“Don’t just invest in a PLM solution…invest in a PLM ecosystem” was the title of my recent blog post.
But I soon had reservations that the word “ecosystem” for some may connote a complicated, confusing intertwinement of disparate siloed tools. For some, the term “Ecosystem” might summon nightmarish images out of Terry Gilliam’s film Brazil—a dystopian future mired in maddening, complex bureaucracy.
That’s a scary notion for an emerging startup in need of an easy, inexpensive solution to manage bills of materials. And the irony is I thought “ecosystem” was a friendly term that suggested a harmonious connection of elements that worked together as a single system.
That’s my bad. Here’s what I meant to communicate:
Arena PLM BOMControl, Arena’s core BOM management solution, is the most intuitive and affordable BOM management solution on the market — that’s good news for resource-strapped startups. But Arena also has a robust suite of complementary modules that are quickly and easily integrated — that’s good news for Herculean behemoths who are tired of spending too much on disparate “best of breed” solutions.
A PLM solution with easy integrations is good news for everyone in manufacturing.
Want to know how ugly integrations can be? My main man Oleg Shilovitsky just wrote about how absolutely nightmarish integrations can be in his blog. Oleg writes, “Just to think about integrations and PLM can hurt your mind. Integrations are complex and expensive business. It is not unusual to hear from manufacturing companies that they do manual integration between products to avoid unexpected complexity and cost.”
Integrations can be nasty business.
But Arena offers the best of both worlds: A core BOM management solution that’s up and running fast, is cheap and easy for startups and yet, offers a suite of add-on modules and integrations designed to be easily connected to BOMControl and scale to meet the needs of an enterprise-sized global company.
Arena has helped several companies in their journey from startup to becoming a public company with the challenge of managing more complicated PLM processes. It’s an epic saga that —those familiar with Greek mythology could liken to Jason and the Argonauts who (on behalf of Zeus) set off their quest for the Golden Fleece.
The journey of innovative product companies and this Greek mythological story both feature these elements:
- A hero (BOMControl)
- A road that demarcates maturity (growing from a startup to a profitable business)
- A “road apple” that threatens to stop the journey cold (i.e., increasingly stringent compliance regulations, complications of managing globally distributed supply chain teams)
- A team (add-on modules) that possesses the attributes (quality, collaboration, project manage) that complement the hero’s core strengths. These team members are often added one by one as the journey progresses.
- A prize (maximizing profit, going public, getting acquired).
- Of course, the company plays the role of Zeus.
The key to Jason’s success was the immediate help he received from his team members, whose unique skills were instrumental to handling hurdles (skeleton armies, sirens) that arose as their journey progressed. Jason’s team came together fast as a cohesive unit. There was no lengthy onboarding for Hercules or Philoctetes or any of the other Argonauts. They were ready to rock from the word “go.”
Many product design companies start their journey with Arena’s core solution, BOMControl, to manage their bills of materials. As they continue their quest for business greatness, they extend BOMControl’s capabilities with add-on modules to triumph over new unpredictable design obstacles so treacherous they would make Medusa blush.