Charlie is talking about lean supply chain requirements and the ISA-95 application framework, adn the benefits of standards to lean manufacturing. Manufacturing Automation 2006 integration study found that the B2M inerconnection challenge that people rate the highest are people and organizational issues, followed by budget issues, other business priorities, technology/product issues and lack of standards, in that order. Innovative manufacturers apply B2M integration. Why? Apdapt and optimize theri manufacturing for 21st Century "pull" MTO markets Global markets create large increase in distributed sources: production: balance in-house and outsourced, and supply and distribution. A MTO product is now delivered through competing supply chains. We propose a single canonical system schema and transaction library that dramaticall y simplifies integration of business to manufacturing and MOM systems. The "Hitchhiker's Guide" explains how evolving S95 methods and technical applications leads to better production and more money. We are the doctors and the engineers of the transition of manufacturing from 20th century linear, hierarchical manufacturing to 21st Century manufacturing. The plant has to be able to quantify its capabilities, and expose them to the supply chain. Business evolves into configurable demand-driven supply chains. Lean in the 20th century was all about reducing the number of systems in the plant. This is only true in a linear supply chain. In a distributed supply chain, with everybody speaking the same language it is NOT true. When everything operates in a "pull" fashion, the number of metrics goes up very high, and that requires more systems, and so lean has to evolve. You have to be able to run this equation: Customer Spec + OTD + Configured Production capability=Profit margin. 21st century manufacturing enablers: flexibility and realtime visibility! The value of managing performance is REAL! Industry struggles with the financial hurdles. Eliminate disconects between Operations, IT and Finance. MOM sysems are bridging the gaps. We're proposing a Flexibility Framework for manufacturing applications and integration projects, with separation of business process from manufacturing processes, and we are going to focus on functions required for demand first and then the form of systems, organizations, and priorities. The system architecture must support continuous improvement. Gifford went through in detail how the Best Practices report supports lean manufacturing. If you didn't take my advice and order his book (the Hitchhikers' Guide) you ought to now. Buy it and read it. I can't type fast enough to keep up with Charlie.