Top 10 Reasons You Should Attend Our European STARS PCM Conference

Rick Burke June 9, 2016

There are probably about 20 or 30 good reasons why you should attend the 3rd Annual European STARS Product Cost Management Conference, but you’d probably get bored reading them all and click over to to buy some new shoes, so I cut the list down to 10.  Enjoy!

1. Kids Table vs. the Adults Table

When you were younger, you always wanted to sit at the Adult’s table.  You know that’s the truth.  Now that you are working for a living, you want to move up the ladder, become a manager, a director, a vice president, heck – might as well aim for the STARS and go for the CEO office.

The surest way to become noticed in your company (besides inventing the next great electronic gadget), is to help your company improve profitability.  The aPriori STARS Conference can help you achieve that goal.

STARS stands for Strategic Teamwork Accelerates Results.  We want to help accelerate you up the ladder to sit at the Adults Table.  Register for the aPriori STARS Conference now and you’ll be eating lunch with the board members before you know it.

EMEA STARS 2015 Networking
The aPriori STARS Conference is a great networking opportunity.

2. Life in the Fast Lane

I don’t know about you, but I am juggling so many jobs right now, I can barely remember my kids names.  Your boss is asking you to design new products, improve quality, accelerate time to market – all at the same time.  Now somebody is asking you to make sure you hit a target cost at the same time – trust me, if they haven’t asked you yet, they will!

So…  if you are going to have to keep moving in the fast lane, you might as well be in a fast car.  aPriori is the Aston Martin of product cost management systems.  If you do research on the evolution of this software market, you’ll find out that most products on the market are what we call Ford Model T’s – I mean manual cost estimating systems.  But they move about as fast as a Model T.  You have to input one variable after another.

Attend the aPriori STARS Conference and learn how Automated Product Cost Estimation Technology can turbo charge your cost estimations, and get you to the finish line faster than you could ever image.  We have workshops designed for Designers, Engineers, Sourcing & Procurement specialists, Cost Engineers, Manufacturing Engineers and we’ll even find something interesting for the IT guys to mess around with.

3. Be a Hero, Get Rich

Survey question:  If you find €1 Million of savings on the company’s new product design that is going to take the market by storm, do you think that will get you noticed, maybe get you a nice fat bonus, special parking spot at the company lot, or an invitation to spend the weekend on the CEOs yacht?  Okay, maybe not that far, but businesses are all about profitability.

We have people just like you discovering millions of dollars of savings on individual projects, and making major contributions to their company’s profitability.  If a promotion is available, and it’s you against the guy that saved a couple million euros on the last project, who do you think gets the corner office? Learn how to discover cost drivers in the earliest phases of product design. Be a hero. Get rich.

4. Roll with the Big Dogs

You can stay in your office and surf around on the Internet if you want, but if you want to kick-start your career, come spend time networking with some of the “big dogs” in the world of product manufacturing and product cost management who have already signed up for our European STARS PCM Conference, including: General Electric, Caterpillar, Alstom Transportation, ThyssenKrupp, Tetra Pak, Cargotec, Danfoss, and many more.

5. Money, It’s a Gas

For any of you Pink Floyd fans out there, you’ll recognize this line immediately.  “Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash.  New car, caviar, four-star daydream, think I’ll buy me a football team.”  And that, my readers, that’s what aPriori is all about:  finding cash.

I’ve worked at aPriori for almost 9 years.  I’m absolutely amazed at how many world class manufacturers are designing great products, but are leaving money on the table.  There are literally thousands and thousands of products going to market every year that are not cost-optimized because the folks on the design, engineering and sourcing teams do not have an easy to use tool to help them attack cost at the point of origin.

We have nothing against cost engineers.  We love cost engineers.  The only problem is they are wildly overworked and can’t possibly do it all on their own.  Attend the European STARS Conference to learn how you can discover hidden money that will improve your company’s profitability.  And it probably won’t hurt you personally in the long run either.  Who knows, someday you could be calling the shots for Bayern Munich!

6. Great Food, Gambling, Live Music

Okay, it’s not on par with all the amazing reasons above, but what’s wrong with having a little fun.  The aPriori STARS Conference has always gone by the motto “Work hard, play hard”.

Every year we have a big party to celebrate all of the great accomplishments of our dedicated customers, and it’s usually something pretty crazy.  This year, we rented a huge villa in Stuttgart and we’re bringing in Black Jack, Roulette and Poker tables.

