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Do You Have What it Takes to be a PLM Pro?

Michelle Lee is a PLM pro to the pros. In addition to being Nimble Storage’s PLM Project Manager, she teaches some of the ins and outs of PLM to a community of manufacturing professionals interested in emulating her success.

Curious about what a PLM Project Manager does?

  • Acts as the PLM system administrator.
  • Collaborates with stakeholders to develop a business plan for installation, upgrades, and PLM and enterprise resource planning (ERP) integrations.
  • Institutes and documents best practices for controlled documentation and workflow processes.
  • Creates, maintains process setups, workflows, and attributes for filtering for change orders (COs), material numbering policies/procedures for product definition/records.
  • Chairs change control board (CCB) meetings for implementation of changes and deviations with Contract Manufacturer.
  • Reports metrics of COs, Deviations, Stop Ships, and new product introduction (NPI) support via lifecycles.
  • Trains in house users and all contract manufacturing suppliers on how to use and access information within the PLM system.
  • Cross references all types of compliance, regulation, and safety documentation to products.

You think you’ve got what it takes to be Michelle Lee? Before you answer, ask yourself this:

  • What makes you qualified to be Michelle Lee?
  • Have you ever been Michelle Lee before?

One key to becoming Michelle Lee is choosing the right PLM solution.

To meet her manufacturing key needs, Lee turned to Arena’s cloud-based solution, Arena PLM, to deliver auto item numbering, along with creating and tracking change order routings. These features in addition to Arena PLM’s reporting capabilities and the ability to provide supply chain teams access to the change order approval process were crucial to their business processes. Arena’s ease of use and ability to grant contract manufacturers (CMs) around-the-clock access to product change notifications and items highlighted by redlined changes were solution differentiators that made her choose Arena over other PLM solutions.

“With CMs, the cloud is really important because they can access anything they need, download any test manufacturing processes, item specifications, articles or RoHS documentation I have the shared with them in the PLM system,” says Lee, “We will continue to manufacture within the US and progress to overseas when we have the need for shipment demands. The cloud gives the ability for somebody in different time zones to get information without us needing to talk to the person or having to wait for it.  Also, our Service Support team can access all installation manuals and quickstart guides at all times.”

In the last installment of a three-part series, Michelle Lee offers several best practices that any PLM professional can benefit from.

Arena: What is one of your best practices for avoiding product errors shipping to market?

Lee: Nimble Storage leverages Arena PLM to address product issues from point of identification through resolution. Our process includes making use of a Stop Ship once a product issue has been identified. Once we’ve “stopped the bleeding” by preventing more bad products from shipping to customers, we leverage Arena’s Quality module which is embedded in Arena’s core PLM solution. We are able to work through an 8D corrective action process via a Corrective Action Request (CAR). We may also initiate a temporary Deviation to allow us to ship an alternate product while we go through the corrective action process. That assumes the issue is understood, relatively straightforward, and can be addressed with an alternate design, assembly process, quality step, or set of parts. Once we have identified the root cause of the original issue via the CAR, we launch an Engineering Change Order (ECO) to correct the problem and resume full production. Ultimately, Arena PLM allows to track Stop Ships, Deviations, Corrective Action Requests, and Change Orders against all impacted items – providing us with a complete audit trail of all actions associated with the affected items or products.

To learn more about Michelle Lee’s experience with Arena PLM at Nimble Storage, click here. To see if you know what it takes to be a PLM Pro, click here.