Short and simple.
Updated November 19, 2019

Short and simple.

Lawrence Floresca | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Arena

Across the whole organization. Engineering uses it for doc control purposes. The official release drawings go to production for fabrication. Official release BOMs authorize the purchase of components.

We also use it extensively as part of our ISO certification, as it allows us to track out entire device history record. This includes customer communications, meeting notes, project schedule, and everything possibly relevant to the project. Having all of that on an online server is invaluable when working remotely.
  • Controls documents in a revision-based system.
  • Easy to ECO.
  • Approvals are documented and dated.
  • Better search functionality. Searching partials sometimes doesn't work too well.
  • Ability to set all revisions to "unchanged" when doing an ECO, instead of having to manually set each one
  • Quality has definitely increased, since process controls are more closely followed. There is no way for production / vendors to access incorrect test forms or drawings.
  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Product Reputation
Ease of use and customization for our organization's needs.
Simple to deploy. We are satisfied. The training was simple and concise.
The few times I've used Arena support have turned out well. Initial communication takes a bit longer than I'd like (24 hours +), but it's acceptable.
Very accessible and usable overall, but there is definitely some room for improvement. The ECO revision issue I mentioned is one such.
Arena had modules that made more sense with our objectives with a PLM. The cost structure was much better than Agile.
Any engineering company with design control procedures (which really should be all) could benefit from a PLM like Arena. It's necessary to have established master copies that everyone can access, instead of 5 or 6 different redlines nebulously floating around.

Using Arena

30 - Our engineers use Arena for overall document control. It is the base for drawing, CAD, specification, and revision control. It also houses all designed control documentation in the Projects module.

Our purchasing department use Arena to reference datasheets, quotes, and costing information.

Our production and vendors use Arena to find the latest revisions of drawings, models, and test sheets.
1 - Arena support needs to have a comprehensive knowledge of all modules and how they work. Even the less used features such as BOM upload may eventually be required, and the support staff either needs working knowledge, or enough accumen to get answers quickly.
  • Revision control. It's invaluable for tracking revision changes, as well as approval dates.
  • Drawing and CAD access. Allows production to only access the most recent revisions of an item, thus eliminating possibility of manufacturing incorrect versions.
  • Comprehensive storage of device history records in the Projects module.
  • We did not expect to make such extensive use of the Scribe function. It's a streamlined way to communicate any issues during the ECO approval process.
  • When future budget permits, we'd love to use Solidworks integration for more comprehensive control of models.
We have so much time and effort invested into Arena. The history of approvals, revisions, etc. are necessary for many of our customers. We also have entire device histories recorded. Having to re-create that on another platform would be a feat requiring years of effort.

But mostly, Arena just works. It's transformed our business into a much more streamlined system, resulting in a massive cost and time savings.

Lessons for Success

We've successfully used Arena to achieve compliance with our medical customers' requirements for device history records. Arena allows us to store the entire revision history of an assembly, as well as related requirements, test documents, procedures, meeting notes, and customer communications via the Project module. This is also invaluable, as it satisfies numerous requirements for ISO 9001 certification.
The Scribe note has been quite useful during ECO review. It allows managers to give feedback on ECOs that require changes or clarifications within Arena, while also automatically generating links to the relevant pages and reminder emails. It's streamlined the entire process.
Remember that you can always use the "back" button in Arena to go back to the previous item. It's extremely useful when dealing with multiple nested sub-assemblies.

Evaluating Arena and Competitors

We underestimated how useful the Projects module would be. If we had to evaluate again, we'd likely prioritize device history systems like Projects.

Arena Support

ProsCons
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
None

Using Arena

ProsCons
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Well integrated
Consistent
Quick to learn
Convenient
Feel confident using
Lots to learn
  • ECO approvals
  • Revision history control
  • Costing
  • When generating an ECO, all revisions are automatically set to the next revision. If an ECO is merely a correction without revision roll, there's no way to set all of them to "unchanged". You can only set as a specific number/letter. This is cumbersome when an ECO involves 200+ parts at different revisions.