Challenges faced by product development teams include globalization, outsourcing, mass customization, fast innovation and product traceability. Additionally, organizations are being asked to do more with fewer resources; product complexity is increasing while product lifecycles are compressing. Furthermore, to be competitive, manufacturers not only need to increase the rate of product innovation but also accelerate time to market, while tightly managing costs and relentlessly driving quality.
New product development challenges also include external factors such as product proliferation, consumer awareness, fast-moving consumer trends and changing government regulations. At the same time, manufacturers must comply with an increasing number of standards and regulations. Equally important, interest in global product development is growing dramatically, driving new demands for distributed processes, collaboration, and global data management.
The Solution – SoftExpert PLM
SoftExpert PLM is an affordable, easy-to-use, and web-based Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software that allows companies to manage the entire lifecycle of a product efficiently and cost-effectively, from conception, design and manufacture, through service and disposal.
SoftExpert PLM software can leverage data from across the enterprise to help managers make better decisions about product development, management, design, and production. It enhances the optimization of every step of the product lifecycle, creating higher quality products, launching new products in less time at a lower cost, and maximizing profits.
The solution provides a complete data management system that allows users to assign all of the data necessary to describe design, manufacturing, purchasing, quality/test, and service aspects of product records. Product data can be defined by any product object (parts/components, documents, Bill of Material (BOM), machines/instruments, costs, characteristics, etc). SoftExpert PLM software manages all product revisions and provides a complete audit trail detailing all historical changes.
Product Lifecycle Management – PLM
With SoftExpert software for Product Lifecycle Management, companies can promote tight integration with their ERP system and CAD software, providing timely and transparent access to the most important product information (assemblies, parts, drawings, etc.), tracking engineering changes, and maintaining the appropriate relationships between the CAD design objects and the product structure. IT managers can take advantage of their current and future CAD tools without having to make sacrifices by committing to a single CAD system.
SoftExpert PLM considers risk management, product quality (including FMEA and SPC tools), process management, reliability, project management, change management, supplier management and document management as a single and unified solution, significantly integrated into the product’s definition and lifecycle. It allows managers to work faster and more efficiently by capturing, sharing, managing, tracking, and storing documents, tasks, and product information in a central data repository, fostering standardization across the enterprise.
Reduce product cost and greater profitability.
Decrease cost of new product introduction.
Enhance product innovation.
Create quality products, faster.
Less scrap & rework.
Greater design efficiency.
Improve business and operational processes.
Standards and regulatory compliance.
Improve design review and approval processes.
Improve integration and communication with extended supply chain.
Return on Investment (ROI)
Traditionally when enterprise professionals discussed the ROI of an investment, they were mostly thinking of the "financial" benefits. Today, organizations must also consider the "non-financial" benefits of an investment.
Financial Benefits include impacts on the organization's budget and finances, e.g., reduced costs or increased revenues.
Non-Financial Benefits are the so-called "intangible", "soft" or "unquantifiable" benefits of an investment. Unlike financial returns, there may be no widely-accepted metrics for organizations to apply. However, the Softexpert solutions present undeniable potential for producing positive impacts on business performance and mission results. These include improved customer satisfaction, more precise information and a shorter cycle time.
When calculating the benefits offered by PLM, it is important to include both revenue growth and cost reduction. While cost savings are often calculated, many companies choose to reinvest reduced product development costs in product innovation and product development. This provides additional investment for top-line, profitable growth.
Aberdeen research shows that companies that leverage Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) technologies are recognizing significant top- and bottom-line benefits, such as increased product revenue (19% on average), decreasing product cost (15% on average) and reduced development costs (16% on average).
SoftExpert Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution offers the following benefits:
- Accelerated revenue due to shorter design times, earlier market introduction of new products and reduced product development costs.
- Reduced design time by avoiding wasted design effort through immediate, managed access to all design data, collaborative engineering, product development and quality management between multiple business partners.
- Accelerated time-to-market means a larger percentage of revenue from new products, where new products capture premium prices and drive higher margins.
- Accelerated release and change cycles for all product and with design data in a secure and central location, allowing multiple users to have simultaneous access to the data.
- Reduced product development costs that in turn reduce costs associated with inefficiencies:
- Collaboration between design, engineering, manufacturing, marketing, suppliers and customers.
- Optimized resource use.
- Clearly written instructions and high quality technical documentation.
- Easy, security-rich access to current information.
- Reduced Product Costs through:
- Increased reuse of data and knowledge.
- Improved design for both products and processes.
- Reduced variation.
- Reduced scrap.
- Reduced spending on low-value projects through portfolio management.
- Better portfolio mix, boosting the competitiveness of the products in the market.
- The investment in SoftExpert PLM will depend on the business unit size and implementation approach.
Return on Investment (%)
- (((Total Annual Savings) x n years) – Initial Investment) / Initial Investment) x 100.
Payback Period (years)
- Initial Investment / Total Annual Savings.
Non Financial ROI:
- Improved focus on innovation, collaboration and change processes themselves as opposed to the data or tool, as well as improved focus on the integration of the business as a whole.
- Improved client satisfaction ratings by reducing manufacturing process defects, reducing the number of returns and recalls and reducing the number of customer complaints.
- Increased customer satisfaction that leads to improved customer retention rate, reputation, market share and revenue.
- Increased innovation rate, part reuse factor, product traceability and ensure 100% configuration conformity.
- Improved regulatory compliance. SoftExpert allows integration of compliance management capabilities into current business processes.
- Less paper work and less paper needed to print out reports, due to customized views and the comprehensive dashboard.
- Reduced project start-up time, a shorter learning curve for project team members and time savings, once the processes, procedures and templates are created and reused.