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Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Yes, MSF will work with any ERP, smaller local one or common used ones, like Sage, Oracle, Microsoft, SAP, IFS, Infor, Pantheon, …

We already have scripts with most of well know ERPs in order to speed up process of integration.

Integration is one of the most important beginning steps to make successful project. That’s why MSF will do integration free of charge* in the PoC.

First stage of integration to read needed data in average takes 1-3 working days.

Due to small changes in communication with existing ERP of the customer, during project we’re sometimes doing more integration related tasks, which is normal based on the complexity of the project.

Last stage of integration is sending data back to ERP which usually ends integration related tasks.

*free of charge is only for Gold users.

Yes, all modules can work independently from each other, but combination of some will bring you more added value and higher savings.  

Yes, all the solution can be customized to company’s specific needs and their working ways, either visually or contextually. Since MSF developed all the solutions, we can modify the source code as is needed with focus of process optimization for the client.

When it comes to data protection between ERP and other applications, there are some major focuses on the safety of the data:

  • Data Privacy: ERP systems often contain sensitive and confidential information, such as financial data, customer details, and employee records. MSF is ensuring highest data privacy protection to prevent unauthorized access, data breaches, or leakage of sensitive information.
  • Data Integrity: MSF knows that maintaining the integrity of data is essential to ensure that information remains accurate, consistent, and unaltered during communication between ERP and MSF applications. Data integrity measures are placed to detect and prevent unauthorized modifications, tampering, or corruption of data.

  • Authentication and Access Control: MSF established robust authentication mechanisms and access controls to verify the identities of users or systems accessing data in MSF applications. Some of the enabled features: proper user authentication with strong passwords, multi-factor authentication (MFA), role-based access controls (RBAC). These prevent unauthorized access and protect against data breaches.

  • Encryption: MSF is employing strong encryption protocols for secured data transmission. 
  • Secure Integration: secure integration mechanisms are always implemented when doing integration. This includes using secure application programming interfaces (APIs), following industry best practices for integration, and conducting thorough security assessments to identify and mitigate potential vulnerabilities.
  • Vulnerability Management: MSF is regularly updating and applying security patches and updates that helps protect against known vulnerabilities and minimizes the risk of exploitation.
  • Audit Trails and Monitoring: We implemented some monitoring mechanisms to track usage and data exchanges while using MSF applications. This helps detect and investigate any unauthorized access attempts, suspicious activities, or data breaches.
  • Compliance with Data Protection Regulations: MSF with customers is complying to relevant data protection regulations, such as GDPR in EU or the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).
  • Regular backups: regular data backups are performed automatically, with the customer decision on how often these backups are made.

The choice between cloud-based (hosted off-site) or on-premises (hosted on-site) deployment depends on various factors and considerations. Ultimately, the decision between cloud-based and on-premises deployment depends on where customer want MSF system to be installed. 

Some benefits and drawbacks: 

  • Cloud-Based: Benefits: Cost efficiency, Remote access accessibility, Easily scale up or down based on demand, Maintenance and Updates: Cloud service providers handle system maintenance, updates, and security patches on daily basis ensuring maximum safety, Disaster Recovery to minimize the risk on data loss, Multiple levels of connection and data encryption. Drawbacks: Dependency on Internet Connectivity, Security Concerns: Storing data off-site raises concerns when not understanding the technology.
  • On-Premises Based: Benefits: Organizations have complete control, Data Localization: advantageous for compliance with certain data protection regulations, Connectivity: can be faster and more reliable and not relying on the internet. 
    Drawbacks: Upfront Costs, Scalability Challenges, Maintenance and Updates (need their own IT team or outsource IT company), Limited Accessibility for remote work.


MSF will perform first installation for free on the desired platform. 

Modules related Questions

Shop floor digitalization refers to the broader concept of leveraging digital technologies to transform and optimize shop floor operations, whereas MES specifically refers to the software system designed for managing and controlling manufacturing operations. 

