Developing Better Products is a “Piece of Cake”

by Scott Reedy

I’m not much of a baker, but I can follow instructions reasonably well. If I wanted to bake aPLM1 cake, I could find a recipe, buy the specified ingredients, mix them together and bake for the recommended period of time. By following a recipe, I would increase the chances that the end result actually looks and tastes like cake! Just as a recipe provides the detailed instructions to make a quality cake, Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems provide the information and instructions to design quality products. Whether your company makes medical devices, industrial equipment, laptops, cell phones or other consumer products – PLM provides a secure, centralized database to manage the entire product record into a “Single Record of the Truth”. This ensures you can design and manufacture high quality products and get them to market fast and efficiently.

Agile PLM allows companies to aggregate all the components, documentation, software, engineering drawings and Bill of Material (BOM) into one system. The BOM can be thought of as the product recipe for your finished product. It may include off-the-shelf and custom parts, software and firmware, documentation, and both mechanical and electrical CAD drawings so that every aspect of the product configuration is controlled. Within the BOM view of Agile, users gain immediate insight into whether there are attached documents, pending change orders or quality issues against any level of an assembly. Users may quickly traverse the BOM to view any of the associated records or attachments. User-defined security roles and privileges ensure adherence with corporate security policies, configuration management practices and regulatory compliance initiatives. Internal and external collaboration is enabled to allow individuals, departments and partners the appropriate level of access to product information.

With a centralized product record, it is easy to propose and submit changes to the product design, track quality issues and collaborate with your internal teams and supply-chain partners. Agile’s real-time workflow review processes increase visibility and decrease the time it takes to get your products to market.

Silo1Without a PLM system, companies often end up with disconnected silos of information. These silos inhibit the ability to control the entire product record and employees waste unnecessary time searching for the correct revision of the product design. As companies outsource design or manufacturing, it becomes even harder to ensure the right configuration of the product is leveraged by external partners. Companies may become reliant on “tribal knowledge” (or unwritten information) to help them piece together the right information with the hope to get the correct product built and shipped. Such use of tribal knowledge increases the chances that you will encounter quality issues and ultimately, customer satisfaction issues.

Too many companies continue to rely on inexpensive or home-grown solutions for document management, version management and outdated change release processes. This results in slow product release cycles, inconsistent production yields and customer complaints. There is no need to “reinvent the wheel”. With a single, centralized system to manage the complete product record, companies can focus on their core competencies and get great products to market quicker than ever before.

Agile PLM started out as an “out-the-box” solution that was easy to use and configure. Over the years, it has expanded to include supply-chain collaboration, quality management, governance and compliance (e.g. RoHS and Conflict Minerals) and phase-gate program management. These extended business processes leverage the centralized product record to drive high quality development processes by linking relevant information back to the product design.

GoEngineer and Oracle have combined resources to provide a subscription-based Agile PLM Cloud offering to help companies avoid:

• Reliance on IT infrastructure

• Budgeting for large capital expenditures

• Long deployment cycles

If you have challenges releasing quality products on-time, look no further than GoEngineer. You already trust us to provide great product design solutions like SOLIDWORKS, EPDM, Altium, CAMWorks and Stratasys 3D Printers. So, learn why so many companies rely on Agile to make developing quality products a “piece of cake”!

For more information, please visit the GoEngineer website or register for our next Agile PLM Cloud webinar.

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