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Suggested Reference Material

Production Process Management (PPM) is a significant step forward in the information management infrastructure for any manufacturing enterprise. PPM is an enterprise level approach to production information in place of the traditional plant applications such as Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES). Although PPM might seem a bit radical, PPM is based on computer concepts in use for nearly twenty years evolving from work flow concepts of the early nineties and the follow on concepts of Business Process Management (BPM), now a multibillion per year industry.
At this time there are many sources for information on BPM including all of the major analyst firms. My favorite source is Peter Fingar who, along with his associate Howard Smith, wrote the book that defined the ideas of and the potential business opportunities for BPM. Business Process Management: The Third Wave by Mr. Fingar continues to be the seminal source on BPM.
BPM and PPM are based on building a computer executable model of the process. The modeling tool in greatest use today is Business Process Modeling Notation or BPMN 2.0. There has been much information published over the past ten years on the subject of process modeling and process management. One book that I like on the subject will provide a solid insight on process thinking is The MicroGuide to Process Modeling in BPMN 2.0.
If the idea of manufacturing plant system infrastructure is a bit vague I offer this suggestion as a source of information. Collaborative Manufacturing: Using Real-time Information to Support the Supply Chain will provide a broad overview of plant systems and their role in developing and providing information from the operations side of the enterprise.