Identifying the Role of Manufacturing Execution Systems in the IS Landscape: A Convergence of Multiple Types of Application Functionalities

S. Waschull*, J. C. Wortmann, J. A.C. Bokhorst

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
66 Downloads (Pure)


Manufacturing execution systems (MES) enable the detailed control of manufacturing operations, i.e. they facilitate digital and integrated shop-floor systems as envisioned by Industry 4.0. Yet, many manufacturing organizations struggle to integrate MES and demarcate it from other information systems (IS) in manufacturing. Therefore, this paper explores how MES can be functionally and technologically distinguished from other IS to determine its (future) role in the IS landscape. To provide an answer, this research applies the conceptualization of IS into five application functionalities and underlying enabling technologies. They are referred to as transaction processing, interactive planning, analytics, document management and process monitoring and control systems. We found that MES merges different types of application functionality into one system through its diverse functional requirements, and therefore can be characterized as technologically heterogeneous, in contrast to other ‘classical’ systems. MES then also takes on a central integrating role in the IS landscape. The findings offer an explanation for the challenges associated with the adoption of MES functionality, and highlight the importance of addressing integration questions in light of Industry 4.0.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Production Management Systems. Towards Smart Production Management Systems
Subtitle of host publicationIFIP WG 5.7 International Conference, APMS 2019
EditorsFarhad Ameri, Kathryn E. Stecke, Gregor von Cieminski, Dimitris Kiritsis
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-29996-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-29995-8
Publication statusPublished - 1-Sept-2019
EventIFIP WG 5.7 International Conference on Advances in Production Management Systems, APMS 2019 - Austin, United States
Duration: 1-Sept-20195-Sept-2019

Publication series

NameIFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology
ISSN (Print)1868-4238
ISSN (Electronic)1868-422X


ConferenceIFIP WG 5.7 International Conference on Advances in Production Management Systems, APMS 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Application functionality
  • Industry 4.0
  • Integration
  • Manufacturing execution systems

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