Baan rolls out new manufacturing management tool

Baan Co. today announced the worldwide launch of its new product life cycle management (PLM) suite and a business unit dedicated to it at the MESA International 2002 Conference and Exhibition.

This is the third of a series of offerings that Barneveldt, Netherlands-based Baan began rolling out in January, according to Henk de Ruiter, senior vice president of marketing and alliances. Baan brought out iBaan for CRM in January and iBaan for supply chain management in April. Today's announcement mirrors an identical announcement the company made in Tokyo last month.

The new product is designed to allow manufacturers to tie an entire manufacturing life cycle together so they can track a product from the earliest developmental stage through manufacturing, customer feedback and final retirement.

"The PLM space is a hot market," said David Cahn, CEO of Y2G Associates in Atlanta. Cahn, who was in the audience for today's presentation, said any product that helps companies tighten up the manufacturing and design process will be in great demand.

Companies with thin margins can expect to save money if they can help shorten the manufacturing process and the time it takes to get products to market, said Cahn, who advises companies on software implementations.

Baan President Laurens van der Tang said the new offering will integrate with the company's CRM and supply chain management products, as well as with other vendors' products.

In addition to the product announcement, Baan today also unveiled a new business unit to oversee iBaan PLM and named Ilana Jucha president of the new unit.

Jucha said the main competitor in the space is SAP AG, and the company intends to target the aerospace and defense, transportation, electronics and discrete manufacturing industries.

Baan offered up its parent company, London-based Invensys PLC, for a customer testimonial. Invensys implemented PLM in two divisions and Terry Campbell, director of process and standards, said that after an initial dip, the product has worked well.

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