Santa’s Workshop Confessions: The Pre-PLM Troubled Years

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santa_laptop_arenaAs CEO of one of the largest innovative toy makers in the North Pole — if not the world — Santa knows his success depends upon aligning the focus of his merry band of toy-making elves with his organization's strategies and business goals. But prior to integrating Arena's product lifecycle management (PLM) solution, toy design confusion and miscommunications among his pixie-sized workforce had led to an increasing number of product errors, scrap and rework cycles, and costly launch delays.

A culture of mistrust and blame had developed between Santa’s engineering and toy-making operation groups, leading to bickering and angry tossing of curled-tip shoes. Last year, frustrating design errors escalated and nearly caused Santa to miss his annual all-important, business-critical product delivery date of December 25th.

"You're not going to believe it, but I had elves in our baby doll division accidentally working off of last year’s choo choo train BOMs!" huffed the not-so-jolly Claus. "Clearly dolls are not supposed to have clickity-clackity wheels and engine stacks. The products were so flawed — and frankly creepy — I couldn't unload these “manufacturing monstrosities” to even the most low-end discount outlets — and that includes the island of misfit toys."

Arena’s centralized cloud-based solution eliminated design confusion at the North Pole by removing collaboration barriers and increasing communications among Santa’s puckish workforce. Now the happy sounds of bells jingling and elves in operations and engineering cobbling together in synchronized harmony echo through Santa’s workshop.

Arena’s revision-controlled product information repository facilitated synchronization and operational efficiencies across Santa's dispersed supply chain — including engineers, operations, supply chain partners, and contract manufacturers — by ensuring his pointy-eared teams had access to only accurate product data.

"In the past, all toys were made here at the North Pole, but in recent years — because of budget constraints — I've been outsourcing engineering and product design to India and China," confesses Claus. "Arena enabled me and my global buyers to make informed purchasing decisions by providing the organization-wide visibility needed to comparatively shop for quotes on toy parts and find alternatives to expensive components with long delivery times."

Santa is especially excited by Arena’s 2013 Fall Release, which included four new products: Arena Demand, Arena Projects, Arena Exchange, and Arena API; individually, these applications allow Santa to aggregate material demand, manage Christmas projects with greater visibility, share build packages securely across his elf supply chain, and integrate his business systems with Arena PLM; collectively, industry analysts and experts predict these new products will revolutionize Christmas manufacturing and supply chain strategies.

Santa smiles when asked if this PLM solution has resulted in a measurable ROI. "When people ask why I invested in Arena PLM, I always say "to bring toys to all the good boys and girls,” Santa snickers while beaming over growth numbers from his quarterly report statement. "But the real truth is — with Arena — I was able to dramatically maximize operation efficiencies, lower costs, accelerate time to market, and — most importantly — increase profits."

Call 1-866-937-1438 or click here to learn how Arena can help your toy – or innovative products company reduce product error and increase operational efficiencies.

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About the Author

John Papageorge
John Papageorge has worked at some of the biggest names in the high tech industry, launching products and programs for companies, such as Oracle, HP, Cisco, and Microsoft. John's passion ... Read More 

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