many tools from a single interface.

Rb 58

Customization & Flexibility

Most ERP systems natively incorporate "out of the box" modules that help businesses run their day-to-day operations in a streamlined manner. Scalable ERP platforms offer flexibility to customize workflows and adapt to new business models and industry functions to keep up with market changes. The Priority ERP platform facilitates an open architecture, allowing multi-layered connectivity with embedded integrations, ready-to-use connectors, and APIs. This results in rapid innovation, interoperability, and cost-effectiveness.

Rb 84


MES systems trigger actions based on manufacturing process events, such as identification of manufacturing issues, non-conforming material, etc. An MES-integrated ERP combines the efficacy of an MES with that of an ERP. It triggers actions based on various events ranging from triggers related to finance and billing, like a customer placing an order, paying payroll checks, or when a supplier sends bills, to production-oriented themes (MRP, PDM, ECO Management, QA, and more.).

Rb 101


Managing multiple business processes can make ERP systems more costly than MES systems, which are more focused on specific aspects of manufacturing and, therefore, are often less expensive. However, the overall cost of an MES system varies depending on the required sensors, barcodes, and data input devices. Investing in an ERP-integrated MES system can be more cost-effective, as it allows for seamless data-sharing and real-time inputs, resulting in better insights.

See how Priority works for you

Get a demo