Well-Functioning Product Management: The Basis for Effective Business Operations
The success of manufacturing companies is ultimately based on the rapid development and manufacture of innovative products by a skilled workforce. A secure and efficient new product introduction process often comes from the ability to reuse well-proven designs and components between products as well as a defined product governance process for the entire product lifecycle. Successful companies are able to capture essential feedback from already delivered products and, in a structured way, include that information in the product lifecycle decision management.
Manufactured products often have a long lifecycle, and many are investment products manufactured and delivered either as individual customer-specific deliveries or in small series. Long lifecycle products also open up an excellent opportunity for after sales, covering spare parts, maintenance and modernization of delivered products. This emphasizes the importance of efficient operations across the entire company, from sales to product development, production and service operations.
Today’s customers demand new product features at an ever-accelerating pace. It is important that the cycle from a customer need to a finished product that has all the desired new product features flows smoothly. In order to succeed, companies must be able to meet this challenge. Effective product management supported by the right tools that can provide accurate product information at the right time to the relevant people is a necessity in order to create a holistic and transparent view of a product lifecycle. PLM tools that can capture information from a product’s different phases and even aftermarket events are especially powerful, since they provide a single source for cumulative product lifecycle information that covers the entire product lifecycle, including its life after delivery to end users.
It is also important that products are designed as modular entities, utilizing a functional product architecture in a way that by combining (configuring) product modules in different ways and adding new functional modules, it is possible to create new products from proven modules. This way, the benefits from reusing already proven modules, and the efficiency in new product introductions achieved through this reuse, can be extended to all the company’s operations, also including manufacturing and service operations
Using a supplier network opens up even further new opportunities for companies. To unleash the full potential of supplier networking, the used IT systems must support networked activities, combining in-house and external activities in the systems. For example, product management, manufacturing operations management and logistics software tools all need to support an operating model in which products are designed and manufactured using a combination of in-house and external supplier actions. Networking typically aims to add scalability, for instance, in terms of manufacturing capacity, or to tap into expertise that companies might not have in-house and that they might be unwilling to invest in.
The Roima Aton PLM system provides a solid, scalable foundation for a company’s product management operations throughout the entire product lifecycle. It is easy to connect to various tools for producing information, such as to different CAD design systems, as well as to different ERP systems and Office applications. This ensures that up-to-date product information is always obtained from the procurement and manufacturing processes directly through an integration to other supporting systems, without the need for manual work steps.
By using Roima Aton PLM together with the Roima Product Information solution, you can connect companies in your supplier network to your product management processes according to the role of each company (design, manufacturing, etc.) This way, you can reap the benefits of a networked business model across your entire supplier network.