Arena Blog

Read Our Blog for the
Latest Trends and Insights

Why IoT Success Depends Upon a Product Development Platform

It’s an exciting time, especially for Internet of Things (IoT) and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) product companies. With the right design tools in place they can streamline processes, change directions and meet demands for new opportunities in this dynamic market.

By 2020, the amount of Internet-connected things will reach 50 billion, with $19 trillion in profits and cost savings over the next decade, according to Cisco Systems.

Product lifecycle management (PLM) was created to allow all product companies—not just IoT OEMs—to better manage documents to streamline their extended supply chain efficiencies, improve cross-functional collaboration and increase enterprise-wide visibility into the design process. In addition, Arena’s PLM application simplifies bill of materials (BOM) and change management for organizations of all sizes.

Arena’s cloud-based all-in-one product development platform provides the highest level of cross-functional visibility both upstream and downstream. With its PLM heritage, Arena marries into a single solution: supply chain collaboration, the most key elements of application lifecycle management (ALM) and a quality management solution (QMS). As such, IoT companies can start using it right way to accelerate time to market, continuously manage costs, requirements, and design specifications from the earliest phases of the process clear through any/all CAPA quality issues through production and retirement.

The only way to manage the IoT product lifecycle–from regulatory compliance, to global monitoring, quality assurance, risk management and part nonconformance–is through a holistic approach that brings all of these moving parts together into a single, integrated view. When quality, design control processes, and risk management are embedded as an integral part of the day-to-day product design and development cycle, OEMs can dramatically reduce supply chain oversights, employee missteps and product design errors. And, with an all-in-one approach, these issues can be remediated proactively in many cases.

IoT companies depend on product development platforms with seamlessly integrated top-of-class engineering design, enterprise resource planning (ERP) integration and business expert partners. They don’t have the time, effort or energy to battle the interoperability monster of trying to bandage together multiple disparate solutions with the fervent prayer that they’ll play nice together.

“A lot of these IoT companies are growing very quickly and are looking for a ‘one-size fits all,’ off-the-shelf, plug-and-play environment,” says Manny Marcano, president and CEO of EMA.

“Because Arena and EMA are working together, we’re able to address that need on the electrical side and the PLM side, so we can get them up and running in a matter of hours, in some cases.”

A highly integrated and robust design system is imperative to address hurdles, such as obsolescence, single-sourced components, regulation compliance, and market availability of electronic components. Arena’s suite of interconnected solutions, consistently connected with the product record, offers a higher level of visibility into design processes to offset the risks of quality failure.

“While Arena was helpful across a broad range of issues, the interconnection between Arena PLM and Arena Quality on their all-in-one PLM platform is where the value really shows itself,” says Epic Medical Chief Operating Officer Peter Lucas. “We know when we change a specification on one part of one of our devices, immediately what other parts, products, procedures, and manufacturing processes are affected. We can jump straight from there into engineering and document change requests and orders, as those can interconnect with our CAPA process within Arena Quality.”

An IoT company with design tools that can store, control, and communicate their product data across global design and supply chains will help overcome design challenges, such as security, compliance and corralling disruptive change.

“The need for product design tools has always been there, but now it’s increased because of the ubiquity of IoT products that will scale even more in the next five years,” says Kevin Rowett, a product development consultant. “IoT electronics will now be in products that previously did not have components. In five years, a refrigerator that doesn’t report its temperature doesn’t make it to market anymore.”

He continues, “When it comes to compliance stuff, you better have a design tool that ensures you have the documentation that shows you actually are compliant with these various things. We’ve learned over the last 20 years that there’s a direct correlation between quality and design solutions.”

PLM helps IoT OEMs plan with the flexibility to be agile, make changes quickly and implement based on supply chain issues, technological advances, competition and consumer demand. By minimizing costly product errors and shipping delays—especially for a sector with frequently changing parts—Arena’s PLM solution helps IoT companies get to market first, stake out a larger market share and maximize profit margins.

And that’s why over 250 innovative IoT companies (Pebble, Roost, Misfit) rely on Arena to unlock their imagination, speed innovation, and tame even the most unconventional design ideas into the IoT’s next big thing. If you’re developing the next IoT, unlock your imagination with a PLM demo with us.