To think outside of the box is to think creatively. It means your ideas are unique and set you apart from others. This is exactly what Upchain has done with our Out of the Box software. Although Out of the Box software and thinking outside of the box are two different concepts, we have brought them together to create a cloud-based PLM platform for the value chain.
Instant-on, Out of the Box functionality in software is one that works immediately for a customer’s needs without the need for long software installations nor special, time consuming customizations. There has been a narrative in PLM that this is impossible, and so, the traditional way of making PLM has prevailed (which is providing PLM as a toolkit that requires workshops to design the desired solution and then customization and configuration of the PLM toolkit to create the individualized custom solution for the customer). With traditional PLM, customers can spend months and even years with analysts and consultants idealizing the software they need. This then goes on to implementation engineers and developers who program and install the customized software. All of this results in what often takes at least a year before a customer is able to use the software they purchased. This comes at high costs, both in money and risk. Using the software can be complicated because it has been customized for specific functions, with specific people and specific use cases in mind. These custom solutions then have to go through a quality period lasting years to remediate bugs, performance issues and address edge cases that were never contemplated. Additionally, there can be no improvement on past mistakes since all templates are programmed brand new, not evolved from past versions.
The philosophy behind this traditional approach to PLM has been that every company is unique and, therefore, requires customized, unique software. However, time and money is wasted in this arduous process that should be spent working in the PLM that the customer purchased. Upchain’s Philosophy is different. Upchain’s CEO and founder, John Laslavic, has had decades of experience in PLM and software and seen that although each organization is unique, at the base level, most companies really require the same things out of their PLM. It’s like buying a car. Each driver is unique, with different needs and desires out of the vehicle they want to purchase, yet we do not waste time specifically designing a car for each person. Instead, cars are made to serve many functions so that all kinds of consumers find what they are looking for in one vehicle. For example, construction workers will choose a pick up truck as their vehicle of choice because it serves almost all of their needs without any customizations necessary.
At Upchain, we see that while PLM should remain configurable, that configurability does not necessitate customized software. The current philosophy behind PLM is the easy approach to PLM, one in which we as designers, engineers and programmers do not have to find a way to create a unified software, rather, just make one for each client. This easy way out for PLM creators costs customers in the end. So, we challenged ourselves to break through the old philosophy and replace it with something modern.
At Upchain, this modern approach is what we specialize in. We have built a software that is evergreen, with integrations and data management that allow collaboration and organization for all kinds of companies. The data that a customer manages and the people within their organization that collaborate are truly the same thing. What is required for smooth, easy functionality is one base template or configuration that will suit both, seamlessly. Rather than creating new templates for each customer and project, we have meticulously crafted templates that are constantly updated and usable for a broad set of industries. By enhancing our templates so that solutions can be configured, we have created an Out of the Box solution that meets the needs of every individual company. There is no more need for a custom template when we are all truly looking for the same thing. We have seen this to be true in a variety of ways. Upchain has a wide customer base, catering to manufacturing companies, medical devices, automotive, aerospace, food and drug and even organizations within the entertainment industry.
One of the unique features of Upchain that sets us apart from all other PLM solutions is that our Out of the Box, Cloud based PLM has industry best practices already built-in. Workflows, data migration, training, analysis, and more are built into our system so that all types of users have exactly what they need at their disposal. This way users can make the choices they need for their product without customizations. With every new update come new features, better performance and usability. This is in stark contrast with traditional PLM which comes out with new versions every 3-5 years. When this new version comes out, the customizations that a customer spent so long putting together are not guaranteed to work on the new core software and often have to be completely redone. This wastes more time, money and resources. Upchain, however, evolves monthly and we guarantee that your configurations will work off our every new version.
We here at Upchain do all the work, so that when a user is in our system, the complicated templates are at their disposal for easy use, without ever having to deal with the difficult programming going on behind the curtain.