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Based on 169 reviews and ratings
Likelihood to Recommend
As the primary electrical design engineer, I was the individual who created all EE parts, loaded all EE documentation, created all EE BOMs, and also administer Arena for ECOs as well as communications with our CEM. Arena was straightforward and easy to work with right out of the box. The default categories for parts were mostly a good fit, and easily changed for the few categories that were not. Datasheets were easy to load and BOMs straightforward to set up. Overall, it's been a great tool for the small to medium companies that I have recently worked for.
Engineer in EngineeringConsumer Electronics Company, 51-200 employees
SAP PLM is well suited for any industry that needs to track the creation of a product from the raw material stage all the way to the shipped product. I do not think it would be well suited for very small companies which do not have any materials, products, and inventory to track.
- On many screens, there are multiple options to do other things, such as attach items just created to requests or changes. Each screen has a lot of buttons or commands that can be executed from there, rather than going back to another screen to start doing something else.
- The Bill of Material expand/collapse options are very useful, and the ability to see at a glance whether items have other pending changes is great. It helps us either consolidate several changes or process them in a specific order as may be appropriate.
- The request and change worlds are easy to use and configure. We have reduced our engineering change cycle time using these features.
- It allows us to strategically control operations by product monitoring and production changes.
- Gives you the ability to source upcoming products because you have a complete and total view of all resources at all times.
- It allows us to control batch management in the production process, this is a key element in our industry.
- Limiting users from viewing only Approved Suppliers is not an option unless you implement Access Policies. Since Access Policies is additive in nature we have to think backwards when implementing. This occurs with several other views that we want to block so to get around this we created a rule but then we don't enable it in order for us to block that view from being seen.
- Training Plans can be viewed by everyone even if they are not assigned to that training plan. This can be an issue because employees can view WIs that they are not assigned to. There should be a feature that we can use to limit users to only viewing training plans that they are assigned to.
- We have about 40 users who are listed as partners in our database. In some cases, we want to switch partners over to full users but there is not an efficient process to switch partners over to full users without contacting Arena Support. The support team has been swift in their responses but it would be easier if we can do this on our own.
Employee in OtherElectrical/Electronic Manufacturing Company, 501-1000 employees
- The interface is that of your typical SAP program, it's not very user friendly to a person who doesn't use it every single day.
- Some simple Windows commands do not work in SAP PLM, such as a copy and paste.
- Right click menus generally produce unconventional results if the user is more familiar with Windows right click menus.
Likelihood to Renew
I'm not aware of similar products, but I do use simpler versioning products, Dropbox and SVN. They are vastly easier to use, but lack a lot of the features provided by Arena. It's not a fair comparison.
SAP PLM encompasses SAP BW and SAP PRD. We tend to focus more on the SAP PRD portion as it directly involves more closely to production. We selected SAP PLM because it gives us a great visibility in the life cycle of materials, products and overall costs. SAP PLM compliments the other packages very well
Return on Investment
- Arena provides the DHF for our medical device products. If we didn't have Arena's PLM this would be very difficult to manage and would be costly to do offline.
- Arena's Training module has taken the spreadsheets and personal emails out of the hands of QA and has freed up the personnel to do the things they need to, to work on activities that help to improve and ship our product in a more timely fashion.
- Arena has an open API and can automatically create and or move the data into or out of the system to another system like Solidworks or an ERP (ones that also are on the cloud).
- Accurately able to order raw materials which are necessary for the current production run, thus reducing overhead.
- The negative impact would be the initial cost of the software and how long it would take to ROI that cost.
- It has allowed us to control batches of product creation much more closer and have the ability to cut some erroneous costs which were found in large batches.
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?