How to Thrive in
an Age of Disruption

Cloud solutions fueling success to overcome
any disruption and thrive anytime

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION SPURS AGILE PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

As companies make the move to digital systems, they are starting to recognize how cloud-based solutions keep virtual teams connected and primed to mitigate disruptions that threaten to compromise product launches.

To eliminate collaboration gaps and confusion, cloud-based systems, like PLM and QMS, bring the essential product development and quality management processes into a single platform. From the bills of materials (BOMs) and engineering change processes to quality records, design files, requirements, and employee training plans—everything is connected, providing product teams, design partners, and suppliers real-time access to avoid communication gaps. This helps companies become more agile in their approach to product development.

Cloud PLM and QMS Solutions Speed Product Launches

When it comes to delivering innovative products, the first critical step is creating and controlling the product record. Once the product design and full product definition is controlled, you can start to link key processes and people to the underlying product record—ensuring that the right product gets built and shipped without mistakes or delays.

Bringing the Product Together

By aggregating the product parts, documents, and software into a centralized system—product teams and supply chain partners can easily create, share, change, and approve product designs. Product teams also gain better visibility into any changes that impact production. Automated processes and revision controls can be applied to parts, BOMs, and documents to ensure the latest product information is used by everyone involved in getting the product commercialized.

Streamlining Product Development

By leveraging the centralized product record, manufacturers can effectively manage and track product requirements, design changes, and team deliverables to resolve issues more quickly and meet their new product development milestones. An effective solution should drive controlled engineering change management processes with automated reviews. It should also enable teams to better capture requirements and address issues to drive continual improvement and innovation.

Enhancing Supply Chain Collaboration

Effective communication between original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), design partners, suppliers, and contract manufacturers is essential to optimize design for manufacturability (DFM) and ensure commercialization success. The ability to access current product information and collaborate in real time from any location will ensure that all impacted teams are always on the same page. Cloud solutions can foster frequent, proactive communication to help circumvent manufacturing design issues, material shortages, and other supply chain shocks, that often lead to product launch delays.

Ensuring Quality and Regulatory Compliance

If a product doesn’t meet today’s strict quality, safety, and regulatory compliance mandates, it will not realize commercialization success. Life sciences, aerospace, and other highly regulated companies must adhere to an ever-changing myriad of laws, standards, and regulations to sell their products globally.

Delivering safe and effective products is the goal of all product manufacturers. However, the nature of compliance varies across industries and countries. Consider the following compliance requirements:

Improving Business Insights

By managing the core product design and enabling fluid collaboration with a quality and compliance mindset—manufacturers can begin to leverage the power of the Cloud with analytics that allow the tracking of performance and quality trends. This helps companies adopt and embrace continuous improvement as products go from early concepts to fully commercialized products.

To help better quantify the business value of digital transformation, we’ve been working with hundreds of our customers worldwide. The cumulative impact that we’ve seen runs into billions of dollars as companies use digital strategies across the product lifecycle to increase revenues, improve operating margins, and increase asset efficiencies. The benefits are found up and down the supply chain and across engineering, manufacturing, and service.

—Lucas Fernandez, Senior Director of Quality & Regulatory

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Supply Chain Risks Chart

Source: McKinsey & Company

“Having the ability to integrate our Cloud PLM system with an electronic component database has provided us greater visibility into imminent component shortages. We’re able to quickly source substitute parts from suppliers and keep up with our production schedules.”

—Cindy Lalowski, PLM Manager

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Connecting Upstream and Downstream Processes

As product designs move from early research and design in engineering, this information needs to be passed from engineering design systems to PLM or QMS systems that help aggregate all of the mechanical, software, and electrical systems into a single place. Later, when the product is tested and prepared for production, PLM and QMS solutions must pass the latest product information to enterprise resource planning (ERP), electronic component databases, and other downstream systems. This enables manufacturers to better manage the complete NPDI process by streamlining the handoffs between engineering, quality, and production teams to speed time to market (TTM).

Graphic illustrating Connecting Upstream and Downstream Processes

Extending Product Development Capabilities Through Smart Technologies

Image illustrating Extending Product Development Capabilities Through Smart Technologies

As global innovators look for ways to streamline NPDI, they also seek to take advantage of advances in smart, connected technologies. These technologies provide new opportunities for manufacturers to improve operational efficiency and transparency across the supply chain. The benefits extend beyond the factory floor and into functions like product design and supply chain management. More importantly, these technologies are improving how we live, work, and play. Consumers’ appetite for smart solutions that improve their quality of life is increasing exponentially every year.

  • Internet of Things (IoT): The use of IoT and sensors enables manufacturers to collect real-time data on product performance, as well as the entire production process. These real-time insights help companies optimize productivity and respond more quickly to customer demands.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning: The emergence of big data and IoT makes it possible for manufacturers to apply AI and machine learning to various aspects of product development. Generative design, predictive maintenance, defect detection, and supply chain logistics optimization are just a few applications where these technologies are making a significant impact.
  • Robotics: Powered by AI and machine learning, industrial robots help increase operational efficiency by performing fully automated, repetitive tasks as well as analytics-based activities on the factory floor.
  • Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR): Immersive technologies like AR and VR help factory workers connect their physical surroundings with real-time visual information to perform complex tasks with greater precision and speed.
  • LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging): To address the increasing labor shortage, manufacturers are adopting LiDAR technology to automate their warehouse operations with driverless vehicles that can unload and stack inventory and pick items to fulfill customer orders.

Innovation with smart product development is advancing rapidly due to these technological breakthroughs. Regardless of industry, companies are looking to make their products smarter and more interactive. Designing and producing smarter products requires greater reliance on more sophisticated designs that leverage software, sensors, and electronics. With this added complexity, companies must find more effective ways to manage the design across dispersed teams and throughout the entire product lifecycle. Today, we are at the crossroad of product development and digital transformation and taking the right path will enable tomorrow’s leaders to thrive while leaving laggards in their wake.