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There can be huge differences between different providers. For example, not all MES solutions are sufficient for different types of productions to follow at the same time. Good MES also needs to have capabilities to correctly digitalize various shop floors and scenarios, from old and new workstations, to manual jobs. Collecting correct data should be the priority, and collecting all the needed data to increase productivity and remove bottle necks should also be collected correctly. 

A Manufacturing Execution System (MES) is a computer-based system used in manufacturing industries to manage and control the execution of production operations on the shop floor. It serves as a bridge between the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and the actual manufacturing process.

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A MES system works by integrating with various components of the manufacturing process and capturing real-time data to enable monitoring, control, and analysis. Here’s a general overview of how an MES system works:

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Meta Smart Factory MES (Manufacturing Execution System) and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) are two different software systems that serve distinct purposes in an organization’s operations. Here are the key differences between MSF MES and ERP:

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No, MES (Manufacturing Execution System) and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) are not the same. They are distinct software systems with different purposes and functionalities.

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MES (Manufacturing Execution System) and MRP (Material Requirements Planning) are two different systems that serve distinct purposes in the manufacturing process. Here are the key differences between MES and MRP:

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MES (Manufacturing Execution System) typically consists of multiple levels or layers that work together to provide comprehensive control and visibility over the manufacturing process. The specific levels may vary depending on the system architecture and implementation, but here are the commonly recognized levels of MES:

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The key features of a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) can vary based on specific system implementations and industry requirements. However, here are some commonly found key features of MES:

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MES (Manufacturing Execution System) production data refers to the information collected and generated by the MES system during the execution of manufacturing operations on the shop floor. This data captures various aspects of the production process, providing insights into the performance, efficiency, and quality of production activities. Here are some examples of MES production data:

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Integrating a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) with an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system enables seamless data exchange and synchronization between the shop floor and the broader business operations. Here are some common approaches to integrating MES with ERP:

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Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) is a digital solution that helps manufacturers to manage production planning and shop floor scheduling. Using advanced algorithms to balance demand and capacity and generate achievable production schedules, Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) function results in shorter delivery times to meet customer demands and easier, more rapid response to unexpected production changes.

APS helps manufacturers forecast their production resource needs; It paves the way for higher profits by regulating the efficient use of materials, people, and machinery, and by planning options that will deliver faster delivery to customers. With MSF APS, you can have long-term planning covering months or can be used for one or several weeks of planning and detailed sequencing and scheduling.

MSF APS can be used not only as a standalone system for planning and scheduling, and but also be used and integrated easily with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Manufacturing Execution System (MES), and other software solutions.

For planners, APS systems quickly analyze the iFor planners, MSF APS quickly analyzes the consequences of alternative decisions, visually highlights consequences and problems, and creates optimal or near-optimal plans and schedules.

MSF APS provides planners and managers with the best information and recommendations to combine all capabilities and capabilities to form the basis for their decisions. As such, it is an important tool to assist in managing complexity. While large numbers of items, orders, machines, and workers move quickly together, it is difficult to plan effectively with their complex constraints. In such environments, MSF APS can offer optimal planning and scheduling.

APS creates a type of computational optimization using many mathematical algorithms. In manufacturing, APS establishes a method for simultaneous synchronization of material and capacity with customer orders. APS prepares the plan and schedule for the execution of the production processes, then transfers it to ERP to manage the execution of the plan or schedule. APS can also be used as part of stand-alone systems or system suites, especially in larger organizations, if data interfaces are integrated. Many APS tools and techniques can be used in supply chain planning. This includes multi-purpose functions such as purchasing management and sales forecasting, factory planning and scheduling, inventory planning, transportation planning, product lifecycle management, and inter-institutional and intra-organizational coordination.

APS planning functionality considers forecast and long-term orders, supports decision-making about the feasibility and affects the general direction of production operations. APS supports decisions surrounding extending the workforce, resource capacity, and factories. It helps manufacturers determine what and how much to make, where and when to make it, and exactly what resources are required.

