PLM & Process Management

I see a Company as a collection of processes…

These processes can be as simple as generating a purchase request or as complicated as an engineering change request and everywhere in between.

Purchase Request Process

An employee may have a need for an item that doesn’t exist within his company.  They will fill out a purchase request.  Each company has their own process for how these move through their company.

Likely, it will need approval from the employee’s manager.  From there, it should need the approval for someone in purchasing [or finance].

Once approved, purchasing will generate a purchase order that will be sent to a previously approved supplier.  When the item arrives, it will need to be checked against the purchase order.

It will then be routed to the requestor.

If purchase requests are not tracked, a company could waste money or spend money they don’t have.  Over time, errors like this can break a company.

Engineering Change Request Process

Managing engineering change requests is the most complex [expensive] process that exists within a manufacturing company.  Again, each company has their own process for how these move through their company.

It often looks like this – an engineer will fill out the change request form and attach all related information.  The change request will be assigned a number for tracking purposes.  Typically, a manager will review this change request and either approve it or reject it.  It will then be routed through any or all of these…

Many departments should provide input to the request.  Examples include:

  • Engineering needs to determine if the change is necessary and if that is the change that should be made.
  • Marketing needs to determine if this will help or hurt sales.
  • Finance needs to determine if there needs to be a price change so that the item is still profitable. They need to look at their inventory needs – do items need to be scrapped; can items be retrofitted; does inventory need to be ordered; etc.
  • Manufacturing needs to determine if the item is still manufacturable.

Some good reasons to manage your change requests with PLM software: 

  • Studies have shown that it costs about $1,800 per ECO just to manage a paper based change request.
  • Paper based change requests average more than 45 days to complete.
  • Locating the status of a change request is often cumbersome.
  • It is critical to get the right information to the right person at the right time.

Today’s PLM software has the necessary functionality to easily manage these processes and any others you might have.  It will save you money while making your company more efficient.

Contact me if you would like some help…

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