RealTime IT News

On Demand For a PLM Supply Directory

UPDATED: Arena Solutions is bringing supply chain supplier directories into the realm of on-demand software.

The Menlo Park, Calif.-based maker of product lifecycle management (PLM) software has launched what it calls the Solutions Supplier Marketplace. But don't call Arena a B2B market maker.

Michael Topolovac, CEO of Arena Solutions, said the directory is about helping OEMs get products to market faster and keep their pricing information consistent.

"Collaboration between OEMs and suppliers is pivotal to successfully bringing products to market on time and on budget, especially in today's global, outsourced manufacturing environment."

With so many suppliers providing integral products and services to Arena's manufacturing subscribers, he said the time was right to open up that directory and help more global suppliers and OEMs interact.

And if it entices a few more customers to leave their fax, phone and e-mail-driven supply processes behind for software-as-a-service, Arena's more than happy to help.

Basically, the company is trying to help suppliers bring product prices to market in a short period of time, Topolovac told internetnews.com. But fast turnarounds using manual processes can lead to mistakes along the way, even missed ship dates.

"What they can do with the on-demand model is eliminate that manual process and provide one centralized version of the truth that others can look at at the same time," he said.

Arena said the directory includes product design firms, contract manufacturers, component suppliers, and fabricators trained and certified on its PLM software. The company counts more than 2,000 suppliers that use its software to interact with their OEMs.

Arena said the directory will be accessible to all users of Arena's PLM software from within the application, as well as the company's Web site, in order to find, connect with, and engage in new supply-chain partnerships.

The marketplace also offers free training and certification on the Arena PLM application, a marketing presence on the marketplace, in addition to access to hundreds of manufacturers and thousands of subscribers already on the Arena system.

Topolovac called the offering a dual-value proposition for suppliers seeking new customer relationships and a lower-cost way to conduct business, as well as for Arena manufacturers looking for alternate sourcing relationships or parts suppliers for new products.

"We believe there's a trusted relationship between the OEM and the supplier, and what we're enabling is for them to work more efficiently. They are also joining a network of suppliers they can interact with overnight," he said, adding that it will make Arena's software more appealing to new customers.

Updates prior version to clarify Topolovac's comments regarding product prices.