PLM Implementation Options

PLM Implementation Options

Lot of things is already written about PLM implementations. In my view, PLM implementations are still holding the top complexity rank among all other enterprise software business services. There are many reasons for that. The first and most obvious – the topic is complex drives diversity of opinion, ways to implement and conditional factors. You should have enough PLM, engineering and manufacturing knowledge to orchestrate planning and execution of PLM implementation process. PLM companies and service providers are building variety of approaches, methodologies, best practices, strategies… you name it, to make PLM implementation successful. Still, the topic is complex.

Few recent meetings with industrial companies made me think how to come with a simple explanation of PLM implementation practices to help manufacturing companies to make their fundamental PLM implementation decisions.

I’m sure you’r familiar with good, cheap, fast choice. I’ve made an attempt to explain PLM implementation business using this diagram. Take a look on a picture below. It requires some explanation, so bear with me some time.

1- Cheap and Fast  (Out-of-the-box PLM)

What can be done in such way? In my view, the only one that does fit this option is out-of-the-box PLM implementations. Usually build around some template and predefined license and packaging, it gives to the vendor to run the show mostly in the way they want. To make it easier for customer, out-of-the-box implementations usually packaged with the industry flavors and sold using business transformation and industry best practices mantra.

2- Cheap and Good (PLM Love)

There are several ways to do so. One of them is to use company internal resources. In such case, you can be in control of your spending, but the time will go out of control. It will be slow. One more option is to get discounted services from PLM vendor because you buy PLM licenses. There are few more possible options. However, for all these options, you need to have somebody who is passionate about PLM implementation and PLM business. Otherwise, it won’t fly.

3- Fast and Good. (PLM Money)

It is an expensive option. It means to bring the best people to get a job done. This is a place where PLM implementation and service companies are making good PLM money. But to get these people engaged will take time and sometimes will be impossible to achieve.

What is my conclusion? There is no right and wrong way. Each of these approaches can bring a result. Based on your own situation, you will believe that one of them will be preferred. However, you need to be afraid to navigate towards the center of this circles. An intersection of cheap, good and fast is a dream. You should be careful not get there. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

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 can be unintentionally biased.

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  • Lee Perrin

    Finding the right balance is difficult. Technical process experts will tend to want to use the opportunity to get their functionality right. Program managers will want the implementation to go quickly and efficiently. It must be up to leadership to constrain both interest groups from their natural extremes to achieve optimization. A cultural assessment of the organization performing the implementation must be performed in order to understand the greatest organizational need. Just the VW PLM tool? Or is the Cadillac absolutely necessary. Often the Chevy will be the right answer…

  • beyondplm

    Lee, thanks for sharing your thoughts… Yes, Chevy can be good. So, what are “Chevy PLM”? Is it Excel spreadsheet on average? home grown database? PDM+ system? Out of the box version of PLM tool such as Windchill, Teamcenter, Enovia?

  • Lee Perrin

    I would call a ‘Chevy” an OOB PLM solution with shall we say minimal customization and upgrades. The Cadillac would be full of upgrades to every major piece of functionality, whereas the VW would be OOB at most, possibly complimented with in house home grown tools.

  • beyondplm

    Nice comparison. What PLM vendor is the most like “Chevy” from your definition?

  • Lee Perrin

    I could not narrow it down to any one tool.

  • beyondplm

    then what are 3 tools? Can you do so?

  • Nice diagram Oleg. Simple and self explaining.

  • beyondplm

    Massimo, thank you!