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Escape the Horror of Siloed Systems

During the creation and introduction of new products (NPI), companies frequently encounter difficulties with isolated systems, which can result in ineffective workflows and expensive delays. Usually, the supply chain is under pressure to promptly verify items for cost and compliance, which puts delays and redesigns at risk in the event that parts are unavailable or non-compliant. Procurement typically finds out about new parts too late in the design phase. Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) can be integrated with business systems such as ERP, MCAD, and EDA to improve departmental visibility and collaboration by streamlining part approval and communication. By using an integrated approach, items are guaranteed to fulfill specifications, costly errors are avoided, and a more effective design and production process is supported.

Siloed Systems in Enterprise OperationsTypically companies tend to operate in silos with defined stage-gate handoff points during the product design process; however this outdated approach can have a very negative impact on new product introduction (NPI).

Improving Communication Across Departments to Enhance BOM Management

For example, often the first time purchasing or procurement learns about a new part in the design is when they receive the final bill of materials (BOM) from engineering. This is akin to not hearing the sickening swooshing sound of the sickle until it strikes your back. This puts pressure on the supply chain team, who needs to immediately qualify each new part to make sure it will meet all criteria (cost, compliance, etc) required for a successful product launch.

Due to the lack of visibility with siloed systems, problems start snowballing fast; for instance, what if the part is no longer available or does not meet the compliance requirements? What if there was an alternative part that would have worked just as well and engineering just didn’t know about it?

Both these scenarios can cost a company significant time and money—and in the case of the part not meeting requirements—can even result in re-spin.

The Perils of Siloed Systems in Enterprise Operations

In horror films, the teens in danger often end up “splitting up to search for their ‘lost’ friends or find an escape route”—a truly “duh” move. Haven’t these kids ever heard of the importance of strength in numbers or sticking together? In similar fashion, separated siloed systems weaken the enterprise, creating nightmare part introduction scenarios and dangers. Arena PLM’s integration with EDA, MCAD and ERP partners truly button down the entire process and ensure your part introduction processes are protected due to a seamlessly integrated solution that “sticks together”.

Problem: In siloed systems, unavailable parts, or parts that do not meet compliance requirements, can cause problems. Here’s why:

If the part is not available or does not meet the compliance requirements, then a re-design is required. A significant delay in schedule can occur as engineering tries to rework the design to replace that part. In siloed systems, typically these types of issues aren’t identified until the end of the design cycle. This makes it much harder to correct these issues since so much of the design is already in place and needs to be re-validated due to a late stage part change.

Solution: With integrations into EDA, MCAD and ERP partners, the ability for engineering to identify an Arena PLM part number when a new part is introduced is dramatically improved.

The supply and procurement teams will now be notified of a new part entering the design so they can review the part much earlier in the design cycle and provide feedback (through the water tight integration) as to the part’s status and approval. Identifying an unacceptable new part early is much easier for the engineering team to remediate, and it makes the final BOM that much easier to reconcile since all new parts have been validated, reviewed, and agreed upon ahead of time.

Problem: Depending on the size and structure of an organization, multiple product teams could be using the same part or chipset—and not even know it.

Solution: The ability to query Arena PLM in advance to see where parts are used gives the design team insight into the level of risk in using a particular part, as well as the opportunity to learn from other product teams who haveve already implemented that same part successfully elsewhere.

Are there simulation profiles or test benches engineering teams could reuse? Is there a standard fan-out that has already been optimized or a portion of the layout that could be refactored for this design to save time? By giving the engineers access to this information early, supply teams can leverage others’ success and failures to better their design and product. Sharing is caring. However, there needs to be an integrated solution present to encourage this communication.

Final Notes: Stick Together With Integrated Systems

The horror film pitfall of splitting up often leads to getting lost and hopelessly running through the woods in the dark. To make sure your parts don’t get lost, Arena just released an eBook “Is Your Part Numbering Scheme Costing You Millions?”. The eBook is devoted to best practices for creating a successful part numbering scheme to identify and track parts in your manufacturing lifecycle.

Introducing just one new part to your library can cost upwards of $15,000. That’s scary. Arena helps you choose a part number scheme to make sure your parts don’t get lost.

Let’s face it: everyone knows in horror films that the old “you go one way and I’ll go the other” always gives the monster a chance to triumph. With an integrated PLM solution and correct part number scheme, Arena PLM helps ensure no part horror stories ever occur.