Blast Motion has developed an innovative approach to maximizing athletic potential. According to Blast Motion Records Manager Gary Kepp, the company, which has relationships with the NFL, MLB and Apple, is using innovative motion capture sensor technology to “change the face of sporting.” “The sensor traces movement, captures video and feeds it directly to our app,” said Kepp. “Our technology helps users increase performance athletically, whether that be their baseball swing or golf putt. So, if you run, jump or spin — it captures all that motion for you.”
Currently, most of the company’s manufacturing is done onsite at Blast Motion’s Carlsbad location. In anticipation of their growth, Kepp worried that the company’s change control issues could worsen.
Blast Motion’s paper-based ECO procedures did not provide the real-time visibility needed into the efforts of a globally dispersed engineering team nor assuage the critically important needs of the operations team. This lack of transparency resulted in continued miscommunications, conflicting revisions, product errors and launch delays. “We really didn’t have a system that combined everything collaboratively so that we could all see what was going on and have visibility into the product itself and its multiple rapid changes,” said Kepp. “Being a startup company, we have a lot of changes that weren’t being tracked at all.”
Like many modern OEMs, Blast Motion needed a single product development platform that would allow the company’s globally distributed workforces to collaborate efficiently to ensure product quality standards, shipping deadlines and cost targets were met. “We had to collaborate with so many different vendors and doing it over email or phone calls caused problems for us,” said Kepp.
Unfortunately, the company continued to rely on archaic tools, such as Excel spreadsheets, that prevented their dispersed manufacturing and engineering teams from sharing accurate information timely. This led to frustrating versioning control problems, product errors and costly launch delays, which ultimately became untenable.
“Because we’re working with partners overseas in different time zones, I have people who are fifteen, sixteen, eighteen hours either in front or behind us,” said Kepp. “These teams needed the ability to go in and look at the BOM and see if changes had recently been made or — if there was a last minute tooling change in manufacturing — they needed to let us know.”
For Blast Motion, Arena’s product development platform eliminated product design confusion by removing the collaboration barrier and increasing real-time supplier communication with a centralized cloud-based solution. This revision-controlled product information repository facilitated synchronization across the company’s global supply chain team.
“Being able to have our suppliers, who do the PCB board, go into Arena and see up to the minute BOM changes and collaborate with us really streamlined the process and allowed us to take weeks off of what we were doing,” said Kepp.
Unlike on-premise solutions, Arena’s cloud-based solution removed the need for lengthy implementation delays, allowing Blast Motion to go live in days. “Arena is really intuitive,” said Kepp. “The system has been easy to get up and running with all all of our stuff loaded. And your support has been really good. I can make a phone call or send out an email to Arena and I get responses within the hour.”
Arena’s cloud-based solution also allowed for easy integration with other systems, such as SharePoint. “We do not have onsite servers, so everything we’re using is in the cloud environment,” said Kepp.
Within Arena’s product development platform, Kepp specifically uses project functionality to connect the project schedule directly to the product record to increase change visibility and drive efficient, accurate development. Kepp made the change from Microsoft Project to Arena Projects after seeing how Arena Projects “tied everything together.” “Arena Projects allowed everybody to know what’s going on, setting tasks and milestones while enabling everyone to be pinged on updates. It was huge,” said Kepp.
According to Kepp, Arena’s unified product development platform helped reduce shipping delays by 50% and lower manufacturing errors by 75%. “Having change control in place and allowing everyone to know what the change was helped us tremendously to reduce errors,” said Kepp.