PLM+ERP: Outside of Equations?

PLM+ERP: Outside of Equations?

I’ve been watching a recorded webinar with a fascinating name: PLM+ERP = Manufacturing Success. The tweet about this webinar caught my attention. Navigate your browser to the following link to get an access to the recording. You need to register. I registered my blog as a media company. In addition, I failed to run webinar videoe in both Safari and Chrome on my MacBook. FireFox was okay. Later, I’ve seen that video streaming is using SilverLight plug-ins, which made me think about Silverlight portability and future Microsoft strategy with HTML5.

PTC+Microsoft: Webinar

This webinar is organized by PTC and Microsoft and help of IBIS, Microsoft partner. You will have an intensive and deep set of information about what PTC, Microsoft Dynamics and IBIS. There is a mix of sale, marketing and user. The most valuable, in my view, is the last part where you can see a demo of scenario with involvement of both systems – Windchill and AX. I put few slides below that did catch my attention.


I remember this formula for the last 10 years. The combination of PLM and ERP systems working together was a permanent challenge for mid-size and bigger companies that were thinking about how to streamline processes in the organization. If you will follow slides and webinar video, you will see all logical steps by organizing processes and data flow between PLM and ERP systems. The complication of organizing the process is high. It would be interesting to understand the effort needed to organize such integration. This is a key question, in my view.

Wrong Equation?

The webinar and demo made me think about how to streamline processes in the organization. The traditional and very often used way to solve the PLM+ERP equation is to make data flow between systems. It requires a significant amount of work in organizing these processes. Hard-wiring of data, connecting events, sending messages, screening exchange logs. Systems are working according to its own rules. Push/Pull of data is complicated. The overall system is very sensitive to changes and requires baby-sitting. The system can function. However, significant resources need to be spent to keep it up-and-running.

What is my conclusion? One of the fundamental principles behind PLM+ERP equation is an event driven process push. Many manufacturing companies and software vendors got into this for the last 10-15 years. It was an obvious way to solve PLM+ERP equation.  It makes systems dependent and costly to manage. One of the fundamental ideas that may improve it is to get out of this equation. The name of the idea is “Pull”. Pull can make systems independent and much easy managed. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


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  • Hi Oleg,

    I like this topic because i see it as something we can’t technologically provide a nice solution yet. As i already presented in a graphic, PLM and ERP can be supplied with the same dataset. The difference might be in each process definition. Making a purchase is not the same process as defining a purchase stategy based on an electronic component obscolescence analysis but some dataset has to be managed by both. Not necessarilly the same exact item in the dataset, but you might affect the same table. That’s why I don’t really like the first slide they show. It seems that things are separated and you have to send everything to a tiny tube from PLM and wish you get everything clearly on the ERP side and then in the other way. The slide could have been ok without this tree graphic!

    I’ve just made an article about the fact that my blog will alternate English & french instead of just French, I think PLM+ERP will be on the list for the english article!



  • AlanPatrik

    Oleg, can you please describe with more details the diferences, when looking the (PLM + ERP) equation, between “Push” and “Pull”, as you mentioned?

  • beyondplm

    Yoann, I’m with you completely on this topic. The industry is struggling with PLM+ERP topic for the last decade without any progress. I will follow up your blog. Best, Oleg

  • beyondplm

    Alan, the “push” is clear. Every time you want to “transfer data” or “initiate an event” you do it. The “push” can be triggered by a person or an event in the system. However, in my view, the future “data relationships” need to be different. The focus needs to be switched into the ability to “pull information”. When information becomes available, you can do lots of different things… I recommend you take a look on the following link – Best, Oleg

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