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How Arena Is Turning Benelux Into the Next Silicon Valley

The Benelux, which includes The Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg, is a magical part of the world where high tech and medical device innovation rivals that of Silicon Valley. Because Arena’s sales force can’t be everywhere at once, we have a partner in the Benelux region, called ProductStream, which is located in Rotterdam with an inspiring view of the biggest harbor in Europe.

In part two of this four-part blog post series, we spoke with ProductStream executive Ard Zonneveld to discuss this fascinating market.

Arena: What is unique about the manufacturers’ needs in Benelux?

Ard: Benelux is a rich environment for companies to emerge and then grow in size. These companies — while developing new technologies — are also outsourcing manufacturing to the far east; however, we are now seeing more outsourcing coming back to Europe and even our own country where end assembly is done.

Also, the Netherlands is known for developing and using very specialized technologies, combining these with technologies of other industries. Because of this, collaboration with a lot of design partners, mechanical, electronics, design and suppliers is very common and important; fortunately, making that possible is also a strength of Arena.

Arena: Can you give us an example of a success story?

Ard: One success story was an implementation of Arena with our client IPaDic. The company was created by two professors, Jos Spaan and Henk Bilo, who are considered the foremost authorities on diabetes in the Netherlands. They have developed a life-saving implantable insulin pump for diabetes patients. This company used Arena PLM to help develop the product, with all its mechanical and electrical parts, as well as the embedded software.

Another success story is Bambi Medical, a company that develops a wireless belt so parents can more easily hug their baby. Pre-term infants start their lives with wired adhesive electrode systems; however, the Bambi Belt will transform this experience, where one wireless belt will make it easier to hug the baby and have contact between the parents and the child.

Bambi’s executive team, including former Philips Medical executives and product lifecycle management (PLM) and Quality tool experts, had this to say about Arena, “After investigating the PLM market, it became clear that the offering of Arena — with both PLM and QMS integrated — was the optimal solution for Bambi Medical.”

Arena: What has been the secret to your success?

Ard: We think that our implementation success stories are a result of our iterative process. In most cases, we start with a basic implementation, which covers BOM and change management and gets revision control in place; then later on we take steps to expand their implementation with additional quality processes or project management.

Arena: Do you have an example of a successful phased implementation?

Ard: An example of a phased implementation is with a Dutch company developing counterfeit detection products; the first implementation supported R&D and their product-related processes, including bill of material management and change management. The next step in the expansion was using Arena as their single source for product marketing data, which meant that, from the top level of the product, they would maintain and control all their commercial specifications of the products. The company also planned to reuse that data for their website, e-commerce channels, and for all kinds of marketing output, such as leaflets and brochures.

The second expansion was that they started to apply Arena for several quality control procedures, first by using Arena for collaborating with suppliers, assuring that they are using the right revision of the products and subsequently to have quality control procedures in place to check the flow of the actual manufactured products.

They now have quality checks based on detailed photo reports of the packaging and labeling of the physical product itself before they approve of the shipment of the manufactured products. They now have a quality procedure to test and verify on production samples.

The R&D Manager, who was so thrilled about seeing the daily value Arena brought to the company, said, “Wow, if I had this tool 15 years ago, it would have made my life so much easier!”

To learn how Arena can make your life so much easier, talk to one of our representatives today.