Vacon Oyj Supports Fast Growth and Internationalization While Improving Product Portfolio Management and Collaboration
 
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Vacon Oyj Supports Fast Growth and Internationalization While Improving Product Portfolio Management and Collaboration

Vacon Oyj designs, manufactures, and sells alternating current (AC) drives that control the speed of electric motors and help generate power from renewable sources. Vacon has research and development (R&D) as well as production facilities in Finland, the United States, China, and Italy, and sales offices in 27 countries.

After many years of strong growth and an international acquisition, Vacon’s product range and number of employees increased considerably. To support its fast growth and internationalization, Vacon needed a flexible, easy-to-use product portfolio management and collaboration tool.

Since Vacon’s globally developed, maintained, and produced AC drives are massive, highly customized products involving many variations, product maintenance requires extensive management of product detail changes. Moreover, managing variations requires understanding the entire product, and therefore sharing product information is crucially important.

Vacon implemented Oracle’s Agile Product Portfolio Management and Agile Product Collaboration, which provided a common repository and distribution channel for accurate, real-time product information. It also enabled internal collaboration between research and development and production units.

Agile applications allowed Vacon to improve production and customize large quantities of its products faster, while adapting them to specific customer requirements. Thanks to improved product data transparency and collaboration across borders, Vacon can manufacture and support its products in several factories and, when necessary, move product modification and production functions closer to customers.

 
 

 
 

Challenges

A word from Vacon Oyj

  • “Oracle’s Agile product lifecycle management solution is an easy-to-use tool for mastering and maintaining product-related data. It gives us the flexibility we need to share detailed information within our global research and development and production facilities. Now we can quickly adapt our products to complex, custom requirements to better serve our customers. ”– Timo Mäki-Lohiluoma, Product Data Management Application Owner, Vacon Oyj

  • Resolve product data management and maintenance issues, as well as product configuration concerns resulting from strong growth, international acquisitions, and a larger AC-drive portfolio
  • Enhance internal collaboration between R&D engineers, designers, and production unit personnel, who are located in four countries on two continents
  • Streamline product data management processes between the different R&D and production sites
  • Accelerate the time to complete customer-specific productization and product-tailoring projects
  • Enable some of the product-platform production to take place closer to the customer, shortening time-to-market

Solutions

  • Partnered with Logica Plc to implement Oracle’s Agile Product Portfolio Management to create a common repository and distribution channel for accurate, real-time product information  
  • Enhanced internal collaboration, making it possible to allocate resources from different countries to work on the same project by using Agile Product Collaboration
  • Provided a single, integrated view of product and portfolio data, ensuring more consistent product-data-management processes worldwide
  • Accelerated customer-specific product tailoring projects, improving time-to-market through faster sharing and delivery of accurate product information
  • Leveraged the common product data management tool to shorten time-to-market for AC drives with a foreign brand label by moving their production to overseas factories 

Implementation Process

Implementation of Agile Product Portfolio Management and Agile Product Collaboration began in 2005 and lasted about eight months. Vacon Oyj went live with the solution in June 2006.

Vacon was so pleased with the overall implementation process, that it plans to introduce additional Oracle solutions into its IT environment soon.

“We have high hopes regarding the usefulness of these additional Oracle applications, especially on a global level. We hope they will streamline our sourcing process, bring further cost savings in purchasing and sourcing, and also help us enhance the definition of preferred suppliers, worldwide,” said Timo Mäki-Lohiluoma.

Partner

Logica Plc, a former Agile reseller in Finland, was the Oracle Platinum Partner selected by Vacon to configure the Agile applications and prepare their internal definitions.