For the last couple of decades, technologies in the product lifecycle space have been point- solutions oriented. Think configurators, CAD systems, PDM, document management like SharePoint, FEA, ERP, etc. In reality, these point solutions have simply reinforced existing information silos that make the “digital twin” concept a fantasyland.Read More
Practical PLM Blog
We recently prototyped a components/parts catalog solution by leveraging the power of Aras Innovator. The prototype empowers users to search, provides new part request options, support linking documents such as MSDS’s, dynamically links to ERP data, and integrates with IHS’ parts catalog solution. And it was done in matter of days and with software that doesn’t cost a cent!Read More
What manufacturing company hasn't faced unnecessary rework, confusion on the shop floor and thus missed delivery dates? The cause can repeatedly be traced to unclear, ambiguous documentation often found in 2D drawings. Help is at hand, fortunately. An evolving solution for authoring product definition and design intent, sourced at the CAD models, is gaining recognition.Read More
“As it stands, companies are missing the opportunity for an $8B bottom line impact. PLM investments could generate up to 50 percent higher returns if companies apply a sharper prioritization toward digitalization and pursue PLM programs as a means for true transformation.” We talk with 10s of companies per week. And the recurring theme is the same. Companies continue to use emails, spreadsheets, and unstructured file folders ...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
CPQ can be implemented in a range of product configuration options. As a starter for your strategic planning, here’s a generally accepted definition of “To-Order” options that will be your strategic choices. Assemble-to-Order (ATO) – products with standard sets of predefined features and options. The customer selects specific features and options to develop the unique product configurations. Orders are typically processed by an ERP system, for example, computers ordered over the Internet.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
The drop zone concept is to export a data file from a source environment into a neutral area (file folder) that the target application retrieves and reads. The direct connect model leverages application program interface (API) modules. There is an API specific to the source and target applications. These APIs talk to each other. Then there is the enterprise service bus (EBS), referred to as the “hub and spoke” model. BizTalk from Microsoft and WebSphere from IBM were some of the solutions developed years ago that popularized the hub and spoke idea...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.”
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