GE Industrial Systems (GEIS) is implementing a major product life-cycle management project that it hopes will reduce product development time, improve supply chain efficiency and cut costs.
The General Electric subsidiary said it is using product life-cycle management technology from MatrixOne to develop a collaborative environment for planning, development, sourcing and programme management.
When the project is fully implemented in about two years, more than 10,000 GEIS employees worldwide will be able to log onto a central portal site to collaborate on a variety of activities.
"There are several business issues that we are trying to address," said Eric Reed, manager of the My Workplace portal site at GEIS.
Centralising the millions of documents associated with the products GEIS builds, and making the repository accessible from anywhere via the portal, will give the company greater flexibility in where it designs and builds systems, Reed said. Eventually, the environment will also be linked with suppliers, he added.
Return on investment will come through faster product development times and greater efficiency, Reed said. He declined to say what the savings would be. The product life-cycle management system will allow GEIS to work closer with its suppliers, which can then be more directly involved in the product development process.
The project has involved migrating nearly 15 million product-related documents from legacy systems into the MatrixOne environment. Meeting the specialised document management requirements of the engineering community was especially challenging, as was getting user buy-in during the early stages when there was little immediate benefit to demonstrate, Reed said.
GEIS declined to disclose the cost of this project.