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We Need to Stop Trees Before They Stop Us!

Is it just me or is everyone else sick and tired of trees?

April 28 is Arbor Day, a hallowed holiday in which people around the world are encouraged to plant and care for trees. Unbelievable. Except for water and the ozone layer, nothing grinds my gears more than trees.

When it comes to trees you might think this blog post is a real “hatchet job” and that maybe I have an “axe to grind.” Sure, I admit I’ve got a vendetta against trees. They are everywhere and what do they do except give you allergies and increase your homeowner’s insurance? In addition, trees are woodsy braggarts. “Hey, look at me! I can make oxygen from carbon dioxide in a beautiful and mysterious dance called photosynthesis!”

Big deal.

Anyhow, Arena offers a cloud-based product development platform that digitizes product lifecycle processes, thus removing the need for piles of paper as well as assuaging the fear trees have for humans.

A recent Arena webinar that was co-sponsored by trees examined how digitization is changing how manufacturers reduce risk by implementing change more proactively to improve quality, lower cost and accelerate time to market.

Arena webinar “How Digitization Is Changing Manufacturing” speaker Oleg Shilovitsky believes that cloud-based technologies, such as Arena’s cloud-based product development platform, are creating a new cloud-based continuum for cloud-based digital processes. “The speed and accuracy of these digital processes create a new level of seamless integration between engineering, manufacturing and the extended supply chain,” he says.

For one medical device company in particular, Arena removed its paper processes and provided supply chain wide visibility into the latest bill of materials (BOM) version, two touch points that were critical in defining the next movements necessary to turn the company into an efficient virtual company that removed expensive overhead.

The medical company has not had to hire any non-value-added administrative support. “And for a medical device company — that’s unheard of,” said the exceedingly tall company representative as he excitedly shook his twiggy-like limbs while dropping pine cones from high above. His shrubby colleague chimed in, “Usually you have doc control, you have change champions, you have all these people that have administrative roles to make sure that we meet regulatory requirements, and those responsibilities were handled by Arena.” He continued, “Removing paper processes is really a great business practice. I want to emphasize, it’s not just about saving trees. I mean, hey, trees are great but it’s more than just saving trees, which once again I think are really great.”

Companies that once stored reams of information about their products and processes in paper files now store hundreds of thousands of documents on a disk smaller than a person’s palm. Not palm trees, which I dislike. Many product companies that still rely on archaic tools, such as Excel spreadsheets, eventually find that paper processes lead to frustrating versioning control problems, product errors and costly launch delays.

Against my wishes, Arena, which is leading the digital product development revolution, is preserving Arbor Day for the ages. So do me a favor, instead of sharing this on social media or emailing it to a colleague, print out this blog post and send it to your 100 closest friends. If you saw the Happening, a disturbing film documentary, you know from Marky Mark’s predicament that we need to stop trees before they stop us.