By Doug Bartholomew Procter & Gamble Co. has tapped Mountain Systems Inc. to provide it with a manufacturing execution system (MES) to track production in a variety of settings, including continuous, batch, and discrete processes. The consumer package goods (CPG) manufacturer will use Proficy for Manufacturing from the Green Bay, Wis.-based software firm. "Procter & Gamble has been seeking a configurable, off-the-shelf application that addresses our MES requirements," says Jeff List, section manager in P&G's MES Center of Expertise. "Proficy provides context to process data, which supports the close integration of process, quality, product, and equipment information. This capability enables us to readily address a broad range of improvement efforts and eases integration with the planning layer (ERP)." Observers commended P&G's move to improve its supply-chain responsiveness by adopting a configurable, off-the-shelf MES. "As CPG manufacturers move to responsive make-to-demand manufacturing strategies, unified manufacturing execution and product specification management at each site becomes a key requirement to support responsiveness in the extended supply chain," says Roddy Martin, service director for CPG and life-sciences manufacturing at AMR Research Inc., an IT research firm in Boston. MES implementation generally has lagged that of other technologies in use by manufacturers, according to Fourth Annual IndustryWeek Census of Manufacturers (see MES Provides Vital Link).