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"Arena is a collaborative bill of materials (BOM) and change management system that helps manufacturers meet cost, quality and delivery targets."
Source: Arena Solutions
Case Study: Pixel Velocity
Change Management System
is also known as :
ECM Engineering Change Management System
Change Management Application
Change Management Implementation
Change Management Strategy
Business Change Management Process
Change Request Management Application,
Change Request Procedure,
Change Request System,
IT Change Management System,
Change Request Model,
Change Management Plan,
Business Process Change Management System,
Standardize Change Management Processes,
BOM Management Software,
Change Management Development,
Change Request Software,
Change Management Best Practices.
Pixel Velocity Moves Away from Excel to use Arena to Gain Great
Efficiencies in BOM Management and Reduced Risk
Velocity has leveraged decades of experience in the defense industry to create
the world's first end-to- end system specifically optimized to provide highly
reliable automated threat detection and multi camera tracking over very large
areas. The Pixel Video Fusion™ System utilizes a distributed processing
methodology that provides contiguous coverage while allowing automated analysis
of all high-definition cameras, resulting in complete situational awareness.
Pixel Velocity's system is proven for effective, proactive surveillance of
critical assets at airports, seaports, critical infrastructures, and government
The Pixel Video Fusion™ System is constructed of multi-mega-pixel
cameras, edge-based processing and recording, and a client-server-based
management interface. The company's system addresses today's need for more
detailed images and better video management. At the same time it creates an
evolutionary path to tomorrow's need for more reliable and advanced
automation techniques. The company believes reliable video automation systems
can best be created through the process of working with users and its
integration partners to understand their operational environment. By first
laying a foundation of higher quality video, Pixel continues its work of
developing value-added software suites targeted to focused market applications.
Arena is one of the most important tools we use to get our products to
market. It's right up there with Outlook, Word, and the rest of the Microsoft
- Matt McAmmond
Director of Manufacturing Pixel Velocity
Even though Pixel Velocity has been building a presence in its
market, the company is still in start-up mode, having grown over the past
eight years from five to approximately 25 employees-not one a full-time IT
professional-who work out of its corporate offices and remotely. The ability for
employees to work remotely is a core value for the company and in keeping
with its roots. Pixel Velocity started as a virtual company whose founders
all had "day jobs" and worked remotely with each other and one major supplier.
Since the beginning, all of the product development information was organized
in Excel spreadsheets, and transmitted via spreadsheets and saved in an
online storage service.
The company has quickly grown from having one
supplier to having dozens of suppliers with whom they must collaborate and
source hundreds of components. Product offerings have grown, and business
has become more complex, making each decision-and each mistake-more impactful.
Along the way, the capability of the company's spreadsheet system was
overwhelmed. Using spreadsheets altogether had become a liability.
Using spreadsheets, Pixel Velocity had to work extra diligently to be certain
that the Bill of Materials (BOMs) they released to manufacturing were the
right revisions, because Excel offered them no easy way to prevent or
discover the discrepancies between their BOMs and their drawings-or even within
the BOMs itself. Every cell in their Excel BOMs was a potential source of
errors since any changes to the data require manual intervention – rekeying,
deletion, recalculation, etc.-and inspection across all affected data, a
tedious, error-prone job across a few dozen items and a nightmare over
multi-level, indented BOMs with hundreds of parts. And since every person in
every department could use his own formulae, nomenclature, macros, and even
formatting, every Excel worksheet ran the risk of introducing chaos at every
stage of their design through- manufacturing process.
Moving to the next
level in the development of their business, Pixel Velocity knew changes had to
be made. Their intellectual property-engineering documents, vendor and
supplier information, manufacturing data and BOMs-was among both their most
valuable assets and their biggest liabilities. The company finally decided
that using a dedicated collaborative BOM and change management solution was its
smartest choice. Modern BOM and change management software would provide the
company a cost-effective solution that could overcome the flaws and risks
inherent in continuing to use Excel.
As a growing company, Pixel Velocity
required a scalable solution that could grow with it, as more personnel,
products and suppliers, were added and the software was integrated with other
key business systems. The company decided to pursue a web based product so
anyone in Pixel Velocity's extended enterprise who had permission, could go
on to virtually any computer and interact with the company's product data at
anytime. In addition, the company required an easy-on solution that would allow
them to be productive with it in a matter of days and weeks, instead of months
and years, like competitive software on the market.
"Arena was a modest investment that has made us far more productive ."
