Inside Arena With Jeremy Timothy: The Satisfaction of Helping PLM Customers Succeed
It’s difficult to build new and innovative products using old technology and processes. The same goes for trying to orchestrate harmony between dispersed and cross-functional teams, and your supply chains—that is a fix many manufacturing companies are finding themselves in.
As more products are integrated with smart technologies, like the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI), manufacturers are realizing the value of using cloud-based solutions like product lifecycle management (PLM). Cloud-based PLM offers companies real-time product record collaboration with a single system to help accelerate innovation and speed time to market (TTM).
We invited a former Arena PLM customer, Jeremy Timothy, now an Arena Customer Success Coach, to share his thoughts and insights about working with Arena PLM and how he helps customers succeed.
Joe: Jeremy, can you share a little about your background and how you got started using PLM?
Jeremy: In 2011, I worked for a company that developed audio equipment for people with hearing loss. For years, they’d been dealing with spreadsheets and faulty version control that resulted in a lot of production mistakes. When a new manager came aboard, he had worked with Arena at his previous company and recommended we start using it to automate our process. In a new product management role, I wanted to learn more. I was assigned to the engineering lab where I learned engineering along with PLM. After 11 years, I’m pretty much an expert on both.
Joe: You used to be an Arena customer and now you’re an Arena employee. What was your experience as an Arena customer?
Jeremy: Arena is built in a way that allows all types of product companies to be successful. I worked with Arena for years. What I found was I liked the passion in the people. I found being able to teach and help others be successful very rewarding.
Joe: Why did you want to work at Arena?
Jeremy: Again, the people. The company’s vision and the product are very good. And, I guess it’s the position I’m in because it allows me to do what I love—and that’s educating others. I’ve always enjoyed helping companies and giving back what I’ve learned. I saw a position with Arena as my next step. It may be my final step because I love what I do.
Joe: What makes Arena unique?
Jeremy: We provide software that’s a very product-centric system where we are talking about items within the bills of materials (BOMs) daily. Also, I think what sets Arena apart is it’s cloud-based and we give customers an out-of-the-box solution that meets their product development needs.
Joe: What makes Arena an ideal PLM solution for product companies?
Jeremy: It gives you structure and control immediately. Once you get your processes in place you follow them because it takes you down a path that’s already been determined to be successful. I like that side of it.
Joe: What do you see as the biggest benefit of PLM?
Jeremy: Manufacturers can see the big picture—they see the value of one place to go to get information. We call it the single source of truth. And when you go to the single source of truth, you get the recipe—the BOM and associated product information. One of the most powerful things about PLM for customers is integrating different parts of the company (engineering, operations, quality, supply chain, manufacturing) in a way they haven’t before.
Joe: What advice do you have for companies looking into a PLM system?
Jeremy: There are a few pieces of advice I would recommend. First, gather your information. Second, be ready for change because it’s a big transition. Third, just do it!
Joe: What are the top 3 to 5 capabilities a PLM solution should deliver?
Jeremy: I would say, first and foremost, revision control of your product—knowing what you’re building is important, and what stage of its lifecycle you’re building in. Second, providing a central single source of truth for all your information. Third, change management—because it gets away from the email that says, I want to change this, and you send the files. At that point, you’ve lost control of what the truth is. And, if that person is no longer at the company, you’ve lost that tribal knowledge and what the latest change is. These are areas where you’re going to see the most success.
Joe: What excites you most about working at Arena?
Jeremy: I call it the light bulb effect. I get into these conversations where somebody is struggling to understand the software. I start helping them and then they see it. You see the light bulb go off inside their head. That aha moment when they understand it. That’s gratifying to me because now you’ve sent them down a path you know will be successful. Those are the events that give me the most satisfaction as a coach.
Joe: Thank you, Jeremy, for sharing your experiences as a PLM professional and as an Arena customer. We’re happy to have you on the team.
Are you ready for cloud-based PLM? Arena can help
At Arena, one thing is for sure—the need and advantage of leveraging the hands-on experience of team members like Jeremy who’ve been in the customer’s shoes. He understands the pitfalls that can occur when teams are not in sync and there’s no single source of truth for product information. He believes Arena PLM gives customers a chance to succeed.
Interested to learn more about the Arena customer success team? Read our other
employee spotlight stories where team members share their experiences as both a customer and a coach.
• Inside Arena: Summer Interns Get an Immersive Learning Experience
• Inside Arena With Jair Aldana: Helping Businesses Transform Product Development Activities
• Inside Arena With Catie Jelinski: Spotlight on Quality, PLM, and Patient Care
• Inside Arena: Get to Know High-Tech Customer Success Coach Lori Austin