If the weather cooperates, we’ll have a huge outdoor barbeque, and we’ll even throw in a live band just to cap the entire night off with some good sounds.  Don’t miss this party – it’s the premier networking event of the conference.

7. Shhh…  It’s a Secret

Okay, I’m not supposed to tell you this, but we have some absolutely earth-shattering news that we plan on releasing at the STARS Conference in Stuttgart.  Alright, maybe it’s not earth-shattering, but to us and our customers, it’s a pretty big deal.  aPriori has historically been known for costing mechanical products.  However, as we all know, more and more products are including more and more electrical content.

About a year ago, aPriori released an amazing new cost model for calculating the manufacturing cost of a wire harness.  This is not an easy task, and we have been able to save customers hundreds and hundreds of hours running through tedious manual cost calculations by implementing an entirely automated costing solution.

The next chapter in our march towards costing a broader and broader spectrum of electrical/electronic components is a printed circuit board assembly costing solution.  Join us in Stuttgart to learn more about this exciting new application.

8. Thunderstruck

Okay, so it’s apparent by now that I like music analogies.  I’m a big AC/DC fan, and trust me when I tell you, that you will be Thunderstruck by the venue we have chosen for this event.

I visited the ICS Messe Stuttgart last July, and it really is a thing of beauty.  In classic German style, the building is ultra-contemporary.  It’s made of all glass and steel and it looks like a whole fleet of ships, sailing across countryside.  All the conference rooms have view of the outside courtyard, so you won’t feel locked in some dingy conference room all day.

I’m a firm believer that an inspirational atmosphere stimulates the production of great ideas, great learning, and great conversation.  So… not only is the conference center fabulous, but we couldn’t possibly have made the logistics any easier.  The Stuttgart Airport is adjacent to the conference hotel (the Movenpick), which is adjacent to the ICS Conference Center. Arrive by plane, train or automobile, and everything is within easy walking distance.

Not ready to register yet?  Okay, I’ve saved the two best reasons for last.

9. Movers & Shakers

One of the things I enjoy when I attend a conference is a comedian.  I love to laugh, and having somebody start the conference with a few good jokes always puts me in a good mood.  Well sorry, we don’t have that.  What we do have are two serious heavyweights that know manufacturing and know software solutions for manufacturing operations in a big way.

After getting rave reviews at our North American STARS conference back in February, we’ve invited Ms. Carla Bailo to join us in Stuttgart to deliver the same presentation she gave in Phoenix. Carla has some serious credentials in the automotive industry.  Today, she is doing advanced Mobility Research & Business Development at The Ohio State University.  Up until 2014, Carla was one of the most senior executives in the R&D group at Nissan Americas.  We’ve asked her to talk about the state of the industry in the automotive & transportation world today, and how with the accelerated pace of development, companies absolutely MUST pay more attention to evaluating cost at the earliest stages of product design when critical decisions are being made.

Our other other keynote speaker is Stan Przybylinski, VP of Research at industry analyst firm CIMdata, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan in the USA.  Stan has been involved in the world of manufacturing for 30+ years.  He’s worked on both sides of the fence, for manufacturers and software vendors.  Now as an analyst, we’ve asked Stan to share his insight on how Simulation-Driven Product Optimization is moving closer and closer to the beginning of the product lifecycle, and how companies that fail to aggressively pursue this approach will simply be left behind.  Attend the STARS Conference and gain the benefit of Carla’s and Stan’s wealth of experience.

10. Don’t Listen to Us

If you’ve read this far and you haven’t registered yet, check your pulse; you may be dead.  Seriously, if you have any interest in product profitability, product cost management, improving negotiations with suppliers so you don’t get overcharged, there is literally no other forum in the world today that delivers as high a quality event as this.

That’s just my opinion.  And my opinion really isn’t worth a hill of beans.  BUT, the opinion of the folks at General Electric, Danfoss and FEI is definitely worth a hill of beans.  Maybe even an entire mountain of beans.  These are a few of the companies that are scheduled to deliver information packed case studies about how they began their Journey to Profitability.  Since choosing aPriori as their strategic partner, they have observed a marked improvement in the way they manage product cost throughout the entire product design, sourcing and manufacturing process.

Come on!  Join us in Stuttgart, you’ll learn a ton about an important topic that can benefit you personally in your career growth as well as benefit your company, and like I said, we’ll have some fun while we are doing it.

I hope I see you all there.


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