Many automotive suppliers are heavily invested in legacy point solutions to support activities across the enterprise. While these point solutions usually work well at performing a specific function, they often create silos that impede coordination. Activities like a simple quote revision or a routine advanced product quality planning (APQP) corrective action can be cumbersome and error-prone. These islands of data create a range of problems that can be broadly grouped into three categories: data, process, and people.Read More
It’s Tuesday morning, March 21st and the Aras Community Event (ACE) in Nashville is getting underway. Attendees mingled about for breakfast, and early conversation as the opening keynote kickoff was about to begin. As you walk into the meeting center, it’s immediately noticeable that, unlike previous ACE seating arraignments, the seating was organized around roundtables instead of rows of chairs. Aras’ leadership and partners were mixed in throughout the tables and engaging the attendees.Read More
Automotive suppliers face a combination of market forces that have created a unique business environment – an environment where uncertainty and unmitigated risk are eroding profit margins. Why are other manufacturing models immune and what’s so different about automotive suppliers? High volume production combined with product complexity create a perfect storm for uncertainty and risk. This article deconstructs these risk factors and explores strategies and tools to calm the storm.
For some time now, we have wanted to speak directly to the value of PLM as it relates to the profit and loss (P&L) conditions of a business. So, to kick off this issue, Martin van der Roest probes the topic further by mapping the value of PLM directly to P&L. We can play with benefit statements, KPIs and other metrics all we want, but there’s nothing quite like seeing the impact on the financials. If we add anything to the conversation about the business of engineering, it’s the idea that P&L needs to be looped into the mix.Read More
Most of you as readers work at engineering and manufacturing companies. At first glance of the title, you may think we’ll be talking about the various industry sectors that are using CPQ. Yes, in part we are. But, the reality is that a significant number of users outside these companies are leveraging CPQ … prospects, customers and representatives of engineering and manufacturing companies. For example, companies like Dell.Read More
Last month, we published Part 1 of this series with an introduction to CPQ. We talked about what it is, identified its value proposition and asserted, “Why PLM would be the ideal foundation for CPQ.” For Part 2 of this series, we dig a bit further and talk about the workings of CPQ. We received a question in response to our first part that serves a great lead-in to the next section entitled “CPQ and the Business of Engineering.” The question was “why not run CPQ as a standalone application?” STOP. Add yet another application? That’s what we are urging companies to reconsider. In this section, we weave the topic of CPQ into the spirit of Business of Engineering. To help you position CPQ capabilities within the “To-Order” spectrum, Dick Bourke wrote a brief for the Best Practices section addressed, “Matching CPQ with the “To-Order” Spectrum.” What we hope to illuminate here is that there is NOT a “one-size-fits-all” solution.Read More
Have you heard any of these expressions within your shop? “I wish we could ship what we sold ... our quoting process is beginning to make us uncompetitive ... the cost of scrap and rework is unacceptable ... or, there is no way we can scale our business with the current quoting process.” If so, then this two part series may be of interest to you. These comments reflect the current inefficiencies and lack of accuracy that can exist in the initial stages of the sales process. Unfortunately, the negative impact shows up in downstream product lifecycle activities such as product design, planning, manufacturing, delivery and support. The solutions to these frustrating circumstances have been called, “product or BOM configurators,” “quote to cash,” “guided selling” and “mass customization.” But, the recent and trendy expression is, “configure, price and quote” or CPQ. In fact, recent and large acquisitions by Oracle and Salesforce have given CPQ significant visibility and awareness.Read More
PLM is the glue that holds part and product data together. If your organization wants to achieve “single source of truth” capabilities, PLM is designed to achieve this goal. The reality is that data is authored and modified via numerous sources and applications. So, PLM must support the ability to integrate with these various sources. That is what this issue touches on.
Aras just concluded their annual Aras Community Event (ACE) last month in Detroit, Michigan. The two and a half-day event was packed with a combination of compelling customer stories, thought leadership, updates/roadmap for the Aras Innovator PLM solution, and practical and relevant implementation insights. The uptick over last year’s attendance coupled with the addition of 32 new partners from around the globe, reinforces Aras as a disruptive player in the traditional PLM landscape. Peter Schroer, President and CEO of Aras, kicked off the event. He based his comments on conversations he had with customers and prospects over the past year, and what this means for Aras and its responsibility in the community. His comments completely set the tone for the balance of the conference. It was an open-palms conversation about what Aras is doing and needs to do to continue helping organizations drive business value and results.Read More
PLM inherently touches multiple departments and areas of responsibilities. The value of part and product data, files, drawings, specs and schedules for example, extend beyond the engineering and manufacturing departments. But, the reality is various teams/groups in the organization invariably acquire technology solutions specific to their needs. Hence the silos of data and disconnected processes are perpetuated. It’s fully understandable. Trying to get the different groups to collectively agree, define and budget can be challenging at best. That’s why we have stressed the importance of senior management sponsorship to break down the barriers. We talked about this in our last newsletter.Read More
January 2016 has gotten off to a rough start for the global markets. Manufacturers already face the pressures of competition, innovation, compliance, liability, distributed supply chains and more. But, this year’s start has thrown in uncertainty with a dash of volatility. No doubt this has prompted internal discussions for many businesses about what all this may mean for the coming year and how best to respond.
A tried and true response is “doing more for less.” The stark reality is that a majority of the product-related data and processes across enterprises are still using manual steps, paper, email, Excel, Lotus Notes, DropBox, FTP and homegrown systems. Do they work? Of course, but at the downstream costs of corrective actions that are not contributing to the do-more-for-less mantra. In fact, the cost of these intercessions exceeds the cost of making changes that drive lasting efficiencies.
We are pleased to kick-off the year with a multipart series geared to the business drivers of PLM. We’re calling this series “Pursuing the Promise of PLM.” In this first part, we’re laying the groundwork for why PLM needs to be a strategic initiative with executive sponsorship all the way from the top. On the other end of the spectrum, we get under the hood on workflow ideas. We’re also introducing our “In the Labs” section to the newsletter. This section is dedicated to projects and solutions underway that aim to solve some of the challenges that our customers are facing. In this issue, we’ll talk about Proposal Management for Engineer/Build-to-Order organizations. There is a lot of reading here. Take your time. Try an article and get to another article at a later date. By the time you’re done, next month’s issue will be coming out.Read More
We are thrilled to launch the Practical PLM monthly newsletter. This newsletter is in direct response to the countless conversations we’ve had with engineering and manufacturing companies on their approach to product lifecycle management (PLM).
The conversations exposed a common frustration with the practicality of PLM, confusion about its role in the organization, and ultimately the value it would deliver. This frustration is exacerbated by the constant demand for improved efficiency, meeting schedules and delivering quality. And yet, in the midst of this all, most acknowledge that there’s room for improvement. But how do you make real changes with so much in motion?Read More