The Lee Company Innovates in Miniature With IBM Product Lifecycle Management

Small Business Uses SMARTEAM to Reduce Cycle Times and Improve Quality

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WESTBROOK, CT & ALPHARETTA, GA - 07 Jul 2004: Axiom Systems, Inc., an IBM Business Partner, today announced that The Lee Company, a pioneer in the development of miniature precision fluid control components, has implemented Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) from IBM to streamline the product development process between engineering, manufacturing, sales and quality assurance departments.

Founded in 1948, The Lee Company is a small business with big aspirations. Looking to replace its aging technical document management tool with a more robust PLM environment, The Lee Company looked at several applications, but chose SMARTEAM from IBM for its seamless integration with multiple computer aided design tools and Microsoft® Office, ease of implementation and out-of-the-box workflow management. The implementation was completed in less than four weeks with installation, configuration and training services provided by Axiom Systems.

"Using SMARTEAM's workflow capabilities, our goal is to replace processes handled through inter-office memos and e-mails with SMARTEAM-based processes that ensure proper audit trails and provide better status on the progress of various projects," said Serge Doyen, vice president, Industrial Micro Hydraulics division, The Lee Company. "This has enabled us to automate more documentation processes and include more people in the approval cycle for a lower cost."

Today, over 30 engineers, sales and marketing employees have access to the SMARTEAM environment, which facilitates more collaboration and discussion on product design to meet customer requirements. In addition, the use of SMARTEAM's Web Editor product has been implemented on the manufacturing floor to provide searchable access to the latest design data, including inspection reports, to the shop floor staff. The sharing of this data has already reduced errors and has helped to streamline their problem-reporting process, resulting in time savings.

"One of the great benefits of the SMARTEAM solution is that it's possible to implement a robust solution so quickly," said Chuck Stickels, Vice President of Enterprise Solutions for Axiom Systems. "Working with The Lee Company's team, we were able to configure SMARTEAM to meet their needs with very little effort."

Future capabilities to be deployed include SMARTEAM Gateway to seamlessly link ERP with engineering and BOM management as well as configuration control. Synchronizing the two systems will ensure consistent information and eliminate errors. These will allow The Lee Company to greater leverage its engineering intellectual capital and increase its responsiveness to customer demands.

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