Headquartered in Morgan Hill, CA, Specialized Bicycle Company represents a town in Northern California where cycling is the heart of the community. “Made for riders, by riders.”
Specialized continually pushes the industry with innovative designs and high-performance engineering centered on making the experience of their customers better than the competition. With rider’s experience as their focus, Specialized manufactures an extensive list of products ranging from shorts, gloves, and jerseys to helmets with crash detection sensors and battery-powered e-bikes.
Having diverse product offerings requires systems to be in place which not only enable teams to collaborate and design these products, but do so efficiently and effectively across teams and different business units.
Prior to ArcherGrey’s partnership, Specialized collaborated with another service provider to implement version 11.0 of PTC’s FlexPLM software. Unfortunately, the system design chosen by this service provider prevented Specialized from reasonably expanding the use of FlexPLM to other product lines. Aside from system design and scalability issues, Specialized also requested guidance on fitting subsequent versions of FlexPLM into their technology roadmap and enabling product features not previously leveraged.
Specialized asked us to partner with them to offer our guidance and industry experience of enabling corporations to mature their existing Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems and maximize its value to their business.
This required an understanding of their existing systems and processes and to facilitate this, we organized the project into two phases: assessment and implementation. The assessment allowed us to formally identify gaps and pain points and develop a plan of action to address them.
In collaboration with the Specialized Project Team, we presented our findings to key stakeholders, along with a technology roadmap and a high-level project plan to execute the upgrade and design for scalability improvement. This proved to be an invaluable activity for the Specialized Project Team, leading to the buy-in of their leadership to continue with the implementation as planned.
Our approach for the implementation consisted of several weeks of design workshops followed by configuration, development, testing, user acceptance, and release. In the workshops, we focused on creating a system design that could accommodate their broad product offerings, as well as creating a system design that could adapt adapt and support any unforeseen changes to their business in the future. Since the configuration architecture needed a redesign to address scalability issues, using PTC’s in-house upgrade manager was not an efficient option to move to version 11.1 of FlexPLM.
After a careful analysis and consideration of various options, the decision was made to upgrade via a new installation in a target environment, then migrate data from the source system to the target. This migration presented challenges since there are modules of FlexPLM that do not have out-of-the-box extractors and loaders. In addition, 95% of the configuration from the source system had been modified for the re-design in the target system to ensure scalability. ArcherGrey leveraged their proprietary FlexPLM loader and FlexPLM extractor tools to accommodate for the gaps in the out-of-the-box tools and system changes.
ArcherGrey was able to help Specialized consolidate their product information into a modern and scalable configuration of PTC’s FlexPLM solution. Although the consolidation effort required a migration, ArcherGrey was able to use their proprietary FlexPLM Loaders and FlexPLM Extractors to move the data. With the successful migration of 100% of the data, Specialized is in position to have a product information system in place that is the source of truth as they continue to scale their business.
The partnership between Specialized and ArcherGrey lead to a huge success. In March 2020, Specialized went live with FlexPLM 11.1.