Successful products are the result of focused efforts from capable engineering teams within companies. Faster Time to Market (TtM) is a key strategic goal for these companies. A well-integrated ERP system with PLM and Engineering capabilities is essential for minimizing TtM.
Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is a set of strategic processes applied to minimize the cost of getting a product to market, manage the product cycle to maximize the returns as the product matures in the market, to plan and execute product replacement at the right time in its cycle before it is obsolete, and to productionize the product to gain benefits of economies-of-scale. PLMs are essential for tracking a product from an initial idea seed to various transformations, revisions and variants, until replacement.
Fig.1 Product Life Cycle
The product life cycle is the series of stages that every product passes through from conception to retirement. The product life cycle begins with the introduction stage where the idea for the product permeates and concepts are drawn. The engineering team begins the design in collaboration with operations team, purchasing, quality, vendors, and even customer teams. Product features are sketched and defined, financial and technical milestones are determined and competitive analysis of the product is made. The product is in its infancy and merely a name and part number exists in the Odoo system at this stage.
Before the product progresses to the next stage, the Engineering Board evaluates if sufficient cycles of development and testing have been executed and the requirements set forth in the product plan are met. The product may be returned to the drawing board for further development. Inputs from the market are constantly assessed to ensure the product’s viability in the market. If the product meets the requirements well, it is a candidate for the ramp up to production. Vendor assessment, product costing, production processes, manufacturing routing are evaluated in this stage. The goal at this stage is to keep the costs low, quality high, have sufficient volumes in production, and ramp up marketing and sales efforts. Failure to meet any of these goals results in continued negative cash flow and delays in Time to Market.
Getting a product out of the introduction stage can be a complicated process. The next phases of the product life cycle, while different, are just as complex, with each stage requiring its own unique set of strategic planning and coordination.
At a point in future, the product’s returns diminish and it is time to obsolete the product. The decision of when to end a product is a result of a complex process often based on many factors and data from accounting, manufacturing, warehouse, sales, and after-sales service functions. To maintain the competitive advantage of the product and the company, products need to be introduced at well-defined intervals. All of this necessitates tight yet flexible collaborative tools.
The organization faces many challenges during product design, development, production, and retirement: regulations, reusability, recycling, environmental factors, and sustainability. Overcoming these challenges to make a viable product keeps the design and engineering team busy. Tracking the product cycle and associated documents, providing traceability, and managing change and product documentation are ancillary to the team yet serve as critical functions whose success determines the outcome of the product.
USA Odoo’s approach to PLM is to create a transparent, social platform for collaboration between R&D, Sales, Purchasing, Manufacturing and all other teams. Odoo provides the modern, collaborative framework to integrate the engineering organization to the mainstream – accounting, manufacturing, and inventory management. USA Odoo’s solution provides the ability to:
When PLM is done right, it can be used to create a complete platform to:
An Engineering Change Order (ECO) workflow enables capturing the requirement for a new product or improvements to existing products.
Fig.2 Engineering Change Cycle
USA Odoo’s PLM App defines the ECO workflow. The first step in the ECO workflow is to define an ECO and initiate dialog between the stakeholders in the company. Representation from functions, such as marketing, sales, accounting, finance, management, warehouse, and manufacturing, are easily enabled by identifying the role and the approval needed.
An ECO captures the requirement, the details necessary to effect the change. Schematics / specifications of the change, the revised design are then updated on the ECO. The approvals needed for the ECO to progress through the workflow are received, using collaborative tools and capturing the discussions live on the ECO. Revisions are applied on the product, on the bills of materials definition, or on the manufacturing/assembly process.
Alerts can be setup to notify the production team on impending changes to the product, the Bills of Materials, or the manufacturing workflow.
Engineering Bill of Material (EBoMs) and Manufacturing Bill of Material (MBoMs) can be easily maintained in the system or even merged to one for simplicity by using the ECO cycle and the PLM revisioning capabilities. This approach improves the data quality and maintains a single frame of reference for a package definition that is versioned. The painful, disjointed steps of managing multiple BOMs for the packages can be successfully eliminated.
USA Odoo ERP system provides for a collaborative platform to manage products and can integrate with external CAD/CAE systems in a seamless transaction-oriented operation. Product cost sheets with material, labor, and overhead details can easily be configured and generated. Flexibility in managing the cost definitions for the components and easy roll-up of those costs on BOMs along with a tight integration to stock accounting improves the product management team’s efficiency.
Engineering with Odoo is all about your ideas coming to life through rapid prototyping, material traceability, product lifecycle management, engineering management, accurate forecasting, and ensuring consistent quality. With USA Odoo, all of these coveted capabilities can be synchronized into one highly reliable and insightful planning and forecasting system. Integrated enterprise solutions include everything from Accounting, Logistics and Data Integration to Customer Relationship Management (CRM), E-commerce, and Business Process Management (BPM).
USA Odoo provides enterprise Odoo integration customers with a unique combination of open source business process consulting and turnkey implementation – and decades of experience in Odoo spanning a wide range of industries. In addition to Engineering expertise, USA Odoo’s proficiency spans other industries including the Service Sector, Construction and Utilities, Manufacturing, Direct to Consumer, and Engineering-centric. From small, independent entrepreneurs with a big idea to national infrastructure efforts, you can rely on USA Odoo’s scalable ERP expertise around the clock.
USA Odoo was created to provide an Odoo-powered open source accounting, CRM, e-commerce platform, and logistic integration including real-time big data and business process improvements leading the way. Our Odoo open source software consultants work personally with each of our clients to analyze the challenges facing their operations, unleash the power of their data, and achieve their specific competitive advantage and ROI business goals. From quality checking to strategic planning (including demand and capacity management) to tactical planning (including work order scheduling and routing) to operations dispatching (including tracking and real-time field communication), our teams work tirelessly to assure best practices and right-sized technology.
Our highly skilled ERP experts configure, build, train, and maintain world-class enterprise manufacturing engineering systems. With the right ERP software capability, the challenge of increasing safety, gaining operational efficiency and automating support resources becomes simple.
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