There’s one word that keeps bubbling to the surface of my mind as I prepare for next week’s COST INSIGHT 2017 product cost management conference – Momentum.
Now, lest you think I’ve completely gone overboard, we’re not even close to the caliber of a SAPPHIRE or Oracle World. However, what we have accomplished in an incredibly short time frame is to go from 13 attendees in 2013, all from the United States, to 150+ attendees from more than 15 countries around the world, including: USA, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Belgium, China, Japan and India. That’s some pretty solid momentum!
We’ve also expanded from a group of attendees that only represented companies in 2 industry verticals; Agricultural/Construction Equipment and Industrial Machinery, to an audience that will include representation from 12 industry verticals; the original 2 plus: Automotive, Transportation (Trucks, Rail Cars, Personal RVs), Oil & Gas, HVAC, High Tech, Consumer Goods, Semiconductor Equipment, Medical Devices, Energy, Aerospace & Defense. Again, that’s some pretty serious momentum!
And, the icing on the cake… Back in 2013, we had 2 customers that were willing to do case studies. This year, we have no less than 15 customers that are standing up on stage to deliver a Case Study or participate in a panel session where they will share Results, Lessons Learned and their Future Plans to grow and expand their deployment. This year, we have Honda, BRP, Spirit Aerosystems, Soucy, SFI, Matcor, Pratt & Whitney, Thermofischer, General Electric, Kalmar, Celestica, Quest Engineering, Solar Turbines, Wuzheng and Circor participating in the conference. What an incredible lineup. Now that’s Momentum4!!!
What’s the big deal?
Having been there from the beginning, here’s my observation of how this momentum got going…. Results, plain and simple.
The Early Adopters that initially started dabbling with product cost management as more of an experiment have been posting some jaw-dropping results over the past few years, and people are starting to take notice. In our CEO’s kickoff presentation Tuesday morning, we will reveal how aPriori has literally saved our early adopters hundreds of thousands, millions, and in some cases tens of millions of dollars on product cost. Add it all up, and we could pitch a slogan like McDonald’s used to use. Instead of saying “5 Billion Served” we could say “$5 Billion Saved”.
Product cost management (PCM) is not about soft savings. It’s black & white.
If you’re making 20,000 widgets for $5.00 each with a market life of 5 years and PCM helps you identify a couple of cost drivers that end up saving you $1.00 per piece, that’s a cool savings of $100,000 over the life of that one simple product.
Imagine what happens when you arm 50 engineers with this technology, and imagine if each one of them found one significant cost driver each month of the year? Just one! Now you see why major companies like Boeing and Honeywell are investing heavily in PCM.
Gain a Competitive Advantage
Any discrete manufacturer that is not already working on a product cost management strategy is risking falling behind the curve. Having worked at PTC back in the early- to late-90s, I watched what happened to companies that dragged their feet “Nope, we don’t need that fancy CAD software, we’re doing just fine with our drawing boards.”
The market has no mercy. Companies need to secure every potential competitive edge they can possibly get.
Make no mistake about it, implementing a corporate strategy and a supporting technology platform that enables every person in the product development team (not just a select group of cost engineers) to identify and eliminate cost drivers as early as possible in the product lifecycle is a major competitive advantage.
It means that these companies can bring their products to market faster, due to the elimination of unnecessary churn at the end of the design lifecycle when someone discovers a major cost overrun. It means that companies can implement more innovative designs for the same cost, and win against their competition with a superior cost/value proposition for the market. It means that companies can pass along savings to their customers through a less expensive product and capture greater market share.
5 Days ’till Blastoff…
I’ve been in the software industry for nearly 30 years now. I’ve watched the CAD market go from a science experiment to a commodity.
I can tell you with absolute certainty that we have moved through the Early Adopter stage, and we are now well into the Early Majority stage of this market evolution. Product Cost Management has built up some significant momentum and it will be on full display next week at the COST INSIGHT 2017 conference in Orlando, Florida.
And don’t forget…