Resilient PLM? What does this mean to me?

Hello.  I'm excited to join the blogging team at Aras.  I hope that you will join me on this new adventure and provide me with your thoughts and ideas.

One of the things that brought me to Aras was the idea of Resilient PLM.  I was researching Aras - browsing the site, reading the blogs and watching the youtube videos.  Resilient PLM was one of the topics that intrigued me.  To some this may seem like a bit of Marketing thrown out to "wow" the audience.  I dont think so.  Let me explain...

I grew up as a young Engineer at General Electric.  I was once told that I was more worried about the Why than the How regarding our work processes.  (Yes, Mike and John - I was listening!)  Later in my career, I was exposed to this again at B/E Aerospace where I was able to be involved with our Lean activities and give back by teaching the concepts to our engineers.  So it should be no surprise that I enjoy being involved in process improvement activities.

What does this have to do with PLM?  Because at its core, PLM is in place to automate your business processes.  Let us take the concept of Lean Six Sigma and generalize it to something simple - Continuous Improvement or Kaizen.  Many businesses have adopted formal programs but generally all businesses are working to increase productivity and quality.  These Kaizen activities drive change into your IT systems (PLM, ERP, MES) in the form of new processes, reports, lifecycles, routings, machines, etc.  An important facet of Kaizein is going to where the work happens and TAKING ACTION!    It is not enough to have a great Kaizen event and come up with a new Change Management process and then wait for 6 months for it to be implemented...

[caption id="attachment_3678" align="alignleft" width="193"]Image courtesy of Kaizen Institute Image courtesy of Kaizen Institute[/caption]

Resilient PLM enables Kaizen!  We expect that our customers are changing how they do work - we embrace it.  We are not asking you to use vanilla processes to make PLM implementation easier.  We want you to have the full double chocolate sundae with nuts, whipped cream and 2 cherries!  Aras Innovator is purpose built to enable rapid configuration and/or customization to achieve your current processes.  This same capability is what can allows you to Continuously Improve your processes - and update them in Aras Innovator.  Administering Aras Innovator is surprisingly easy.  Creating a new item type, changing a workflow or building a report, all things you would expect from a Kaizen activity, can be done by nearly any Engineering or IT team member.

When I was researching Aras I was asking the same questions you are - "How do they do this?"  It is really simple actually.  Leaving out all of the tech talk - our architecture and software was built to be a platform first with a suite of core services (permissions, workflows, identities, etc.).  Then we added the PLM specifics as a layer on top of the platform.  This allows PLM to utilize the core services without having to build them into the PLM data model.  Behind the scenes our Engineering team is obsessive about building robust code that upgrades easily and can handle customization - Resilience.  We put our money where our mouth is - upgrades are free for subscribers!  Even more than that...we drink our own kool-aide - we use Aras Innovator for our daily work.  The specifications I write are stored in our instance.  We even have built a custom CRM solution.  All of which was recently upgraded to V11 with no issues.  And just like you we are Continuously Improving our processes and customizing Aras Innovator to match.

Thanks for reading.  I hope you found this to be interesting.  More to come...