For process manufacturers like chemicals, pharmaceuticals and food & beverage, production and inventory control, planning, scheduling, and product costing applications improve productivity and reduce costs at production sites throughout the world. For many, however, their applications are either original homegrown systems which fit them to a “T” at the time they were built, or discreet based systems lacking core process manufacturing functionality. Because of growth and changing industry requirements, many process manufacturers are coming to the realization that these systems are no longer adequate to support their business objectives.
If you are going to replace existing systems, how do you get started, particularly if you have no experience in selecting and buying packaged software? The problem is that the things that could spell trouble for you are buried deep within the very foundation of the software - its initial design. Buyers in process manufacturers are most vulnerable since the vast majority of the software offered in the marketplace has been designed for discrete manufacturing (automotive, electronics, machine tools, etc.). These vendors have added functions to their software to accommodate process requirements. As you might expect there are compromises. As such, there are limitations. Will these limitations be a problem for your production site? This paper should help you find the answers.