Azzolino Sees Disconnect in PLM

Azzolino Sees Disconnect in PLM


Concord, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 07/26/2006 --Based in Concord, MA, aPriori (www.apriori.com) is the technology leader providing innovative cost management solutions to the discrete manufacturing industry. aPriori’s Cost Management Software Platform enables manufacturers to better understand product cost decisions early and throughout the product lifecycle.

According to aPriori’s President, Frank Azzolino, “One of the reasons for this is the inherent disconnect between the goals and objectives of the product-centric engineering constituents and a company’s financially based business objectives. There is no better example of this disconnect than the stark difference between the language of engineering and the language of business. MCAD and PLM have historically focused on the engineering and design aspects of product delivery. The language of engineering as spoken by MCAD and PLM is based on physical attributes of the product and technological capabilities of the software solutions used.”

The language of the business is time and money. It is no secret that the profit motive is what drives critical company decisions. It is also no secret that much of a product’s ability to achieve the expected financial goals is driven by design and manufacturing decisions that occur very early in and continually throughout the product delivery process. The holy grail of ‘collaboration’ is meaningless if the parties are not speaking a common language.

The PLM industry presents a keen example of this disconnect. We see the major MCAD players strive for acceptance and penetration outside of engineering departments at the same time we see the major ERP players strive to enter the engineering and product delivery arena. In each of these application platforms, PLM and ERP, cost can be managed. Certainly, on the ERP side, costs are historical. These costs are available to be managed only after production. On the PLM side, it is more difficult and, actually, potentially more valuable. The need for real time, predictive costs are essential to allow design/manufacturing teams to avoid and eliminate costs early in the process when critical cost driving decisions are made. In today’s MCAD, PLM, and ERP applications the ability to generate this early cost knowledge is simply not available.

Extending beyond the design engineering value, accurate product cost estimates offload the estimating burden from manufacturing engineers and planners already challenged with demanding production schedules, decreasing capital investment, and a dwindling experience base. In addition, predictive cost assessments offer procurement and sourcing professionals a much needed “should cost” from which to make better, more efficient sourcing decisions while negotiating from a fact-based position. Finally, program and project management benefit from real time visibility to product cost information continually throughout the product development and delivery process thus avoiding the sudden shock of bad news late in the process.

The result, product cost knowledge, is the common language spoken across the enterprise and is clearly focused on the business goals (as opposed to parochial product or feature oriented goals) that reduce costs, increase margins and contribution, drive profits and support growth. aPriori offers a cost management platform that directly addresses the need for real time predictive cost assessment. aPriori is used by designers and engineers, manufacturing engineers and managers, sourcing and procurement professionals, program and project management, and cost management or value engineering specialists. With visibility to crucial product cost knowledge, professional all across the enterprise can make better decisions to avoid, eliminate and reduce product costs.

“aPriori has customers in a variety of industries including High Technology, Industrial Equipment, Automotive, and Heavy Machinery. Recent aPriori customers include John Deere, Panasonic, Thomas & Betts, JLG, Wrobel Engineering, and Dana Corporation.”

John Busa