In today's global economy, the methods companies use to reduce costs and generate new revenue are radically different from the methods used just a few years ago. To reduce costs, companies must find cost-cutting avenues beyond outsourced manufacturing. Increasingly companies look to leverage the cost reduction expertise of their suppliers to "co-develop" sub-systems or entire products.
To increase revenue from new products, companies strive to introduce highly-differentiated products in targeted markets more rapidly. The opportunities exist in much larger, worldwide markets, not just the domestic ones of a few years ago. However, global markets mean more consumer choice and therefore more product varieties. Customers and consumers also play a much stronger role in new product definition. Many new products are targeted to very specific subsets of customers. Eager to develop brand-loyal customers, companies seek customer input on new product ideas early and often in the product development cycle.
In such a global economy, to provide the level of customization expected by customers, companies must again reach outside their organization to solicit ideas from global suppliers, partners, customers, and employees. The sources of innovation can originate from any or all of these global partners.
This global market places an escalating burden on companies for immediate access to information from all stakeholders, including customers, suppliers, and design teams. More products in more markets greatly increases the product volume companies have to develop and manage, and subsequently greatly increases the volume of data, creating a tremendous information management challenge.
How can companies manage this mountain of data and still make faster, more informed decisions? How can companies forecast sales for multiple small, niche groups of customers? Is the challenge the increase in information or the access to information? Is the challenge access to information, or access to the right information, in context, at the right time?
The only effective way to manage innovation and make informed decisions in this new market reality is by combining key pieces of information from multiple systems including those traditionally considered beyond the borders of product lifecycle management (PLM). This connectivity to multiple, multi-vendor MCAD, EDA, CAE, PDM, ERP, SCM and document management systems creates an "open" PLM environment.
Previously, openness within the PLM market referred to connections between PLM systems. However, true openness results in a complete aggregation of all key metrics required to design, develop, and introduce highly differentiated, innovative products. Making the right decisions about new products requires more than engineering data. It requires access to numerous systems that merge data points about market demand, historical sales, customer preferences, and supply costs, with elements of product design.
This openness provides distributed product and project teams with automatic extraction and aggregation of real-time product and operational information, presenting cross-disciplinary information and enabling more informed decision making. The approach accelerates and automates innovation and product development processes, program execution, as well as management of deliverables—perfect for making truly informed decisions and rapid execution of go-to-market strategies.
For more info, visit www.centricsoftware.com.