The company was managing product data in multiple systems that did not interface with each other. This environment resulted in the duplicate entry of data into various systems. For example, Engineering Change Orders (ECOs) were implemented twice; once in a Lotus Notes ECO database and then a second time into a SAP application.
"Because our systems were disconnected, it required us to manually enter duplicate information," stated Peter Hagearty, director of quality and technology for Avid. "This was not a very efficient process and led to a higher opportunity for error."
Searching for information was also a difficult task and required someone to search four to five different areas in order to find what was needed.
Avid set out to find a Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) system to help streamline design and development processes for its video products.
"Our ultimate goal was to create a central location for data and knowledge sharing throughout the evolution of a product," said Hagearty. "We also needed to make sure procedures were controlled and data was archived."
Avid was very diligent in finding the right PLM vendor to meet its needs. The company was in search of a system that included key features such as: integrated ECO processing; complete Bill of Material (BOM) processing and management; document management; open technology platform for bi-directional data sharing with its SAP application; and proven integration with various engineering design environments.
After researching six PLM vendors over a five-month period, Avid selected the Omnify Empower PLM solution.
"Omnify Software met all of our baseline needs and more, while providing the most cost-effective solution," stated Hagearty. "The fact that Omnify reaches out to the customer for new features and functionality made their solution very appealing."
Avid has doubled the number of users accessing the Omnify Empower PLM system since implementing in 2009. There are approximately 150 users leveraging Omnify to manage and/or access information with multiple departments utilizing the system, including manufacturing, engineering, logistics and purchasing, as well as external sites.
"Omnify is a scalable and intuitive solution, so we can add users/sites as needed almost seamlessly with minimum additional consulting and training," commented Hagearty. "Omnify also offers a flexible support team - pretty much anything we ask for they give to us, within reason, to help us achieve our goals."
Implementing Omnify has allowed the Avid Video business unit to meet its goal of creating a central repository for product information. All of Avid's various systems, including its ISO, ECO and test procedures, have been consolidated into one database.
"Omnify has given Avid a focal point and a communication tool to allow both manufacturing and engineering to improve communications with product development," said Hagearty.
With Omnify, Avid engineers can manage prototype BOMs and parts in a single location. A direct link from the Omnify Empower database to Mentor Graphics DxDatabook allows engineers to select parts and access all part data, such as symbols, device name, component package and documentation, from Omnify without leaving their design environment.
Duplicate data entry has been eliminated through bi-directional sharing of information between the Omnify Empower PLM system and SAP. New parts and ECOs are created and managed in Omnify, and then the information is automatically pushed to SAP. In turn, cost data from SAP is automatically uploaded into Omnify for engineers to access early in the design cycle, helping them to make better design decisions.
"The SAP/Omnify interface has worked great since the first day we turned it on," stated Hagearty. "Centralizing product data with Omnify not only allows engineers to easily access information and trust that the information is accurate, it also enables manufacturing to gain visibility into what is being designed."
In order to reduce resource requirements and accelerate the ability to globally distribute information to the supply base, Avid's supply chain partners have controlled access to the Omnify database. With suppliers participating in the ECO notification process, they have the information they need to pull new BOM and/or new Approved Vendor List (AVL) information in real-time, accelerating ECO and new product processes, and ensuring new products are built to the latest revision.
"Allowing suppliers to gain access to specific information within Omnify with permissions can be a tremendous cost savings for Avid by eliminating the need for us to use up resources sending change information to suppliers," said Hagearty.
Leveraging Omnify Software to create an efficient product design and development process supports Avid's commitment to delivering award-winning digital audio and video solutions, and providing their customers with innovative technology.