Dependent on the defined other important criteria and the available information about the MOM solution in the initial list, basically two alternatives exist. Either (A), it is possible to reduce the number of options to a short-list with approximately three (3) based on the already available information. Or (B), we need to ask the vendors of the initial list for additional information. That can be done by creating a Requirements Document or Request for Information (RFI) and evaluating the response of the various vendors. Typical content of a Requirements Document is:
- Objectives of the MOM solution implementation,
- Description of your business processes and the focus (scope) chosen for the project(s),
- Required functionality (e.g. referring to ISA-95) and non-functional aspects,
- Interfacing with other systems,
- List with relevant questions.
After the acceptance of the short-list, again the same two alternatives. If the short-list is created without communication with the vendors (A), they need to be informed through the Requirements Document. Typically, two topics are added in comparison to the RFI above: explicit scenarios to be demonstrated at the meeting with vendors and a clear budget indication. The scenarios represent certain parts of the manufacturer’s operations, which are decisive for the ultimate success. Otherwise (B), we need to share some additional requirements and the two afore mentioned topics with the short-listed vendors.
The vendors are invited to visit the manufacturing site, to get a better understanding of the objectives, the processes in scope, etc. During the vendor meetings, the scenarios are demonstrated and all questions from both the manufacturer and the vendors are answered to create mutual understanding.
The final evaluation will result in a list in which the solutions are ranked on added value, which is the difference between expected benefits and the total cost of ownership for a number of years (not just the initial investment).