Hammerhead Builds Customer Confidence, Reduces Errors and Delays, and Improves Communication and Col

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Foster City, Calif., Oct 16 - Arena Solutions, the leading provider of on-demand product lifecycle management (PLM) software for manufacturers of all sizes, today announced that Hammerhead Systems, an aggregation and interworking solution manufacturer for telecommunications companies, has experienced tremendous benefits by replacing its inefficient desktop software with an integrated Arena PLM and Expandable enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution for managing the company

The complexity of Hammerhead’s products and the fast nature of its development cycle inspired the company to find a way to eliminate errors that could derail its success. “We have one bill of materials (BOM) for each of our blades. You can imagine the complexity in a typical box with 40 blades. Each blade has close to 2,000 individual parts on a BOM. Managing this with Microsoft® Excel and Word to generate sales orders wasn’t working for us—in fact, it was clear it was becoming a risk, leaving too many windows open for miscommunication and errors,” said Russ Woodmansee, vice president of operations at Hammerhead Systems. Replacing Excel with Arena PLM—and later integrating Expandable ERP—gave key players throughout the extended enterprise early visibility into each stage of product development so accurate decisions could be made and products completed right the first time—on budget, on time, and in line with quality and compliance expectations.

Having mature PLM and ERP systems has inspired confidence among Hammerhead’s customers and has proved to be a winning point in the company’s pitch. “Excel doesn’t sound that great in a presentation to a tier-one telecommunications company—especially not when they’re evaluating whether you’re a reasonable risk as a vendor. Now we have a solution our customers have confidence in,” said Woodmansee.

Cost Model that Matches the Company’s Budget

As a cash-conscious start-up that preferred not to spend its precious and closely managed resources on additional IT support personnel and equipment, when Hammerhead was looking for PLM, it deemed on-demand Arena PLM the solution that best meets its needs.

“We were delighted to learn of Arena Solutions’ pay-as-you-go model, which aligns closely to a start-up business model. It’s unlike anything else, because it gives us greater power to control our costs and adjust as we grow,” said Woodmansee.

“I’ve had experience with other PLM systems—a client-server model and an in-house tool, and I would have had to spend four months just preparing to turn on one of those old-style PLM systems. With Arena PLM, we were able to hit the ground running within 30 days. That was one reason we were hooked on Arena PLM right away.”

Integration with Key Systems

Hammerhead adopted Expandable ERP a couple years after putting Arena PLM in place. The company wanted to improve upon its process of planning with spreadsheets and then manually transferring information to the purchasing group. Hammerhead’s adoption of Expandable was partially based on the tight integration it has with Arena PLM.

“When people think ERP, they have concerns about the cost, thinking it might be hundreds of thousands of dollars. But what you find is that a lot of that money gets spent on services, support and consultants. By choosing Expandable ERP and Arena PLM we didn’t have any of those major expenditures,” said Woodmansee. “It was as if the combination came out of a wrapper working seamlessly.”

“Desktop software is inadequate for enterprise-level activities. Not only does it make the process painful, but the results typically are painful too,” said Craig Livingston, chief executive officer at Arena Solutions. “Just by virtue of the size and stage of their companies, small to medium-sized manufacturers face some degree of risk. Using the right tools to manage the product development process helps prevent negative outcomes by enabling them to reduce errors, deliver products to market quickly and cost-effectively, and boost their competitive edge.”

A Live Webcast with Hammerhead Systems

In a free one-hour webinar on October 21st, 2008, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Pacific time, Hammerhead Systems will share the impetus behind their migration from desktop software to an integrated PLM/ERP solution, and the financial benefits they achieved as a result. In addition, experts from Arena Solutions and Expandable will walk participants through tips on how to prevent product change errors, meet cost targets and delivery dates for new product introductions, improve planning and material scheduling, and strengthen relationships with customers and partners.

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