Pella Corporation is an innovative leader in creating a better view for homes and businesses by designing, testing, manufacturing, and installing quality windows and doors for new construction, remodeling, and replacement applications. A family-owned company, Pella has an 88-year history of innovation and, today, is the second-largest manufacturer of windows, patio doors, entry doors, and storm doors in the country. The company has 10 manufacturing facilities in United States and window and door showrooms across the United States and Canada.
As part of the company’s continuous journey to leverage IT to improve operations, Pella began to focus on improving the efficiency and accuracy of the engineering-to-manufacturing process, and it selected Oracle’s Agile product lifecycle management (PLM) applications to help it drive this change.
Pella first looked to improve its ability to manage extremely large volumes of complex, solid edge, computer-aided design (CAD) data and leverage CAD configurations in the engineering, bill-of-material (EBOM), engineering-change-order (ECO) process to feed downstream manufacturing applications. It also identified several points of data entry duplication and a lack of synchronization between engineering and IT in the product-development process.
Pella’s business model includes the use of configure-to-order per customer requirements. It uses multiple sales configuration tools to capture order information and passes this information to an Oracle configuration engine to create all information needed for manufacturing. Currently there is no process to integrate CAD drawing and prints to the BOM’s that are core to the Oracle configuration engine. Teams manually enter data from multiple touch-points (homegrown systems, spreadsheets, databases, and e-mails) with little collaboration, and many terms are not standardized. Managing the configurator’s rules and setting up new, configured products requires significant manual effort, which leads to a long ECO cycle time and the potential for errors. In addition, limited visibility into engineering from manufacturing precludes Pella from using or reusing EBOM data from complex CAD data―hindering efficiency.
Pella looks forward to leveraging Oracle’s Agile PLM solutions to dramatically speed its products’ time to market. It expects to reduce change-order-cycle time and the time required to release changes to manufacturing. It also expects to improve team productivity and eliminate or significantly reduce risk of errors resulting from inaccurate or out-of-date information being released to manufacturing. Pella will also ensure scalability and avoid stability issues by replacing the existing CAD data management environment, as it further simplifies its IT landscape with an expanded Oracle footprint.
In the future, Pella looks to leverage Agile Product Governance and Compliance to facilitate compliance with government and industry standards and regulations. It also will use Agile Product Portfolio Management to optimize product development investments.
Pella selected Oracle’s Agile Product Lifecycle Management solutions for several reasons. The company has a long-standing relationship with Oracle and a growing footprint of the company’s applications and technology. In addition, Oracle’s Agile PLM solutions provide the CAD data management functionality Pella needs, while delivering capabilities to help Pella improve the efficiency of its configure-to-order manufacturing model.
Pella expects to go live with the first phase of its Agile PLM deployment in mid-2013.