Useful tool, needs some work
September 20, 2018

Useful tool, needs some work

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Arena

We use Arena to communicate primarily with our contract manufacturers on our latest BOMs and document updates. We utilize the sourcing information and use the ECO process for implementing changes. The business problem it addresses is keeping all our documents revision controlled and shareable by people within our team and external to our team. It is a great tool for tracking part changes all in one place.


  • I like the options Arena has, such as ability to customize attributes, part numbering schemes, routings, categories.
  • Arena is great for tracking changes and is not so hard to understand, especially after taking training classes.
  • Arena allows the user to collaborate with suppliers and contract manufacturers.


  • Import function is not good. I wish that it was easier to take an entire BOM and upload it in one shot. The advanced import template is too bulky. Making edits to every single part is so time consuming and requires a lot of clicks.
  • Search feature could use some work, such as being able to search just for working revisions rather than effective versions to see what changes were made to a part. Also cannot see what the supplier sees.
  • Sharing with suppliers is often not intuitive. If a BOM is shared, it should be shared with supplier automatically on all levels rather than needing to click "share with supplier" under "supplier access" if we don't have them listed as source for a child part because sometimes they are not the source on an OTS part.
  • Arena doesn't configure use specifically for companies that use contract manufacturers. I feel it is way better for companies who do their manufacturing in-house.
  • User interface is bulky, too many tabs and colors are not friendly.
  • Approvals are either one or more or unanimous - I wish we could customize this however we wanted. For example, two specific people per ECO. We still want a routing defined so that things don't get accidentally approved without review, but we want to pick and choose which members in that group get the email every time rather than everyone in that group getting the email notification and then no one knows who needs to approve.
  • It has a good impact when communicating with CMs - making sure ECOs go to the right people.
  • We don't use it for cost, but would like to use the quality module one day.
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Product Reputation
  • Positive Sales Experience with the Vendor
Arena has a good reputation and is local. It also seemed to have everything we wanted. Customer service is really good.
Our implementation was not done properly. Now everything is in there and it is so hard to go back and change it all. I definitely had a hard time coming on board with how the workspace was set up and it has been a challenge fixing it. We could use some more help with this for sure.
Mastercontrol is great for pharma level regulatory control. We definitely don't need that here. I feel Arena is more powerful for what we need, designing building equipment.
I think it's a powerful tool but has some flaws. It needs to compete more with Agile and other gold standard PLM systems. We like it but it takes so much time to input all this information and it gets messy when using the import function especially if you make a mistake, there is no way to know. So we usually just input things one by one, which takes forever. There are also so many tabs that people have to look at and make sure the information is uploaded or else things go unnoticed. Wish we can remove some, like purchasing, and just keep sourcing. Making the tabs customizable would be better.


  • Kraig Clark | TrustRadius Reviewer
    Thank you for the thorough review of Arena. I have passed your suggestions -- import improvements, searchable working revisions, and customizable approval workflows -- to our Product team and wanted to reach out here as well. The majority of Arena’s customers outsource production to Contract Manufacturers and share data with them using Arena. Sharing can be dramatically simplified with workspace settings, and information tabs can be hidden using Access Policies. It sounds like your original implementation no longer suits your business needs. That’s ok. I can help. Reach out at

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