Today, manufacturers increasingly rely on rapid supplier collaboration to stay competitive and introduce new products to the market. Against a challenging backdrop of supply chain shortages, increasing customer demands, and faster rates of innovation, a successful new product introduction (NPI) process requires effective communication throughout the supply chain.
Leading manufacturers and their supplier networks are continually striving to create process efficiencies, improve quality, and accelerate NPI. Digital processes and solutions that allow the seamless sharing of technical information in connection with their PLM systems are a cornerstone of these ongoing efforts.
To learn more about how strategic supply chain management can fuel innovation, PTC sat down with Scott Collins, CTO of Anark. Anark provides the tools that manufacturers need to power intelligent supplier collaboration that builds on their PLM systems. Read on to learn about trends in supplier collaboration, the kinds of benefits companies see with increased supplier communication, and how the right technology can help.
The reality for manufacturers today is that they’re facing an increased rate of change. That change can come from a variety of different places, whether it’s supply chain pressures, regulatory changes, increased competition, or changing customer demands. Improving your supply chain management helps drive an agile, effective response to pressures in the landscape. Supplier collaboration benefits can be realized from early supplier onboarding (RFx processes) all the way through production and delivery.
Whether you’re working to reduce engineering error rates or more efficiently support concurrent design processes, sharing technical engineering data helps drive collaborative design, enhance pre-production planning, and smooth out implementation. However, protecting your organization’s intellectual property during this process is also critical and security is at the heart of enabling today’s rapid supplier collaboration processes. Manufacturers need the right technology to make sharing easy, while increasing traceability and security controls.
Absolutely. When one of our power equipment OEM customers wanted to develop more efficient supplier communication and collaboration, their goals were clear. They needed a partner that could help them improve supplier performance and communication to help them move to model-based engineering processes.
INCOSE defines model-based engineering as “an approach to engineering that uses models as an integral part of the technical baseline that includes the requirements, analysis, design, implementation, and verification of a capability, system, and/or product throughout the acquisition life cycle.”
In real terms this model-based approach allows them to share all the relevant product manufacturing information (PMI) with their suppliers earlier in the process. Procurement officers, supplier managers and their suppliers are able to see and collaborate on the same technical BOM and visual data that engineering owns in PLM. Direct integration with the company’s PLM system ensures that all suppliers are using the latest version and correct technical definitions to drive procurement, design, and manufacturing.
The power equipment company partnered with us to first deliver 3D PDFs to their suppliers, and soon after, adopted our browser-based solution to eliminate the challenges of document-based sharing. The company saw improvements throughout the supply chain, including faster supplier onboarding times, improved supplier visibility, and reduced errors rates that traditionally resulted in costly scrap and rework.
Capturing the benefits of rapid supplier collaboration processes demands the ability to share visual web content, also known as web-based technical data packages (TDPs). The company needed solutions that offered robust support for multiple technical data types, including model-based definition (MBD), PLM BOM data, product manufacturing information (PMI), and other supporting technical documentation. It allows internal and external authorized users to securely access information published directly from their PLM system to a web-based supplier collaboration portal.
Internal stakeholders highlighted critical benefits to multiple parts of the business, but one of the most eye-opening was a 40% reduction in engineering error rates.
While improving supplier collaboration is becoming the norm, there are many factors that companies need to consider when sharing their technical content IP along the supply chain. Let’s break these down into three big risks or considerations:
As a result, companies should look for tools that offer deep support for engineering data types such as 3D CAD, integrate with their PLM systems, have built-in mechanisms that support security and version control, and support flexible delivery of content to any device.
Increasing communication with your supplier ecosystem can offer significant benefits across the organization. Manufacturers embracing best practices and the right technology platform offers several key benefits. Let’s highlight some of the most important:
For manufacturers grappling with a faster-than-ever pace of change, one of the many benefits of supply chain management is improved collaboration and optimization. Solutions like those provided by Anark allow manufacturers to adopt and implement model-based engineering processes that can improve collaboration. With greater collaboration, it’s possible to reduce errors, control costs, and get new products to market faster with less friction along the way.
Learn more about the benefits of supply chain management for collaboration and optimization.