MES and Why I’m Lovin’ It
Gene Szafranski, Wonderware North
During college, I worked at McDonald’s, but unlike the experience of most teenagers, I had the opportunity to help run one of the restaurants for an entire summer. And that’s when I had my first introduction to spreadsheets. At the time, a spreadsheet was just that, a sheet of paper. We calculated how many of each item sold and how much revenue it should generate from a simple spreadsheet and a closing inventory of fewer than twenty items. Monthly inventory became more detailed and provided an insight into how the restaurant was running, and each item in the store was inventoried. Ketchup, mustard, and salt packets, stir sticks, creamers, sugar, yes everything—even napkins. Using the customer count totals for the month, we could calculate the average number of each of those items consumed by each customer. We submitted our results to McDonald’s headquarters, and over the years, standards were established. If napkin usage was below the average, you could be pretty sure that your employees were not correctly filling the napkin dispensers.
After that summer, I was off to the University of Buffalo where I earned a degree in Chemical Engineering which allowed me to understand the many processes of an industrial facility. Fast forward to fifteen years ago when I joined the Wonderware North sales team and began working with multi-national companies that wanted to find solutions to track labor hours or see how much scrap their operations produced. I was shocked to learn that many companies did not have direct access to this level of data. If you don’t collect this data, create timely reports, and act on the information in those reports, how can you stay competitive in your marketplace? If you don’t compare data from plant to plant, how do you decide where to invest? If you don’t track consumption, how do you know what your yields are? Over thirty years ago, we calculated the yield of pickle slices every month! Who knew that my years of helping to operate a McDonald’s franchise would one day provide me with the fundamentals of MES required to assist customers in solving their manufacturing problems today?
MES: Digitize, standardize, and manage your operational processes.
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