On-demand PLM Boosts SMMs, U.S. Economy

Two mid-sized manufacturers found a way to efficiently and, most importantly, affordably share product lifecycle information with their global partners and suppliers. Here's how.


Gary Langerhans, vice president of operations at CoVi Technologies, explains: The ability to test-drive Arena PLM before purchase was a major selling point. With previous technology purchases we didn't really know what we had bought until after the sale and were oftentimes disappointed. With Arena Workgroup we were able to validate that the features we needed BOM management, item management, version control and supplier collaboration were available as advertised.

Langerhans adds that CoVi Technologies' engineers and document control professionals were able to experience for themselves how to use the application, and the instantaneous deployment of Workgroup assured the company that they could be quickly up and running with Arena Professional.

Growing Manufacturers, Growing the Economy

Arena says that the technology that both Johal and Langerhans selected is designed to serve a segment of the manufacturing market that's a primary growth engine for the U.S. economy. According to data from the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), mid-sized manufacturers comprise about 95 percent of all U.S. manufacturing firms, employ about half of all manufacturing employees in the country, and account for more than $1 trillion in yearly revenue. Furthermore, the Federal Reserve said in a recent report that manufacturers of this size are an integral part of the economy. They account for about half of private-sector output, employ more than half of private-sector workers and provide about three-fourths of net new jobs each year.

Mid-sized manufacturing companies drive the economy through product innovation, and many are in need of PLM solutions to help fuel their exponential growth and competitiveness against established firms. The increase in complexity of our products and doubling of the rate of new product introduction required that we use a best-of-breed PLM solution, comments Langerhans.

Both CoVi Technologies and Threshold found that on-demand PLM caused an immediate increase in operational efficiency, and it also streamlined intra- and inter-company communication between designers, engineers, operations and the extended supply chain. Such efficiency enables manufacturers in the small- to mid-market to focus on what they do best: continue the great American traditions of innovation and entrepreneurship.

About the Author: Doug Wyllie is a freelance business technology writer based in San Francisco, Calif. He can be reached at dougwyllie@thunderhush.com.

To learn more about leveraging on-demand PLM to compete in the global market, register for a free Web seminar. Thursday, July 28, 2005, 2 p.m. EDT.

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