PLM can do everything. IoT is PLM, Digital Thread is PLM. The unfortunate behavior of sales people is to over-promise what Product Lifecycle Management software can do. So, it was very refreshing to see Tech-Clarity article Does Quality Management belong to PLM. Ebook and report are sponsored by Arena Solution. The research provides an interesting perspective on the intersection between two disciplines – PLM and QMS.
My favorite passage though is related to data duplication
PLM and QMS are both valuable solutions, but together can result in significant data and process duplication. The most practical way for most companies to get a single, rationalized quality management and PLM solution is to leverage PLM to support quality along with product innovation, product development, and engineering processes.
PLM is ideally suited to manage quality because it’s a collaborative system, spans the enterprise, and is built to connect the supply chain. Some leading PLM vendors have extended PLM to manage quality processes and put quality and product data into a unified, connected product record. This makes it easy to find information, develop insights using BI, and meet product documentation needs such as DMR and DHF.
The core element of duplication is Bill of Materials or product structure (depends what language you prefer) is absolutely needed to establish core elements of the both PLM and QMS. My hunch QMS use cases can provide a value on top of product data records (BOM), which can make PLM system more valuable for organization. While many traditional PLM systems are coming to organization as an extension to CAD management discipline, QMS doesn’t require tight connection to CAD, which can provide a unique fit for PLM systems with lack or insufficient CAD integration capabilities.
Historically SaaS PLM products were build without tight connection to CAD system. Because of web (browser) nature, these systems didn’t integrated well with desktop CAD systems. The situation is improving these days, but it still holds true for existing SaaS PLM systems. So, it made me think that QMS is an interesting opportunity for these vendors to provide an additional value for manufacturing companies.
What is my conclusion? The adoption speed is one of the biggest problems of enterprise software. While Quality is one of the top priorities for every manufacturing company to sell QMS solution can be a low hanging fruit for companies seeking to introduce their products and technologies to manufacturing companies. So, SaaS PLM vendors can come with QMS solution to break the ice of cloud PLM adoption. Typical SaaS PLM offering contains elements of BOM and change management. QMS can become a 3rd leg into cloud PLM portfolio. Just my thoughts…
Want to learn more about PLM? Check out my new PLM Book website.
Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of openBoM developing cloud based bill of materials and inventory management tool for manufacturing companies, hardware startups and supply chain. My opinion about BOM can be unintentionally biased.
Image credit Tech-Clarity.