Consumer preference has always been fickle. Safe to say, it’s more tenuous today than ever before.
Brand loyalty does exist, but it’s under ever-increasing pressure from direct-to-consumer distribution models, startups intent on seizing market share and a global marketplace offering more options than ever.
The solutions, as many companies see it, is by becoming singularly focused on delivering the best products and user experience possible.
That’s a great idea. It’s also easier said than done.
To create a product development process that actually allows manufacturers to be nimble and agile often requires rethinking how multiple business units work together, incorporating feedback all along the way.
With the right people, products, processes and technology, it’s an achievable goal. Here’s how four companies are approaching it.
Challenge: SIONYX provides digital night vision technology used all around the world, in commercial, industrial, medical and law enforcement settings. With an approximately $20 million contract from the U.S. Army on the line, they had to demonstrate their propriety in terms of capabilities and compliance when handling technical data. That meant transitioning from manual product lifecycle management processes to automated workflows on a tight timeline, with kickoff in January and an August deadline for the compliance setup completion.
Solution: “Arena Solutions hit all the requirements, including best practices on how to implement and the ability to keep pace with our schedule,” recalls Steve Anderson, Vice President of Operations at SIONYX. “This was a significant change management effort but our team saw the value and were very results-oriented. In addition, Arena's experienced implementation team led us through a well-thought-out framework with a set of milestones we needed to achieve in order to meet our 'go-live' timelines. The solution architect pushed us to stay focused and, as a result, we beat our timeline by two weeks.”
- Accelerated corrective and preventive action processes
- Transparent AVL management
- Compliant with ISO requirements
Challenge: A centuries-old tradition of woodworking continues to this day in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where Premier Custom-Built crafts cabinetry for luxury homes and yachts from scratch. While the attention to detail can stay the same as it’s always been, the technology supporting it could not, particularly as Premier sought to create a paperless manufacturing floor and move from product specs in binders to 3D CAD models. They also wanted to a way to automate repetitive tasks and speed up time to market.
Solution: At the center of the luxury cabinetmaker’s digital transformation efforts is OnShape, PTC’s Software-as-a-Service product development tool that combines cloud CAD design with data management, real-time collaboration and business analytics. Premier has used the platform to create digital versions of 50+ cabinet features, removing duplicative work and giving engineers more time to focus on innovation. Customers can choose from thousands of custom designs and with OnShape, it’s quick and easy to modify and implement those preferences.
- Industry-specific custom features saved 50% to 75% in design time
- Eliminated version control issues of paper drawings thanks to SaaS platform
- Able to store product specs in 3D drawings rather than 3-ring binders
- Quicker modifications of cabinet designs based on customer preferences
Challenge: Augmented reality technology offers a compelling way to reach new audiences, one that DreamCorp wanted to showcase close to home. Drawing on inspiration from their friends in the art and antiquities world, the French multimedia and entertainment company focused on historical sites; many of those, such as the Bordeaux region, were rich in history but didn’t have easily accessible information. So DreamCorp set out to create a self-guided experience that would meet UNESCO World Heritage regulations and bring the sites to life with history at each visitor’s fingertips.
Solution: To create their AR-powered application, DreamCorp put Vuforia to work. OpenArt GO! is a virtual guide to notable locations, available on phones and tablets, that makes learning simple. Visitors simply point their device’s camera at any part of the site and OpenArt GO! will generate immersive, augmented experiences. The app debuted as a part of Fort Médoc, where users could see a digitally rendered gate that mimics the original 17th-century design, and the goal is to set up OpenArt GO! sites throughout France and Europe in the coming years.
- Created self-guided experiences in compliance with UNESCO World Heritage regulations
- Realized significant user engagement, created a one-of-a-kind digital exploration of history and received glowing feedback from clients
Challenge: Handbikes have become more popular during the last couple of decades, among both the para-cycling community and those who prefer an alternative to the traditional bicycle. Marco Antonelli, a university professor and industrial designer, took on the task of creating a new version of the handbike that was truly different than others on the market. As he became more interested in the project and moved ahead with it, Antonelli realized that to accomplish his goal, he would need a little help.
Solution: Creo, the computer-aided design platform by PTC, came in handy. With Creo, Antonelli could not only take advantage of excellent design capabilities, but also have all of the project information immediately available, something that many other CAD systems don’t offer. The platform’s reliability, modeling simplicity and strong simulation capabilities made it a great partner for Antonelli, whose handbike design includes a lighter, stronger frame structure, among other improvements.
Results: "With Creo, I've never felt like I am accessing external tools, such as Creo Simulation Live, a tool that is not only convenient and effective due to its perfect integration, but is also reliable and fast, sometimes able to return certain simulation results within just a few seconds." ~ Marco Antonelli, Engineer and Industrial Designer
PTC technology is often not visible in the final product but it plays a critical role in a wide variety of products used across the globe each day, including skateboards, power grids, vacuums, yachts, guitars, wine and much more.
To read more about those applications as well as the stories summarized above, take a look through the case studies on PTC’s website. You can also stay up to date on what’s new in digital transformation by signing up for updates here.