SAP Introduces New Product Lifecycle Technology to Spur Growing Asian Product Innovation Market

Shares latest trends on accelerating product leadership in series of executive webcasts and roundtables

SingaporeSAP Asia Pacific Japan (“APJ”) today announced the availability of SAP Product Lifecycle Management (SAP PLM) across Asia Pacific Japan, underscoring its commitment to supporting Asian manufacturers’ investment in product innovation to ride the economic crisis for future growth.

“This crisis has changed fundamental operating realities for many companies. Innovative players who differentiate themselves will come out of the crisis stronger, as quickly as manufacturers who have been hit hard by the crisis, shutting down operations ,” said Saj Kumar, Vice President, Discrete Manufacturing, SAP APJ. “What will fuel their growth in the next two to three years will be their ability to innovate and accelerate product and service leadership.”

This observation is reaffirmed by Manufacturing Insights, an IDC company providing fact based research for using information technology to improve manufacturing processes. The company, in a recent survey of manufacturers in China, India, Malaysia and Singapore, found the vast majority ready to increase spending on PLM over the next two years.

Additionally, the study also found that most manufacturers are keen to improve PLM processes that drive new product introduction; process control; and demand planning.

Joe Barkai, Practice Director at Manufacturing Insights, states that “as manufacturing companies come to terms with the new operating environment with reduced customer demand post credit crunch, the drive for increased efficiency across all aspects of the business becomes a key imperative. Product Lifecycle Management is getting increasingly important for manufacturers to improve their entire product lifecycle – from product conception through manufacturing, in service support and finally end of life disposal.”

SAP, with a strong manufacturing customer base in the Asia Pacific Japan region, is confident its Product Lifecycle Management roadmap will enable manufacturing companies to accelerate product innovation. Part of the SAP Business Suite, SAP PLM provides manufacturers with 360-degree-support for all product-related processes – from the first product idea, through manufacturing to product service.

Asian discrete manufacturers have been moving up the value chain from low margin manufacturing to higher margin product design activities. “Low cost manufacturing has worked well for economies like China, dependent on export trade. However, the new reality has also demonstrated the need for manufacturers in such countries to further develop their stable of home-grown brands. As we see an increase in affluence in traditional low-cost manufacturing economies like India and China, our customers have come to us, with a clear message: they want to not only build their own brands for their local markets, but to also grow on to the global competitive playing field.”

To do that, says Kumar, companies have to manage an end-to-end process from design and engineer to deliver product innovation, all the way to supply chain management and collaboration with their global suppliers, customers and business partners. Effective product lifecycle management is core to this, especially when going global means complying with myriad quality and industry standards from around the world.

“Compliance is not just about shipping and customs. For design and manufacture companies, compliance starts at the design process through to documentation and local regulations. To be effective in product and service leadership, management decisions have to be made that link to the entire process of design and manufacturing” says Kumar.

Barkai agrees. “Leadership in companies will drive this initiative for increased efficiency across the entire product lifecycle. It is becoming increasingly important for manufacturers to improve their entire product lifecycle – from product conception through manufacturing, in service support and finally end of life disposal. If companies get this right, they have a real advantage over their competitors.”

As part of its PLM adoption campaign, SAP APJ will launch an executive level series of webcasts and roundtables for discrete manufacturers. Details and registration for the webcast can be accessed here: http://www.idc.com.sg/SAP2009/register.aspx?source=SAP

SAP will discuss Product Lifecycle Management 7 for discrete manufacturers on 2nd July with IDC PLM expert Joe Barkai and Manufacturing Insights Vice President, Christopher Holmes, with a webcast on “Driving Efficiency into the Product Lifecycle”. This will be followed by a road show with top-level manufacturing executives across the region.

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