Inside Arena With Jair Aldana: Helping Businesses Transform Their Product Development Activities
Jair Aldana enjoys his work. He helps Arena customers better understand how to maximize their product lifecycle management (PLM) and quality management system (QMS) software. He does this by thoroughly understanding his customers’ business requirements so he can zero in on the areas where he needs to educate and advise. Jair’s main objective is to help teams master the software so they can get their products to market faster.
Jair believes a dedicated coach works alongside customers, so they intuitively know how the software works. “This isn’t a situation where the customer bought the software, now your job is done—you need to nurture, be a guide, provide expertise where it’s needed.”
Once an Arena customer, now an employee, we asked Jair, Customer Success Coach for Arena, a PTC Business, to share his thoughts, experiences, and observations.
Joe: Jair, can you share a little bit about your background and how you got your start using PLM and QMS solutions?
Jair: I’ve been working in the manufacturing industry for over 10 years. I started as a quality control inspector using PLM systems to view my inspection procedures. As an inspector, it’s very critical that we have our most current procedures in front of us as we’re doing inspections. I do have a history of using PLM software from PTC as a quality control inspector. I was promoted to a document control clerk where I became a PLM administrator. I was able to advance my career by working in regulated industries such as medical devices, oil and gas, and food and beverage. This is where I was introduced to Arena’s product-centric QMS. I developed my career in that field, and I’ve grown in it ever since.
Joe: You used to be an Arena customer and now you’re an Arena employee. What was your experience as an Arena customer?
Jair: I got introduced to Arena in my previous role as a quality engineer. My first task was to implement an engineering change management system that included: change requests, change orders, item lifecycle management, and bill of materials (BOM) management. This was a large task, but Arena made my job much easier because it was intuitive and configurable. The support from the technical trainers, support team, and all the resources in the help menu made my job much easier than any other system I’ve worked with in the past. That made me enjoy working with the system even more—it was easy to use and intuitive.
Joe: Why did you want to work at Arena?
Jair: The more I worked with Arena and learned about the capabilities of the system, the more I became passionate about the software. I was able to be an Arena champion in my company. I got to see the impact the engineering change system brought to our business. This sparked my interest in having the opportunity to help other businesses transform their daily product development activities using the power of Arena. I started thinking I would be interested in assisting other businesses because I was able to help my company succeed with Arena. I didn’t hesitate to apply when I saw an opportunity at Arena.
Joe: In your opinion, what makes Arena unique?
Jair: I believe what makes Arena unique is the ease of no-code configuration. A lot of systems I’ve worked with in the past required some configuration where you need a software engineer to make changes. Every time we needed to make a change it was difficult. The no-code configuration was a game-changer for me as well as the ability to manage the PLM and QMS process in one system and have a single source of truth. What made the biggest impact on me was the world-class support—to be able to have access to technical support classes, the customer success coaches, and the Arena help desk. Arena makes me feel like I’m connected to the actual system.
Joe: What are some key indicators a company needs a solution like Arena?
Jair: If your business is in a regulated industry, it’s important to keep your processes and quality management in place. That would be a big indicator if companies are struggling with data management such as BOMs, control processes, approvals, and record keeping. Security is also very critical. If you have multiple sites around the world with remote teams, it’s important to start looking into a secure system. Another consideration is to conduct an impact on the hidden cost of quality. Sometimes we don’t know what our errors are costing us. Companies need to review their processes. They need to see what the hidden costs are of not having a system that provides you with a single source of truth that’s in the Cloud, that’s secure, and ensures data integrity.
Joe: What advice do you have for companies looking into a solution?
Jair: The first thing I’d say for any company that’s looking into a solution would be to gather internal requirements as a business. The business needs to understand what is it that they’re looking for regarding a system. Gathering those internal conversations between the teams is important. I’d say the next thing to do is get educated on PLM and QMS. There are a lot of resources and experts to talk with. I’d do peer reviews, benchmark, and research the software company you’re going to go with. Understand what other companies are using. Go to websites like G2 to find out what are the top companies and what are customers saying about the product. It’s also good to conduct product trials as you gather requirements to make sure it’s a good fit for your business and company.
Joe: As a previous customer and experienced user of various PLM solutions, what do you like about Arena compared to other solutions?
Jair: I’ve used several PLM systems over the last 10 years. As I mentioned before, what separates Arena from the rest is the ability to manage your PLM and your QMS processes in one system. These processes are very complex, and they have a lot of connectivity with each other. Having a single source of truth for this information allows cross-functional teams to capture and record activities in one place. This eliminates some confusion about using multiple systems, spreadsheets, and unsecured file drives which is kind of typical when we’re not using this software. Another differentiator is that Arena educates prospective customers on the value of the product by having the customer engage with our subject matter experts (SMEs). The SME’s job is to get to know our customers’ needs and provide pertinent information so a potential customer can make an informed decision.
Joe: What does the future hold for PLM and QMS?
Jair: The future is bright for PLM and QMS. It’s important to start the transition into the Cloud PLM and QMS software world and begin digitizing our businesses to be successful in the future.
Joe: What excites you most about working at Arena?
Jair: Working with an organization that is passionate about providing the best Cloud PLM and QMS solutions for our customers as we help them design and deliver today’s leading products.
Developing smarter responses to regulation challenges, demand, and competition
Every industry has seen a proliferation of new technology, which in turn has accelerated the growth of regulatory requirements, market demand, and competition. Companies require a unified platform for PLM and QMS processes more than ever since products are more complex, regulated, and companies are under pressure to get their product to market first.
Arena recognizes the advantage of bringing on experienced team members like Jair who understand from the customers’ perspective the product development challenges companies face and how to help them improve their processes using Arena.
Learn more about the Arena customer experience.
Stay tuned for more Arena employee spotlight stories where Arena team members share their knowledge of being a customer to provide a better solution and overall customer experience.