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Action Construction Equipment Limited (ACE) is India’s leading material handling and construction equipment manufacturing company, with more than 50 percent market share in the mobile cranes segment. In addition to mobile cranes, ACE also offers mobile/fixed tower cranes, loaders, vibratory rollers, truck mounted cranes, crawler cranes, forklifts, tractors and other construction equipment. ACE has a consolidated presence in all major infrastructure, construction, heavy engineering and industrial projects across India.
Many firms find themselves in a cost-benefit quandary when it comes to assessing the worth of a software maintenance, enhancement and support (ME&S) agreement. Management at Engineering for Action Construction Equipment Ltd. (ACE), India’s leading material handling and construction equipment manufacturing company with more than 50 percent of the market share in the mobile cranes segment, recently faced such a dilemma.
ACE quickly completed its evaluation of ME&S services and came up with some simple and direct insights. “The top benefits are upgrades and new releases,” says Dhiraj Gupta, ACE’s chief general manager. ACE uses Siemens PLM Software’s Solid Edge® software as its product development system of choice throughout the company, including for manufacturing, production, quality, projects and maintenance.
With an ME&S agreement in place, new releases of the software provide users with the latest and most productive tools and technology to improve the company’s product development processes. Every major release includes significant new features and corrections for software issues found in earlier releases. Major releases may also include significant changes in data architecture to take advantage of new technologies.
Gupta sees ME&S as an especially important tool in addressing the company’s daily work: “Instructing both existing and new employees on new features is included in our agreement; data management and software issues are also addressed.”
Point releases, made available as needed between major releases, provide ACE with timely corrections for software bugs. They also deliver enhancements to existing features and even new features, as applicable.
“Calls from ACE engineers are routed to the value-added reseller (VAR). In case of any further help required, the VAR engages Siemens PLM Software technical support engineers, who have the knowledge and skills to understand, investigate and resolve problems quickly.” “We are continually using Global Technical Access Center (GTAC) services,” says Gupta. “Any patch or other issue is addressed easily and quickly. We can share our problems live with them. Free downloads and upgrades are available online.”
The ME&S agreement provides for customer support via web pages that provide instant access to ACE for problem reporting, as well as a symptom/solution database for frequently asked questions (FAQs), tips, techniques, and software error listings. They also enable ACE to track progress on open issues, download and upload files, participate in news groups and access certification information about software and hardware configurations. Web pages also provide e-mail subscription services for support bulletins and other critical technical information, as well as access to a technical newsletter with useful tips and techniques. “The web-based support is very important to keeping our operations running smoothly,” says Gupta.
“We are always updated on the technology front,” adds Gupta. “We know what is happening, what’s new and important worldwide. Any day-to-day issues get resolved quickly. ME&S represents a 24/7 connection to answers and it includes hotline support. That’s important.”
Gupta concludes, “We reap the benefit of product lifecycle management (PLM) applications research done by Siemens PLM Software. Using the latest technology features in Solid Edge has really given plmus a competitive advantage. In fact, as a result of certain point releases, we have literally accelerated our development time cycle and taken our products to market faster. While using the most advanced applications and best practices has already made a notable difference to our success, I’m confident it will continue to do so in the future as well. Siemens PLM Software’s commitment to and delivery of innovation is outstanding. ME&S from Siemens PLM Software simply keeps us at the forefront of this innovation.”