Before Thomas Friedman published his groundbreaking book, “The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty First Century”, Arena Solutions, the pioneer of cloud-based product lifecycle management software, predicted the need for a cloud-based PLM solution to enable manufacturers to remain competitive in a global market on the verge of a dramatic paradigm shift.
Friedman’s book title is a metaphor alluding to the fact that there are several business “flatteners”, such as outsourcing, supply chaining, workflow software, uploading and the importance of collaboration, that have turned the world into a global market. These flatteners have also leveled the playing field in terms of commerce, where all competitors have an equal opportunity. Arena understands that while certain business trends, such as outsourcing, have streamlined manufacturing processes and reduced costs, these drivers have also introduced a host of unaddressed vulnerabilities and pain points.
Arena has just launched four new solutions — Arena Demand, Arena Projects, Arena Exchange, and Arena API that meet the opportunities and challenges of a global economy. Individually, these applications allow manufacturers of all sizes to aggregate material demand, manage with greater visibility, securely share build packages across global supply chain teams, and integrate their business systems with Arena products. Collectively, these products represent a paradigm shift in how manufacturers embrace PLM solutions to transform their manufacturing operations and maximize business results.
Here's a breakdown of the four new products introduced within the Fall ’13 Release:
- Arena Demand — provides manufacturers with part visibility to calculate and forecast aggregate material needs to better negotiate the purchasing decisions ofsuppliers.
- Arena Projects — connects the project schedule directly to the product record to increase change visibility and drive efficient, accurate development.
- Arena Exchange— offers OEMs a secure, flexible environment to initiate collaboration with multiple users, at all differing supplier levels, throughout their global supply chain. No supplier’s licenses or provisioning required.
- Arena API — allows customers to develop lightweight and flexible integrations from their enterprise application infrastructure and custom interfaces to Arena PLM.
Improved visibility is one of the major themes and key benefits of the Fall ’13 release. Demand and Projects specifically address the lack of operational transparency that frustrates many modern manufacturers. When OEMs outsource their manufacturing, they also outsource their material planning, leaving them blind to the total quantity of parts they'll buy over the next year. Arena Demand provides OEMs with parts visibility across product lines (both broad and deep) to forecast aggregated material demand to better negotiate bulk discounts. Similarly, Arena Projects empowers OEM Project Managers with greater visibility into the true advancement of the product record and helps to eliminate decentralized project miscommunication and product error.
Another theme of the new release is the importance of securely sharing product data that applies to both the exchange of information across supply chain teams and the transfer of data from Arena PLM to other business systems. While OEMs want efficient supply chain approval processes, they don’t always want to give their primary supply chain contact's second and third teams access to their PLM system.
Arena Exchange allows OEMs to forward, filter, and share build packages across their supply chain’s own supply chain, enabling more robust team collaboration. Lastly, with Arena API, customers can open a portal from their ERP or other business system directly into Arena’s product family to access BOMControl data.
For manufacturers, a flat world offers new global opportunities as well as new supply chain challenges, especially with OEMs increasingly outsourcing their manufacturing needs. Arena is the first PLM provider to understand manufacturers needs and address the most important manufacturing challenges facing OEMs today.