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November 12th, 2021     5 MIN READ

5 Ways PLM Strengthens the Supply Chain for Consumer Electronics Companies

Customer satisfaction is the pinnacle objective of any consumer-based company. As a consumer electronics enterprise, you do everything you can to solidify a reputable brand identity. If you want brand recognition in a competitive marketplace, you need to craft high-tech products that look good, feel great and operate flawlessly. If you want your brand to grow and mature, you need a product lifecycle management (PLM) system that delivers consistently in the face of adversity.

There’s no shortage of internal variables to control throughout a product’s lifecycle: innovation and design, development, marketing, quality assurance, customer service—the list goes on. But do you have a strategy for handling the variables outside of your control?

If customer satisfaction, brand reputation, growth and success are the goals of consumer electronics, supply chain is the foundation. Your supply chain needs to ensure the delivery of the right product, in the right quantity, at the right price, place and time.

The ongoing problem is this: the supply chain is globalized. Consumer electronics products are composed of multiple components, all of which could be sourced from various points around the world. If you want to keep up in an innovative market, you need a highly efficient management system for your suppliers. Especially in times of disrupted supply chains and global shortages.

This is where PLM comes in: the foundation technology that links all product-related activities together. Instantly track the most up-to-date supply chain records—from delivery overviews to supplier management. Read on to learn how Centric PLM™ enables teams to effectively manage their supply chains to ensure products go to market on-time and on-budget.

1. Establish a single source of truth

A singular consumer electronic device is made of several modularized components. For each component, there might be a team that manages its sourcing, which means a fully assembled consumer electronic product is the result of multiple teams and suppliers.

The prompt delivery of a product depends on the synergy between your supply chains. A small hiccup in a product’s supply segment can offset an entire order and delivery timeline—leading to costly product launch delays.

Without a centralized monitoring system in place, there’s no fast or easy way to recover from a slight mishap: silos build, bottlenecks swell and re-work requests compound. A negative domino-effect ensues. You miss your product launch window. Your competitors gain an edge from your delay and beat you to market. Not only do you lose time and money—you lose your opportunity to expand your brand recognition and profit potential.

Avoid this supply chain catastrophe by empowering your company with Centric PLM to consolidate all your supply chain data together. Collaborators can access real-time information to diagnose issues, track statuses, review shipping updates, simplify workflows and rapidly accommodate timeline adjustments.

You can rest assured whenever issues, delays or change requests arise. Centric PLM’s centralization of supply data presents all collaborators a unified source of truth for product visibility, gain access to any facet of a product’s lifecycle in real-time.

2. Facilitate visibility with simplified workflows

As competition in consumer electronics intensifies, your window of opportunity to bring breakthrough products to market narrows. The stakes are getting higher; you can’t afford extended go-to-market launches.

Don’t let disrupted supply chains delay your product launches. Achieve your time-to-market goals with transparent workflows. Centric PLM breaks down supply chain workflows into streamlined steps that swiftly adjust to unpredictable circumstances.

Whether you are a consumer electronics brand or retailer— you must balance consistency with ingenuity. Stay on track in a rapidly evolving industry with centralization and keep your company’s brand, profit and growth objectives cornerstone in your product initiatives. In this way, you can achieve your bottom-line goals while pioneering innovation.

In the modern world, data science inspires revolutionary products. Centric PLM integrates and evaluates your supplier data to procure insightful reports. Quickly assess resource scarcity, rectify qualitative irregularities, and monitor your project phases to secure on-time launches. Plus, you can enable personalized instant notifications to learn about delays and communicate across teams.

PLM performs the heavy lifting with automation and data analytics, so you can focus on innovation and design to develop the next life-changing consumer electronics product.

Find out more about PLM and QMS for Consumer Electronics brands and retailers.

3. Consolidate communication and collaboration

Liberating your teams from layered communication and siloed operations will transform your company. Imagine driving efficiency and productivity to create market-leading consumer electronic products.

With siloed operations, information is disorganized and erratic. Project details and requirements become unreliable as they flutter between individuals and departments. Remove confusing communication processes that rely on spreadsheets, email chains and department division. Manage your data and communications digitally in a centralized portal.

Digitalizing your data and ways of working will transform your supply chain management: it’s quick and easy to monitor the production of any item or component in real-time. Increase efficiency by giving all teams clear visibility into an operation’s ongoings. With Centric PLM, everyone stays in the loop—from innovators, production teams, sourcing and suppliers—all the way through to executives and subcontractors.

Making strides to improve data accessibility across all teams and departments in your company does more than put everyone on the same page. Digitized communication invites individuals to collaborate and innovate. Maintain time-to-market windows by managing product requirements, cataloging version histories, controlling deadlines and tracking pertinent documentation.

Manage supply chains for consumer electronics products

4. Protect quality with systematic documentation

Centric PLM preserves the quality of your consumer electronics components at every point of the production phase. Managing and collaborating with suppliers in the supplier portal and building out lists of preferred suppliers enables teams to remove the risk of partnering with under-resourced or counterfeited suppliers. Centralize all documentation to create a system of accountability where safety, compliance and quality standards are upheld.

Supply chain components will be subject to rigorous testing—from design to prototype to revision to final draft—to ensure you release only the highest quality products. Plus, Centric’s Quality Management System (QMS) ensures any non-conforming products are all identified, tracked and corrected.

With all data living in one place, Centric enables teams to record all documentation pertaining to a product: version histories, corrective actions, performance metrics and differences in supplier costs—to ensure the delivery of a high-quality, high-integrity product.

5. Perfect Your supplier management strategy

Not every supplier you partner with can deliver your components predictably, and it could be for a number of reasons: a lack of raw materials, diminishing quality or even environmental complications. And as we observed from COVID19 in 2020, extreme social disruptions in health, politics and economics can wipe out your most dependable suppliers For this reason, it’s best to have back-up suppliers for each of your components.

A PLM solution strengthens your relationship with your suppliers with fast, responsive and straightforward communication tools. Within Centric, you can forgo the tedious back and forth emails with a mass of suppliers. Instead, access all your deals, contracts and supplier documentation (including raw material data sheets, component serial numbers and job status) through the interactive supplier portal.

Simplify negotiations, scheduling, ordering, tracking and delivery. You and your suppliers can share updates regarding each product’s developmental design, manufacturing and testing all within PLM. Create cost scenarios to predict project costs and compare them across back-up suppliers. Use this information to compare pricing, component availability and risk assessment and partner with suppliers that align with your brand, revenue, innovation and go-to-market goals.

Conclusion

With Centric’s end-to-end PLM and QMS solution for the consumer electronics industry, companies can oversee complex supply chains, swiftly make adjustments and manage every stage of a product’s life. Centric PLM safeguards consumer electronic companies from delayed supply chains and low resource availability with a suite of management and communication tools.

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