Water Pik Improves Its Flow with ProductCenter PLM
Using ProductCenter to Manage Regulated Healthcare Product Information throughout the Global Supply Chain
The CompanySince 1962 Water Pik, Inc. has been a leading developer, manufacturer and marketer of pioneering personal healthcare products sold under the Waterpik® brand name. The company's product lines include professional products for preventative and restorative oral care, clinically proven family oral health care products, sinus health products and an extensive selection of best-in-class innovative and eco-friendly showerhead products.
Headquartered in Fort Collins, Colorado, Water Pik operates facilities in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Throughout Water Pik's proud history of innovation, the company has acquired more than 500 patents and its products have been recognized for award-winning design and technology.
The SituationWater Pik's original inventions paved the way for new designs that enhanced its already established personal healthcare product lines. As Water Pik's products evolved, the company realized that managing its product information with directory structures on file systems was not efficient. A solution that could control its computer-aided design (CAD) product data and improve its business processes was essential.
The Solution"Our number one priority was to find a solution that could manage our CAD data," states Mike Koliha, Systems Analyst at Water Pik. "ProductCenter® was selected as it integrated with our CAD system and worked well. ProductCenter was also customizable and able to evolve in support of our future business needs as our product lines grew. As our product design environment changed over the years, ProductCenter has also been able to support our needs as we transitioned through different CAD systems to ultimately using SolidWorks® as our primary CAD tool."
Today, ProductCenter manages information for all of Water Pik's product lines that span the oral health, sinus health and showerhead industries. Initially deployed as an Engineering solution, the ProductCenter implementation has expanded to support every major department at Water Pik.
Critical Asset CompanywideFrom the start ProductCenter has been a critical asset to the Engineering team by controlling all product data including product specifications, CAD documents, electronics data, molded parts, molded in graphics on parts as well as its vector art files.
Many departments including Human Resources, Marketing and Finance rely on ProductCenter Workflow for business approval and capital project approval processes. Marketing manages its new product planning authorizations in ProductCenter. The Operations and Legal departments use ProductCenter for its document management capabilities, while Manufacturing manages information such as shop floor inspection.
Improving Business Processes"ProductCenter made a significant impact on our business processes initially by getting our Engineering data and processes under control and then expanding throughout Water Pik," explains Mike Koliha. "Before ProductCenter our capital project approval could take weeks for sign off. With ProductCenter's electronic approval our process can be completed within a day. We are able to find and view information easily and our communication issues have been resolved making us more efficient."
Water Pik has continually expanded on ProductCenter's capabilities to quickly and accurately display information to those who need it in a specific format based on their needs. One example is with the Engineering laboratory where a request for testing Water Pik's or a competitor's results is submitted through a web application. Notifications on tasks to be completed are sent electronically and results are published to those involved in the process.
"Water Pik considers ProductCenter a 'one stop shop' for our business processes," states Mike Koliha. "Many departments have customized front ends for accessing and viewing attribute information contained on electronic forms in the ProductCenter database. By giving users a tailored view of information that meets their needs, users are able to address and respond to items quickly and move onto other work."
Global Operations & Supplier AccessAfter the initial implementation in Colorado, ProductCenter was expanded to users in the United Kingdom, Canada and China. To help protect Water Pik's intellectual property, access to product information in ProductCenter is securely controlled through permissions. For its operations in China, Water Pik implemented an automated permission-based Workflow for granting specific groups read or write access to selected items in ProductCenter.
Water Pik has also brought its extended enterprise into the process where permissions defined in ProductCenter determine supplier access to Bills of Materials, 3D CAD data and other types of product information. "Providing secure access to users at our global operations and to our suppliers has allowed us to increase our product development efficiency, which translates to savings in terms of time and cost," adds Mike Koliha.
Maintaining Compliance StandardsProductCenter has also been critical for supporting compliance standards such as the Underwriters Laboratories, Canadian Standards Association, RoHS WEEE, FDA and ISO 9001 certification. "All of our business procedures are managed in ProductCenter and are set to expire every two years," explains Mike Koliha. "When each procedure is up for renewal, automatic email notifications triggered by ProductCenter are sent out. Procedures are reviewed and then updated. With ProductCenter all of our procedures are always current and easy to find which make our certification processes, such as ISO 9001, seamless."
The Future"As Water Pik's product development processes have evolved over the years, we have fulfilled our requirements by implementing new processes to meet the challenging business climate that our company competes in. ProductCenter has been able to support our needs and we know this will continue in the future," states Mike Koliha.
- Increased product development efficiency through secure access to product information among global operations located in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and China as well as the extended supply chain
- Improved management of product information for all product lines supporting every major department at Water Pik
- Gained greater control over business procedures for supporting compliance standards such as the Underwriters Laboratories, Canadian Standards Association, RoHS WEEE, FDA and ISO 9001 certification.