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Jul 09 2015

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The Smarter Way to Build Smart Products

With the rapid growth of smart products containing embedded software, manufacturers are quickly becoming de facto software companies.

This convergence between the hardware and software industries brings advantages, but also creates a key problem given that certain relationships are not unified during the design process. For instance, without an intelligent solution to unify PLM and ALM, time and money can be wasted throughout the manufacturing process.

“Engineered products are less ‘hardware’ and more ‘software’ and, as a result, require an evolution in engineering and manufacturing processes and approaches,” according to IDC. “Because of the potential impact of faulty software on product safety and quality, manufacturers will need to rapidly acquire the capability to manage the software life cycle and supply releases along with their production processes.”[1]

Manufacturers today are facing an all-out, rapid-fire change from their hardware roots to their software present, and it’s a dangerous present. IDC warns of the “potential impact”—meaning, lawsuits and warranty issues—of releasing poor software, but there’s another cost too, and it’s unavoidable for manufacturers today: a slowdown in innovation caused by the need to divert resources to fixing and resolving software issues. In fact, engineers and developers lose about 50 percent of development time to issue resolution while resolving issues takes an average of 6.9 days.

If most companies want to stay competitive, they cannot afford to spend time and resources on resolving issues, as product release schedules are tighter than ever. For example, cars contain between 10 million and 100 million lines of code to support features including navigation, assisted braking, multimedia applications, and so forth. Yet, new car models go from concept to production in as little as 18 months[2]. It’s hard to pack innovation, quality, and safety into such a tight time frame.

In order to overcome these complex challenges, manufacturers today need to take a “smart” approach to managing both the hardware and software lifecycle of new product introduction. This type of approach to the development process can enable manufacturers to:

 

  1. Unify disconnected enterprise-system data sources such as PLM, ALM, testing, and CRM, to get a single view into the development process.
  2. Identify similar issues, duplicates, and shared root causes of issues. An estimated 40 percent of issues/bugs are duplicates in kind or occurrence, so identifying—and even automatically resolving—these increases developer productivity by approximately 25 percent.
  3. Classify business risk of issues and defects such as safety, customer experience, reliability, performance, and more so that you can prioritize resources appropriately.
  4. Identify and bring together experts who work on similar issues and have similar skill sets for collaboration.
  5. Unify internal enterprise data with issues expertise gathered from external sources such as Stack Overflow and other data sources selected by the end user.

 

A smarter way to develop and manage smart products through the use of advanced, dynamic business analytics, which can then result in bringing them to market faster with higher quality and customer satisfaction. This way profit margins can be protected from warranty demands, capturing competitive advantage by focusing resources on innovation while having more resources to devote to software management, given its increasingly important role in new product launches.

Notes / Sources:

[1] Business Strategy: Integrating Mechanical, Electrical/Electronic, and Software Development in an Era of Smart Products, IDC Manufacturing Insights, 2013

[2] Business Strategy: Integrating Mechanical, Electrical/Electronic, and Software Development in an Era of Smart Products, IDC Manufacturing Insights, 2013

 

 

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.apriso.com/blog/2015/07/the-smarter-way-to-build-smart-products/

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