What makes Lifetime a special company is the people and our innovative products: kayaks, paddleboards, tables, chairs, basketball standards, picnic tables. We’re very proud to say that you can go to almost any major retailer and see our products.
It’s very important that we build systems and processes that are scalable. We bring to market a kayak and an 8.5x11 shed at the exact same time. So we have to have systems in place that allow us to work on not only innovative products, but different products all at the same time.
Along with that comes the constraints of the market as far as lead time to ship, cost expectations. So it's very important that we’re very lean, we’re very efficient and we ship on time, right? I mean that’s what it comes down to. We ship on time, we ship within budget.
To say that Lifetime is reliant on Windchill products is really kind of an understatement. PDMLink is the core of our system. It is where we manage all of our Bill of Materials, it’s where we manage all of our product data, it’s integrated with our ERP system. That is our one source data for our product information at Lifetime.
Before Windchill, we had 23 product information databases running here at Lifetime Products. With the implementation of Windchill we’ve been able to take that down just to our Windchill install. Not only is that easier to train, not only is that cheaper, it is better. It's one source, it’s convenient, it's organized, it's really just a fantastic, fantastic improvement over what we ever had in the past.
There's many challenges that we’ve faced before we implemented our PLM system at Lifetime Products. ProjectLink allows us to work concurrently with every department in our company and I mean every department in our company.
So to have legal and purchasing and accounting and manufacturing and manufacture engineering, tool engineering, design engineering, HR, everybody needs to be part of this process, and then of course PDMLink as far as associating drawings and CAD and documents, anywhere I am out in the world, doesn’t matter what factory I’m at, doesn’t matter if I am at a customer, if I am at a supplier, I can pull up our product, I can see a drawing, I can see CAD, I can see a describing document, I can see a picture. Whatever I need, it’s always available to me.
Lifetime is always looking forward to future releases of Windchill products because PTC is always spending a great deal of time and money on improving the products. PLM is not ERP, PLM is not MES, PLM is not CRM. PLM is PLM. It is there to manage product lifecycle management. That's what Windchill’s strength is and that’s why we’re such a big fan of Windchill.