Business Intelligence comprises the strategies and technologies used by enterprises for the data analysis of business information. BI technologies provide historical, current and predictive views of business operations.

Common functions of business intelligence technologies include:

  • Reporting,
  • Online analytical processing,
  • Analytics,
  • Data mining,
  • Process mining,
  • Complex event processing,
  • Business performance management,
  • Benchmarking,
  • Text mining,
  • Predictive analytics and
  • Prescriptive analytics.

Business intelligence can be used by enterprises to support a wide range of business decisions – ranging from operational to strategic. Basic operating decisions include product positioning or pricing. Strategic business decisions involve priorities, goals and directions at the broadest level.


Enterprise resource planning, is the integrated management of core business processes. An ERP management information system integrates areas such as:

  • Planning,
  • Purchasing,
  • Inventory,
  • Sales,
  • Marketing,
  • Finance and
  • Human resources.


MES stands for Manufacturing Execution System. The MESA defines the MES as “a dynamic information system that drives effective execution of manufacturing operations: Using current and accurate data, MES guides, triggers and reports on plant activities as events occur. The MES set of functions manages production operations from point of order release into manufacturing to point of product delivery into finished goods. MES provides mission critical information about production activities to others across the organization and supply chain via bidirectional channels. ”

In terms of hierarchy, the MES functionalities sit between the Supervision, also called SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition), and the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning).

The MESA defined 11 MES functions:

  1. Resource Allocation and Status
  2. Operations/ Detail Scheduling
  3. Dispatching Production Units
  4. Document Control
  5. Data Collection/ Acquisition
  6. Labor Management
  7. Quality Management
  8. Process Management
  9. Maintenance Management
  10. Product Tracking and Genealogy
  11. Performance Analysis

In practice however, the exact boundaries between the MES and the ERP on the one hand, and the MES and the Supervision on the other hand are a little fuzzy. The exact distribution of functions between the systems largely depends on specific implementations, and design choices.


Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association International also known as MESA International, is a global, nonprofit community of manufacturing companies, information technology hardware and  software suppliers, system integrators, consulting service providers, analysts, editors, academics and students.

The shared goal of MESA members is to improve business results and production operations through optimized application and implementation of information technology and best management practices.

The association’s efforts are focused on helping the manufacturing community to use information technology to provide real-time visibility into the production process.

MESA provides a variety of programs and events that work together to help manufacturers and producers to:

  • Better understand what is possible in terms of information technology to improve profitability, business value, agility, and customer satisfaction
  • Engage “best practices” to see what other manufacturers have done to achieve measurable success
  • Approach investment decisions in technology with more information and confidence
  • Learn to improve the deployment of new technology


Product Lifecycle Management. It is the process of managing the entire lifecycle of a product from inception, through engineering design and manufacture, to service and disposal of manufactured products. PLM integrates people, data, processes and business systems and provides a product information backbone for companies and their extended enterprise. There are five primary areas in the PLM:

  1. Systems Engineering
  2. Product and Portfolio
  3. Product Design
  4. Manufacturing Process Management
  5. Product Data Management