Enterprise PLM: ERP vendors offering more support for product development
The recognition of product life-cycle management (PLM) as a strategic business process is becoming more evident as even midmarket ERP vendors are adding more PLM functionality to their product portfolios. Take a look now at what QAD, Infor, and Oracle are doing to expand the Enterprise PLM arena.<br/>
By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff
The recognition of product life-cycle management (PLM) as a strategic business process is becoming more evident as even midmarket ERP vendors are adding more PLM functionality to their product portfolios. Here are the latest advancements:
QAD joins with PTC
The latest midmarket ERP supplier to join this movement is QAD , which recently joined the PTC Channel Advantage Program, a move that allows QAD to sell the Product Development System from PLM vendor PTC into the QAD customer base.
QAD plans to offer the Product Development System to its customers in the automotive, high-tech, industrial equipment, and life sciences industries. The PTC system is comprised of Pro/Engineer, Windchill, Abortext, Matchcad, and ProductViews. These solutions work together to help companies optimize product development processes.
Pam Lopker, president and founder of QAD, calls the agreement with PTC “another important step toward realizing our vision for the Perfect Lean Market for manufacturing—a frictionless supply chain where efficiency is optimized and waste is eliminated.”
Another midmarket ERP supplier, Infor, is moving even deeper into PLM territory, offering solutions for companies in specific vertical industries.
Infor's customer response
In June, Infor , which has had its own PLM offering for quite some time, introduced a new version of Infor PLM Runtime, a solution for the apparel and footwear industries. One month later, it unveiled a new version of Infor PLM Optiva, which caters to process manufacturers and retailers with private-label products.
Infor PLM Runtime was built to enable apparel and footwear manufacturers to design, source, and deliver innovative products around the globe. New features include:
• Supplier delivery management, which ensures on-time and on-budget delivery of components from multiple vendors to the manufacturer;
• Cross-brand checking, which enables companies that design and make multiple brands in the same manufacturing facility to ensure the consistency and integrity of each brand;
• More universal symbols for care labels, eliminating the need to translate care instructions for products sold globally;
• Sample order processing, which permits multiple bids to be sent to vendors and automatically converted to sales orders. This capability allows manufacturers to assess new brands and vendors without impacting the production process; and
• Improved cost calculators, allowing manufacturers to model for multiple production and supplier scenarios and make trade-offs as necessary to minimize costs. With this enhancement, companies can identify and certify secondary and tertiary suppliers to source materials quickly and ensure accurate costing.
Rory Granros, Infor’s director of product marketing for process industries and PLM, says the solution responds to an obvious customer need.
“As more apparel and footwear manufacturers move production overseas to cut costs, the ability to communicate across the enterprise becomes more of a challenge,” Granros says. “The new enhancements in Infor PLM Runtime enable manufacturers to effectively manage these globalization challenges and control the flow of product data across their organizations, while improving communication with suppliers during the critical development phase.”
Enhancements to Infor PLM Optiva include a new Advanced Formula Editor, which allows manufacturers to visually model multiple formulas and versions, rapidly assess ideal iterations and identify associated risks. Developers can also quickly generate a series of formulas and simulate the corresponding impact, which can reduce the cycle of trial and error linked with traditional formula development.
“Innovation through new product development, wringing costs out of manufacturing and supply chains and the long-term evolution of core product brands are critical issues facing process manufacturers,” Granros says. “To help navigate these business challenges, many enhancements to Infor PLM Optiva are designed to accelerate innovation while elevating quality, lowering costs and managing global compliance demands.”
Oracle's survey advisory
Right now, enterprise vendor Oracle wants to know: Just how pervasive is Enterprise PLM? To determine the answer, Oracle has identified nine key business processes that fall under the umbrella of Enterprise PLM. Manufacturing Business Technology
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2012 Salary Survey
In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.
Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.