The mournful song “Auld Lang Syne” is a Scottish poem often sung at the stroke of midnight to bid farewell to the old year. By extension, it is also sung at funerals, graduations and at the ending of romantic comedies, such as “When Harry Met Sally.” I wish manufacturers had a “brothers-in-arms” song — accompanied by bagpipes — to say goodbye to spreadsheets and other archaic bill of material (BOM) management methods that caused them decades of shipping delays, product errors and lost revenue.
Without such a tune, I found three manufacturers willing to share their confessions of product design woes and their follow-on New Year’s resolutions to make investment and strategic decisions that will rectify these old business grievances once and for Auld. Here’s a look at those three companies and their stories:
Ring in the New Year with a Holistic Approach to Quality
Yukon Medical is a leading developer of innovative pharmaceutical preparation and delivery devices with a focus on reconstitution at the point of care. “Yukon’s products allow direct access to the contents of standard drug vials without using covered needles, thus maintaining sterility and needle sharpness for administration,” said Yukon Medical’s Director of Technical Operations, Carl Dupper.
For Yukon, Arena PLM BOMControl eliminated product design confusion by removing the collaboration barrier and increasing communications with a centralized cloud-based solution. This revision-controlled product information repository simplified synchronization across the company’s supply chain.
Dupper was impressed with how BOMControl streamlined and formalized the management of BOM, DHF, DMR and change order processes. “Recognizing that problem of how to provide people access to manufacturing documents with historical records led us to consider a cloud solution,” said Dupper. “And then we realized Arena was already doing this. Arena BOMControl was the solution we were going to build this company on.”
Moving into the New Year, Dupper realizes that the ability to proactively monitor errors and product failures with enterprise-wide visibility is only possible with a holistic approach to quality. When a Quality Management System (QMS) is embedded with design and development systems, supply chain oversights, employee missteps and product design errors can be dramatically reduced.
Dupper’s resolution was to embrace Arena Quality, which is linked to Arena PLM with integrated corrective action preventive action (CAPA) capabilities, to provide a superior enterprise-wide approach to quality. “Our next steps with Arena are to implement Arena Quality into Arena PLM,” said Duper. “We are also going to start looking at rolling our design history files and our engineering unit’s tech files into Arena.”
Keep Coal and Faulty Components from Ending Up in Your Stocking
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 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.
Kepp recalled a recent incident in which a vendor had introduced a faulty part into his product designs. The unpleasant surprise was so severe, Blast Motion had to immediately switch vendors at the eleventh hour to narrowly escape the danger a bad part could have on product design.
What was the problem?
Blast Motion lacked clear communication processes to all of its supply chain participants; because of this, Kepp was unable to ensure everyone was in sync to make sure the right parts/assemblies were in place to meet their product launch deadlines. As part of their New Year’s resolution, Blast Motion is now exploring the adoption of Arena Exchange. This offers OEMs greater visibility across the supply chain as well as a secure, flexible environment to initiate collaboration with multiple users.
“If we had Arena Exchange in place, maybe that would have prevented the problem,” said Kepp. “Moving forward we are going to be utilizing more of Arena’s products for the simple fact that the products are dynamite.”
API Helps Customers Share the Love
IPG Photonics is the global leader in the industrial fiber laser market. “Our team at the Silicon Valley Technology Center (SVTC) specialty is wavelength conversion (e.g. ultraviolet and green) and pulsed laser technologies,” said Red Byer, IPG’s operation manager.
BOMControl provided the functionality for IPG Photonics to compete with larger companies. “Given our size in the early years and the relative size of our customers, we needed to behave larger than we were,” said Byer. “By tying Arena PLM BOMControl to a full fledged ERP system, we were able to manage all aspects of our business and behave as if we were 10x our size. Nobody could believe we were handling all this complexity with an operations staff of just a two people, let alone with the accuracy we were showing.”
Looking forward to 2015, Byer and his team are also looking at an investment in Arena API, which expands the information value chain captured in Arena PLM by allowing customers to develop lightweight and flexible integrations from their enterprise application infrastructure to Arena PLM. “Arena API presents some attractive options for us,” said Byer. “We envision using the API to improve our batch inputs and outputs out of the tool, perhaps for improved data-sharing of certain files and documents without the overhead of having to log into Arena PLM BOMControl first.”
Contact Arena to find out how we can help make your New Year’s business resolutions come true.
In thanking you all for your business — and the right to earn your business — we’d like to usher 2014 out with a variation of an Irish poem;
For all that love Arena, may they love us…
And those that don’t love Arena..
May God turn their hearts…
And if He can’t turn their hearts…
May He turn their ankles…
So we’ll know them by their limping…