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
About sixteen years ago, I joined Technicon. At that time, we came out with one of the leading CPQ products for large manufacturers in North America. My background revolved around some of the aspects that can be associated with CPQ such as CAD and mechanical engineering. By selling Intel products, I also got a good feel for the complexities and issues in generating quotes and the proposal process for manufacturers. Since then, for the last sixteen years, we have been deploying systems for very large manufacturers in North America. Companies like Eaton, Borg Warner and Phillips are Technicon customers. Today, Technicon is a leading CPQ provider in North America.Read More
A common need is to manage data and support processes. The data portion includes product data, their rules/options/constraints and associated documents such as 3D CAD used in the design automation aspect of CPQ. For processes, this implies mechanisms to move a quote through the various functional areas of the business such as engineering, finance, manufacturing, planning, purchasing, etc. Together, managing data and facilitating processes are the very heart of PLM.Read More
An Interview with Scott Heide, CEO of Engineering Intent - PPLM: Welcome, Scott. Thank you for spending some time with us. We are happy to have you bring additional perspective to our topic of CPQ. Before we start, give us a quick backgrounder as well as what you are doing today. Scott: I started out with an interesting educational combination, both engineering and computer science degrees. After I graduated with a master’s in science from MIT in the mid-80s, I immediately joined a company that was a pioneer in engineering automation called ICAD. They developed the concept of what was then called “knowledge-based engineering,” now more often called “engineering automation,” and were able to deliver some eye-opening applications to a wide variety of high-end customers.Read More
No Other Platform Provides the Needed Single-Source-of-Truth like PLM. CPQ draws on a wide variety of data and is critically process dependent. If ever there were applications that could use “single source of truth,” it is CPQ. But, for many companies, spreadsheets, file folders, email exchanges and various home grown and internally maintained applications are their “CPQ-lite.” On top of all of this, the “change train” keeps barreling along. Data is never static. Change does not stop. Time-outs don’t exist. And, undoubtedly, the “intervention cycles” will be high and unsustainable. Let’s recall the presentation from an earlier issue as a step toward making the case...Read More
“Our processes just evolved, and now we’re cornered.” We’ve heard this and similar sentiment numerous times. It’s completely understandable. We all get so busy. There are orders to process and get products out the door. Who has time to be intentional? Any way, it seems to do the job for now.
Earlier this year, Peter Schroer, President of Aras, called this the PLM Underground. Effectively, companies have established their “plm” (in little letters) environment using email, elaborate spreadsheets, undocumented file folder structures and culturally developed processes. All this is in response to “how do I deal with all this data” rather than “how can we drive business value.”
I’m a mechanical engineer by education, and I have pretty much 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. Before joining Aras, I spent a number of years at Siemens PLM working with Teamcenter.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
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