CADParts & Consulting LLC Provides Greater Benefits to Customers by Using Arena to Streamline Data a

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Foster City, Calif., Aug 27 - Arena Solutions, a provider of on-demand software that helps small and mid-size manufacturers manage their complex and constantly changing product record, today announced that CADParts & Consulting LLC is using Arena to streamline its product development process, boost productivity and improve collaboration with customers. With locations around the U.S. and numerous strategic partnerships, CADParts provides its customers with a full range of printed circuit board (PCB) design services, including component design, project management and product design.

CADParts selected Arena to help the company deliver even better results. "Our goal is to be a one-stop shop for our customers," explained Bryan Truax, vice president of operations for CADParts & Consulting. "That's huge, especially in this current market, when people in niche roles like project management and purchasing have been laid off, and customers want us to perform those functions too. Having Arena, which ties all the pieces together, is an enormous advantage for us."

Before implementing Arena, CADParts had to work with customer data in whatever state it was provided. Bills of materials (BOMs) were generally sent in Excel spreadsheets or worse, Microsoft Word documents. Those formats have inherent limitations when it comes to BOM management, and those limitations, in conjunction with widely varying levels of data cleanliness and completeness, made data management a chaotic undertaking for CADParts. Without a centralized location for storing information, revision control was difficult to impossible. The hand-off to manufacturing was never straightforward: at best it was a long drawn-out process, but if files were missing or incorrect versions were sent, it could be the precursor to schedule delays and incorrect builds. Although such mistakes were often not CADParts' fault, they were still associated with the company and could negatively impact customer satisfaction and future business.

Although Truax had used both Arena and traditional client/server product lifecycle management (PLM) tools in the past, Arena was an obvious choice for him. "The combination of ease of use, completeness of functionality and great price point can't be beat," he explained. "The bigger tools are more complicated and require a lot of time to get users up to speed. But Arena can do everything they do. Why spend $100,000 when you get all the same functionality in Arena for a fraction of the price? And you get a system that's far easier to use too." CADParts only had to spend a few days to get Arena deployed, and individual users were able to get up and running within a matter of hours.

With its on-demand platform and intelligent application architecture, Arena enables CADParts to segregate each customer's data in a dedicated workspace and then give that customer's authorized employees secure, selective access that ensures they only see designated items in their own workspace. CADParts suppliers-contract manufacturers (CMs) and vendors-are given similar access so they see only the data they need to provide quotes, ship parts or start assembling. "This is much better than using spreadsheets, emails and documents," said Truax. "We can guarantee to our customers that everyone is working from the latest version. Arena is the perfect tool for revision control."

The hand-off to a CM, which used to take as much as half a day just to get all the latest files pulled together, can now happen in less than 10 minutes. The CM, in turn, has the information it needs to build efficiently-and correctly-which means no one has to eat the cost of a mistake, and more importantly, no unnecessary delays slow the customer's product schedule. In CADParts' estimation, in the first few months of using Arena, the company has already saved thousands of dollars.

"These savings are typical of the value our customers experience soon after they start using Arena," said Craig Livingston, chief executive officer of Arena Solutions. "CADParts is a forward-looking organization that's taking the full-service PCB design bureau concept to the next level. I'm proud that the company has chosen Arena as its BOM and change management solution, and I'm confident that this choice will continue to deliver benefits to CADParts and its customers."

"I like tools that work," explained Truax. "I've used a lot of software, and some of it is just so ridiculously expensive and difficult to use. The last thing I have time to do is spend days trying to figure out how to use a new tool. On the contrary, Arena helps me do my job. And I think it does everything a company doing product development could need."

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