In Part 1 of this two-part series, we began by discussing how a perfect storm for inefficiencies and risk has been brewing – especially for automotive suppliers. We identified the quoting phase and its related processes and activities as a key source of this risk as visualized by the Risk Quadrant graphic below. To overcome these challenges, we suggested that a product lifecycle management (PLM) platform be used. In the second part of this series, we’ll explore the value a PLM platform can provide and the specific operational activities that PLM facilitates.Read More
Practical PLM Blog
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 manufactures immune and what’s so different about automotive suppliers? High volume production combined with product and tooling complexity create a perfect storm for uncertainty and risk. This article deconstructs these risk factors and explores strategies and tools to calm the storm.Read More
PLM inherently touches multiple departments and areas of responsibility. It can start at sales, but at a minimum will involve engineering, planning, production and segments of manufacturing. If your responsibilities are in engineering, then getting other departments to buy-in can be challenging. Executive sponsorship cuts across these boundaries. So, the real question is “how do I get the bosses to buy-in?” The short answer is, in part, by identifying the business values at the P&L level. PLM values can be tied to one or all of three areas on the P&L: revenues, cost of goods sold (CoGs) and overhead. Thus, doing more for less will most likely be found in CoGs and overhead.Read More
Peter Schroer, the Aras CEO and Founder, recently penned a compelling article that contrasts the irony that exists for many manufacturers today. He notes that sophisticated design technologies are used for 3D CAD, analysis and simulation, and DMU (digital mock-up) work. Yet, to manage the resulting data, manual steps, paper, email, Excel, Lotus Notes, DropBox, FTP, and homegrown systems are used.He refers to these design technologies as the "science of engineering." He further states, "Leaving other critical processes, including software, electronics, requirements, process planning, technical publications and quality – the "business of engineering" – is disconnected and underserved." It's the contrast between the "science of engineering and the "business of engineering."Read More
By Ben Desmarais, vdR Group Senior Implementation Manager
I’ve been doing PLM solutions for nearly two decades now. Crafting workflow solutions are essential for most any implementation effort. I was recently involved in designing and configuring workflow processes for a project, and a couple of things occurred that prompted me to want to share some thoughts.
First, lifecycle stages go hand-in-hand with workflows. Think of workflows as moving a collection of items through a process. As an item moves through the process, it is likely to change states. For example, if an item is being changed, then once a change process is activated for that item, the lifecycle state might be assigned to “work-in-process” or WIP...Read More
An Interview with Lopa Subramanian, Aras Product Manager
Martin: Before we start, give us a quick background of your experience and what you are responsible for today.
Lopa: I’m a mechanical engineer by education, and I have been in PLM and the enterprise software space for my whole career. I started in services with SDRC Metaphase and then moved to Aspect Development/i2 in their supplier relationship management area. I gained great experience in both services and presales working with utility companies, high-tech, apparel, retail, industrial and the auto industry. Prior to joining Aras, I spent a number of years at Siemens PLM working with Teamcenter.Read More
Personally, one of my go-to content sources is TED talks. In particular, I have enjoyed Simon Sinek. He’s an author best known for popularizing the concept of "the golden circle" and to "Start with Why.” In one of his talks, Sinek encourages us to understand “why” we pursue an idea, and then dig into the “how” and “what” later. By doing so, the result is a vision and energy that transcends the morass of tactical details. A prime example … Steve Jobs is the iconic “why guy.”Read More
Autodesk Vault was used for the CAD workgroup. Once designs were released, renditions were manually created and then loaded into SharePoint. The bills we exported to a spreadsheet and manually entered into their ERP solution. Purchasing would go to SharePoint to access and print the rendered drawings. These would be associated to purchase orders.Read More
Do you have P&L responsibilities or hope to have someday? Then if PLM is not part of your strategy, you may want to reconsider. PLM is just as vital as your ERP solution and some will argue that it is the most important aspect for any engineering/manufacturing business.Read More
The term “PLM” is not as common as other terms in an IT organization. I would imagine that common threads of discussions touch on technologies such as SaaS/cloud based solutions, SAN/NANs storage, voice-over-IP, etc. Some of the terms related to specific applications most likely include CAD, ERP, ECM (Enterprise Content Management) and CRM. My own anecdotal experience with various customers suggests that PLM is still not common vernacular.