Over the past five years, many large manufacturing companies, at some level, have invested in a Digital Manufacturing initiative. With typical budgets of $500K to $5M, these projects have ranged from a strategy for Smart Manufacturing in phase 4 of the Industrial Revolution to the Design/Build of a working Manufacturing Execution System (MES). Successful MES projects have delivered significant value and ROI. When considering a Smart Manufacturing project today, it is important to know what designs have worked and, just as important, to know what has not worked. Another design criterion is knowledge of what future MES products and services are in the pipeline to assure your company’s business edge so that what you design now can be upgraded or modified efficiently and effectively for a sustainable MES.