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It’s Easy to Migrate to the Cloud

Team Migration Strategy for Software

Cloud solutions are simplifying virtually every aspect of how businesses and consumers access information and collaborate.

In the world of manufacturing, companies that design, produce, and deliver sophisticated products to market need to ensure their internal and external suppliers are always on the same page. When it comes to new product development (NPD) and new product introduction (NPI), companies today must have a single source of product truth that enables all teams to collaborate in real time anytime and anywhere.

Leveraging the Cloud to Speed Product Launches

The best way to do that is to leverage a cloud-based product lifecycle management (PLM) or quality management system (QMS) solution. These systems provide the ability to aggregate the entire product record and manage requirements, product definition, quality issues, and regulatory compliance issues in a single system. Better still, they provide dispersed supply chains with the ability to speed product launches.

Migrating Legacy Data Has Never Been Easier

When teams look to move from manual, document-centric, or siloed systems, they tend to worry about the challenge of migrating legacy data and product information to a new system. However, migrating product and quality information has never been easier. With advances in cloud technology and integration approaches, exporting and importing data is straightforward.

Here are some keys to success as you consider how to successfully implement a Cloud PLM or QMS software solution while determining how to migrate your existing product record information (e.g., parts, bills of materials, change orders) into your new system. Depending on the state of your legacy product information, the migration of your data can be one of the biggest challenges to getting your PLM or QMS software solution implemented on time and on budget. With this in mind, we’re providing a simple step-by-step guide to help you ensure successful data migration.

First, consider what types of information you need to migrate to your new PLM or QMS software solution. This typically includes the following:

1. Item Master (Part Records):

  • Electrical components
  • Mechanical parts
  • Software, firmware, and sensors
  • Documentation

2. Bills of Materials (BOMs) Which May Include:

  • Top-level finished goods (FG) assemblies
  • Lower-level assemblies (both purchased or manufactured)

3. Approved Manufacturers and Vendors (e.g., AML, AVL):

  • Manufacturers Manufacturer and manufacturer part number (who makes the item or assembly)
  • Vendor and vendor part number (the supplier you purchase items/assemblies from)

4. Supporting Files, Which May Include:

  • Specifications
  • Engineering drawings
  • CAD files (2D, 3D models)
  • Printed circuit board assemblies (PCBAs)

Once you’ve determined the type of information you want to migrate, you’ll need to consider which specific products should be passed to the new PLM or QMS solution. Typically, the answer depends on the size of your company, the number of products you have, rollout strategy (big bang or phased). It is also possible you may have obsolete products you no longer sell or support and therefore will not need to migrate.

If you plan to migrate only a subset of products to start, you will need to determine how to filter, or select, only the desired products, and related information.

The next step is to identify where your current product information resides and how to extract it. Product information sources may include some or all of the following:

  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems: If you have an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, then your item masters, BOMs, manufacturers, vendors, and costs will reside there.
  • Custom database: Your company may have developed a custom or homegrown application to manage parts, BOMs, and other product information.
  • Spreadsheets: The data could be managed in spreadsheets. This is very common for documenting BOMs. It is possible that sourcing information and cost details may also be included in the BOM rows. You may also have additional spreadsheets to manage your item master or specific components.
  • Supporting files: These may be stored in locally hosted servers or cloud storage solutions. It will be critical to determine how well organized these files are and assess if the naming convention is included in the filename or directory path.
  • Supply Chain Partners: You may rely on design partners, suppliers, and/or contract manufacturers to manage your detailed product data. If this si is the case, you will need to request exports of the product data.

After identifying all your data sources, you will need to extract the relevant information. This is a good time to review what records you need to migrate for accuracy and relevancy. You don’t want to migrate unnecessary data that is no longer needed to build or support products.

When you’re you’re ready to import the product information into your new PLM or QMS system, you have options. There are import tools available or you can work with the vendor’s implementation team members (e.g., Arena’s solution architects) who have both the data migration and business process expertise to ensure you follow a successful migration and go-live strategy.

When you select a solution vendor, make sure you consider not only the cost of purchasing or subscribing to a solution, but the cost of implementing and configuring your solution to meet your needs. Arena has extensive experience migrating data, configuring solutions, and determining best practices for PLM and QMS implementations. To learn why more than 1,400 global companies rely on Arena, check out our customer experience and customer stories.