Among the challenges consumer goods companies face, the pace of innovation is one of the most crucial to their survival. For global organizations, innovation takes on different forms depending on consumer preferences due to cultural differences. “Consumers consume differently so what we offer are tableware that satisfy the tastes, preferences and customs of each country,” said Jérôme Perrod, senior vice president Industry, R&D and Purchasing until December 31, 2013 at Arc International. Catering to the needs and desires of different consumers is one of the reasons Arc International has established local sales and manufacturing organizations in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. “Many countries have developed a taste for tableware “à la Française” but with an identity of their own. Our presence there enables us to adapt our offering to local tastes and customs, and to improve our time to market because we are physically nearby,” he said.
“Take water, for example,” Perrod explained. “The Chinese drink water in their tea whereas Europeans in sodas or sweet drinks. The teacup is an important part of Chinese culture whereas in western cultures the water glass is simply a commodity, something to contain, well, just water. However, change the liquid to wine and the glass takes on a whole new meaning. Bordeaux or Burgundy wineglasses differ, their shapes intricately linked to the way a wine should oxygenate. The glass is not just something to drink from; it becomes an important part of the wine tasting experience. We need to translate this into products that enhance this experience.”
The economic crisis has not spared the tableware market. Spending power has shifted to emerging countries and an important business objective for Arc International is to tap into the tremendous growth opportunities in these markets. “There is a new middle class with more buying power. Investing in these countries is a unique opportunity to deepen our understanding of these markets and to deliver quality products that respond to the needs of these new consumers,” Perrod said.
While there are new opportunities in emerging countries, there are also new competitors. “We have seen in the last decade new competition from China or Eastern Europe challenging us in markets where we previously enjoyed unrivalled leadership. Their weapons? Technology and price. To fight back and to continue our sustained growth in the world, we must invest in even better technology and on innovation to retain our leading edge,” Perrod said.
In addition to its local production sites and sales organizations around the world, Arc International is also investing in its global design capabilities. “One of our strategic objectives is to create local design offices in various countries to better respond to local preferences,” Perrod added. “We also want designers to be able to exchange ideas and collaborate more during the design process because tapping into the creative potential of every designer leads to more innovative products. This is possible, however, if we first harmonize our tools and processes. Some sites were using Dassault Systèmes’ (3DS) design application CATIA for product development but not all.
With 3DEXPERIENCE we can connect talents and provide people with the means to express their creativity and to bring these ideas to market faster. Collective innovation; this is how we stay ahead.
So we decided to adopt the 3DEXPERIENCE platform for our entire organization and to equip everyone with My Design for 3D design and My Product Management for collaboration and data management.”
Arc International worked with Keonys, Dassault Systèmes’ partner, on the implementation and integration of this industry solution experience at Arc International. “Keonys provided its expertise from the very beginning to analyze our needs and to identify the right solution for our company,” Perrod explained. “Once our decision was made, Keonys assisted our engineers to deploy My Product Portfolio worldwide. This process is at its early stages but we are already seeing some tangible benefits. We have shortened development times because data is no longer copied and sent back and forth between designers with no guarantee that the version they are working on is the right one. They have access to the most recent designs from wherever they are. This will provide them with the opportunity to make modifications in real time. Moreover, 3D is a universally spoken and understood language. More intuitive, real, and visual, it accelerates decision-making.”
Arc International implemented the My Production to simulate machining with its 2 – 5 axis CNC machines for mold and tooling production. “We pay particular attention to the quality of the mold because it directly affects the quality of the final product. We virtually simulate the production of our molds with My Production to pre-visualize and verify the entire machining process. This helps us detect any imperfections before physical manufacture, which reduces material waste, cycle times and costs and enables us to deliver products to market faster.”
Based on these initial positive results Arc International is maintaining the momentum of implementing the 3DEXPERIENCE platform throughout its global organization to expand multi-site design collaboration even further. “In a world where trends emerge in the blink of an eye, we must respond with initiative and innovative thinking and do so before our competitors,” Perrod said. “With 3DEXPERIENCE, we can connect talents and provide people with the means to express their creativity and to bring these ideas to market faster. Collective innovation; this is how we stay ahead.”
Leading French manufacturer of glass and tableware in the world
Products: Tableware under the brands Luminarc® , Arcoroc® , Cristal d’Arques Paris® , Chef & Sommelier®
Revenue: €901 million
Employees: 10 520
For more information www.arc-intl.com
Keonys is a key player providing consulting and integration of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions. For over 20 years, Keonys helps industrial customers, of all sizes and in all sectors, to innovate in order to optimize and accelerate the development of new products and services.
For more information www.keonys.com