As more manufacturing companies realize their enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems lack sufficient data from the plant floor, ERP software companies are likely to forge stronger ties with manufacturing execution system (MES) providers in response. That's the case with J.D. Edwards & Co., the Denver-based ERP software firm that recently announced an alliance with Camstar Systems Inc., a leading MES software developer. The two software companies are working together to serve the textiles, metals, and semiconductor/electronics industries with an integrated MES/ERP product. "There has been a substantial information gap existing between factory operations and enterprise systems that has created, in effect, an informational blind spot," says Larry Graziani, director of corporate development at Camstar, based in Campbell, Calif. Camstar's InSite and Mesa software packages, designed for the Microsoft Windows NT and IBM AS/400 platforms respectively, provide detailed work-in-process tracking and increased visibility into key plant floor performance indicators needed to successfully manage manufacturing operations. When used with the J.D. Edwards OneWorld and WorldSoftware ERP systems, the result is a complete manufacturing system that integrates shop floor activities and business systems.