Workflows are structured activities primarily involving human-to-human or human-to-machine interactions, all directed toward the realization of profitable operations without compromising safety, reliability and consistency. Yet workflow technology is starting to move from a purely IT domain practice into the manufacturing operations management (MOM) domain as defined by ISA-95.
So asserts MESA International, Chandler, Ariz., a global community of manufacturers,
producers and solution providers focused on improving operations management. To
help its members understand this changing working environment, MESA released Whitepaper
#32 to educate members on approaches available to leverage workflow-enabled
Charlie Gifford, Chair of the MESA/ISA-95 Best Practices Working Group and
one of the paper's authors noted, "Bill Gates was quoted as saying 'The
first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to
an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that
automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.' His
point is especially true in production operations, and that’s why MESA is at
the forefront of documenting the challenges, approaches, methodologies and best
practices to drive value in this area."
The paper explores the globalization and organizational challenges
associated with the introduction of workflow technology into MOM.
Offered through the organization's online resources library (membership or
purchase required), the paper also will be published in a best practices collection
by ISA, "Book 2.0, When Worlds Collide in Manufacturing Operations."