In a move that’s sure to excite manufacturers, Infor has acquired Lighthouse Systems, a company that makes manufacturing execution system (MES) software for smart manufacturing. Lighthouse Systems’ product, Shopfloor-Online, brings every piece of the manufacturing operation into a single system for better management and visibility.  

In this article, we’ll explain more about the acquisition, how it benefits the manufacturing industry, and what’s next for both companies. Let’s get started.

What is Lighthouse Systems?

Founded in 1990, Lighthouse Systems provides MES software to help manufacturers manage operations across production, quality, inventory, and maintenance. The company is based just outside of London in Crawley, U.K., and has about 100 employees. Lighthouse serves customers around the world and focuses on a variety of industries, including automotive, food and beverage, life sciences, packaging, construction, and sustainable energy.  

Its flagship product, Shopfloor-Online, can be deployed in the cloud or on premises and fully integrates with Infor CloudSuite ERP (enterprise resource planning) solution. By bringing ERP and MES together, Infor aims to offer a fully integrated “out of the box” solution to bring value to customers faster. In the company’s press release, Infor CEO Kevin Samuelson said: 

MES solutions are critical for manufacturing organizations that want to ensure data consistency and real-time visibility across all plant operations. Integrating these capabilities with our industry-specific ERP systems will help us deliver even more powerful solutions to manufacturing organizations, as they look to digitize their operations and grow their businesses.

ERP and MES: Better together 

Infor has already integrated its ERP products with Lighthouse Systems’ MES applications, but the company believes the acquisition will further enhance the customer success of these products. Uma Welingkar, head of product at Infor, explained why the acquisition will help manufacturers in an interview with Enterprise Times, saying: 

One of the reasons we acquired them is because our customers expect 24×7 operations, for their critical needs, especially in the manufacturing [sic] both discrete and process. Having an integrated solution from ERP with MES is what our customers expect from us. That was the reason we decided acquisition makes more sense, rather than a partnership.

Infor’s goal over the next year is to ensure that MES is tightly integrated into their ERP system. The future roadmap includes a move onto a multi-tenant AWS (Amazon Web Services). Currently, it’s available as a hosted single-tenant solution on AWS and Azure. 

Lighthouse Systems’ company director, Tim Barber, shared his excitement about the acquisition in the press release, saying:

We are delighted to join forces with Infor to further the operational excellence initiatives of our manufacturing customers. We have 30 years of experience delivering MES solutions to discrete and process manufacturers worldwide. These solutions are not only key to executing production efficiently, they also are essential building blocks for smart manufacturing and digital transformation.

What’s Next for Infor and Lighthouse?

For the moment, Lighthouse will be an independent business, but as the products become more integrated, Infor plans to blend development and sales teams together. We believe the convergence of Infor’s ERP planning capabilities with Lighthouse’s MES execution capabilities will help transform the manufacturing industry, especially at a time when supply chain issues are only growing. 

If you’re interested in learning more about how ERP and MES can enhance your manufacturing operations, Surety Systems is here. Our senior-level Infor consulting team can partner with your organization to build a solution to meet your unique manufacturing needs. To find out how we can help scope, plan, and deploy your ERP and MES system for the future, contact us today.