Planning can be executed in planning periods can be days, weeks, months, or a combination of all three.

Advanced Scheduling functionality considers the availability of resources and additional constraints, such as tooling and materials to ensure an accurate model of the manufacturing environment. Advanced Scheduling schedules orders using intelligent built-in rules. It provides decision-making support for overtime, order prioritization, due date negotiation, and order processing.

APS oversees numerous aspects of a production environment, including:

  • Master Production Schedule creation
  • Bill of Materials (BOM) level planning
  • Interactive schedule visualization
  • Make-to-order planning
  • Make-to-stock planning
  • Advanced constraint modeling
  • Advanced material handling
  • Advance schedule optimization
  • Assembly process visualization
  • Interactive schedule viewing
  • Order-based multi-constraint scheduling.

By improving the synchronization of production processes, APS provides visibility into more options to increase production and on-time delivery while reducing inventory levels and waste. Advanced artificial intelligence algorithms, it enables manufacturers to quickly analyze and calculate achievable production schedules, taking into account multiple constraints and business rules. So planners can create and evaluate case scenarios to achieve the best results.

  • Additional benefits:
  • Late deliveries due to manufacturing delays
  • Missed sales due to demand exceeding capacity
  • Lost orders due to excessive work-in-process
  • High production costs due to machine ineffectiveness (such as downtime)
  • Excessive overhead due to managing scheduling changes and the impact on delivery schedule
  • Difficult to plan for future capacity requirements
  • Full visibility and control
  • Increased utilization and leaner operations
  • Faster response to change
  • Better customer service Higher margins

The biggest difference between production scheduling software and advanced planning and scheduling software is in the name. Both options may provide nearly similar functionality but may be marketed under different terms.

In other words, the software can be called production planning software or advanced production planning software. In fact, it can be said that production scheduling is just one of many features available in APS software; this means that the APS software is an enhanced version of the production scheduling software.

In essence, both production planning software and APS software are capable of scheduling many orders that need to be processed according to specific processes and specific product routes. Both systems can create a program that can be viewed in a variety of ways but is typically seen as a GANTT chart. These charts show how ordering products will take place in different processes.

In most cases, the user can change the production plans and try various scenarios to play with different situations on the production floor. If desired, in addition to calculating material consumption, APS can prevent scheduling of production orders after any material is exhausted and automatically generate supply orders when any material is partially finished.

When production demands, production queues, and anticipated changes in production are required, advanced planning and scheduling solutions are used by managers to better improve their decision-making processes. APS software helps make changes or see what impact changes in scheduling will have on production, creating real-time production efficiency in the factory.

When machine failures occur or parts are scrapped in production, advanced scheduling helps support contingency scenarios such as:

  • “What is the cost of accepting an urgent order?”
  • “Will prioritizing a new urgent order hurt our completion time for other pending orders?”
  • “Can we afford to pay our employees overtime to complete this job?”
  • “When can we move a machine into a maintenance stage without slowing down production?”

APS will help you see the true impact of each scenario. Managers will be able to provide their decisions with a dashboard or KPIs or simulations that can help visually demonstrate the impact.

If you’re asking yourself following questions, then you should consider using Advanced Planning solutions.

Do you schedule on spreadsheets (Excel)?
Does it take more than one person to make the scheduling or it takes long hours every day to schedule?
Do the work orders create disruption?
Do you know where your jobs are on the floor at a given time?
Do you have idle machines or workers?
Do you lose too much time in setups and what exactly does it cost you?
Do you workers know what to do next?
Do you have a forecast but need to plan capacity, orders, and materials?
Do you have capacity constraints?
Do you have too many crisis scenarios that destroys your plan (work order priority changes, changing of stock,  unexpected breakdowns, cancelleation of orderds, shift overtimes, delays from suppliers, operators problems, …)

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