Director of Manufacturing Pixel Velocity
Pixel Velocity selected Arena early in the company's development, as soon as it
became clear it would need to move away from Excel to improve document
control, outsourcing management and help them track engineering changes
throughout the entire product development process, all which were difficult, at
best, using Excel. The on-demand delivery of Arena was an important part of that
decision, as it offered the company the remote access it needed for its
distributed work force. The only thing required was a simple Internet
Pixel Velocity saw the company's acquisition of Arena BOM and
change management software as a strategic step in its long-term growth. "We
originally started using Arena to organize our product information and be
able to collaborate with each other from remote locations. We didn't originally
have a server, so it made sense to use a web-based product. It is nice to be
able to get on virtually any computer and be able to get my job done," said
Matt McAmmond, director of manufacturing at Pixel Velocity.
was quick to recognize that its operations professionals hold a critical role in
the success of the company and management clearly understood that supporting
them with the right tools, especially in a challenging economy, is a business
imperative. Pixel Velocity's operations leaders (who hold a variety of different
titles) use their power and influence to ensure the company's products move
forward according to the company's time, cost and quality expectations through
each division and stage of development, from concept through delivery. With
great foresight, the company took the needs of this role seriously and
recognized that Excel posed serious roadblocks to meeting its goals. The company
made sure they had BOM management software that could enhance the way they do
their jobs and give them more time to focus their skills in engineering,
operations, supply chain management, manufacturing and strategy, on getting
products to market instead of on trying to work around inefficient and
error-prone spreadsheet software.
""Arena is de livered on-demand and is also great security for
us. We don't have or need an IT person and don't have time for downtime. Arena
works for us the way it is supposed to."
- Matt McAmmond
Manufacturing Pixel Velocity
The company no longer manages product development with email and spreadsheets
alone, inappropriate tools by themselves, which held the imminent risk of
breaking down and costing it dearly. Pixel Velocity operations are supported
with the right collaborative BOM and change management software, so they can get
their jobs done in the best and most cost-effective way.
"I am responsible for releasing information to our suppliers and managing our
change process. Since we started using Arena, we are able to communicate the
information for our designs more easily. We make bid packages quicker and more
accurately. Arena is helping us get better and better. We're able to make
changes more quickly and we've been able to give better access to everyone in
the process," said McAmmond. "Arena has helped us improve so many of our
processes. I have to give Arena credit for helping us be able to make production
parts right from the get-go. We make fewer mistakes."
With Arena, Pixel Velocity manages all of its product information and
history-including BOMs, suppliers, costs, quotes, specs, drawings, files,
compliance records and much more-in a single, centralized, version controlled
product record. The Arena product record is accessible to employees-from such
diverse departments as engineering, finance, and manufacturing-over the
Internet, and gives them real-time visibility into current product data from
anywhere in the world. This is done without having any full time IT support at
the company or any IT intervention in the process.
"Excel is fine software, but it became frustrating using it to manage all of
our product information. It just didn't have the kind of control we need. As our
business and our products became more complex, and our decisions got more
critical, Excel started to fail us. When we had one supplier, Excel wasn't so
bad, but now that we have dozens of suppliers, we need the kind of control Arena
provides," said McAmmond.
From design through delivery, Arena has helped Pixel Velocity make better,
faster decisions, develop superior products and more quickly bring those
products to market. The company can track their product information easier and
more reliably than when it used Excel. This newfound ability has proven to be a
huge time and money saver, allowing the company to release designs to
manufacturing nearly 20 percent faster now that we are documenting it all
better with Arena.
"All of our information is right at our fingertips in Arena, including
hundreds of parts, components and assemblies," said McAmmond. "As the company
grows, Arena grows with it, offering us continual benefits along the way, no
matter what our size."
Finally, Arena's on-demand delivery means Pixel Velocity doesn't have to
worry about whether or not its servers are secure or up and running. Without
involvement from IT staff, Pixel Velocity managers can be certain their data,
and processes, are safe and available to them and their employees anywhere,
anytime. It also means there are no interruptions in workflow due to software
and server upgrades or deal with a security issue.
"We often work remotely, and no matter where we are in the world, as long as
we have an Internet connection, we can still access Arena. That alone has saved
us a lot of time and money. On-demand delivery has been great," said McAmmond.
"Arena is up and running everyday."
Return On Investment
- Improved Profit Margins.
Like many other small to mid-size
manufacturers, Pixel Velocity has the same kinds of product development
challenges as many larger companies, but fewer resources to address them.
Using Arena has helped Pixel Velocity make up that gap, helping the company
not only generate cost savings and significant time savings over using
Excel, but also realize improvements in profit margins.
- Improved Change Management.
Reducing reliance upon manual processes
like spreadsheets, emails, and phone calls and removing barriers that
interfere with approvals and handoffs lead to improved change management at
Pixel Velocity. The company now releases designs to manufacturing nearly 20
- Greater Accuracy.
Using Arena has ensured greater accuracy because
all parties- no matter where they are in the world - are always working from
the same, most up-to-date version of the product. This has helped the
company avoid costly human errors.
- Affordable Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).
Because Arena is delivered
on-demand, Pixel Velocity did not need any additional IT infrastructure to
support its adoption. Over a five-year period, the TCO of Arena is 30
percent of the cost of its competitors' traditional client-server software.
- Improved Supplier Collaboration.
Moving from one supplier to more
than 20, Pixel Velocity has no problems managing and even switching contract
manufacturers using Arena-it's done in minutes with a simple adjustment to
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