Posts tagged as:

TeamCenter

3d-cad-unbundle-plm-1

Unbundling is an interesting trend in many industries these days. It is relatively new marketing and business activity that helps to create new business offering, packages and product configurations. In many situations “unbundling” is a disruptive factors in many industries. Here is how it explained in Wikipedia article:

Unbundling is a neologism to describe how the ubiquity of mobile devices, Internet connectivity, consumer web technologies, social media and information access[1] in the 21st century are affecting older institutions (education, broadcasting, newspapers, games, shopping, etc.) by “break[ing] up the packages they once offered, providing particular parts of them at ascale and cost unmatchable by the old order.”[2] Unbundling has been called “the great disruptor”.[3] “Unbundling” most basically means simply the “process of breaking apart something into smaller parts.”[4] In the context of mergers and acquisitions, unbundling refers to the “process of taking over a large company with several different lines of business, and then, while retaining the core business, selling off the subsidiaries to help fund the takeover.”[5]

Enterprise software is well known by existing large “bundled” application suites. For long period of time, vendors developed large set of packaged applications. On the other side, customers’ demand was to achieve high level of vertical integration between product lines and product families. Last year, I explored some perspective on the future of unbundling in enterprise software and PLM. One of the drivers behind future “unbundling” is related to interests of customers to get better optimized software environment, focus on specific groups of users and driving faster ROI and fast implementations.

My attention caught my Aras blog post – If all you have is Teamcenter Everything Becomes a 3D CAD Problem. The article speaks exactly about the problem of bundles in engineering software. It discusses different needs of users in an organization. The split Aras introduced by Aras goes between people that need to get on 3D CAD software and rest of organization. Here is the passage, which explains that.

The 3D CAD vendors have created very complex file configuration management problems. Independent of how you manage your enterprise product lifecycle, you have to worry about breaking the configuration integrity of these fragile 3D CAD systems. Given the unique complexity of the 3D CAD problem, do you really expect that a single enterprise tool will be able to manage the entire product information data set and processes? Or is it better to manage CAD with the PDM system provided by the CAD vendor, and use a more suitable enterprise system to manage the majority of the product information and processes? Thousands of end users managing the true majority of product information and use cases have been asked to wait decades while exotic 3D CAD centric PLM systems are deployed to the specification and requirements of the few design engineers. But what is the missed opportunity cost to the business?

I can see Aras’ marketing and business message for “unbundling”. As non-CAD PLM vendor, Aras is looking how to disrupt integrated suites provided by PLM vendors such as Siemens PLM and maybe others. At the same time, for customers looking how to solve a specific set of problems outside of engineering organization, to deliver such unbundled solution can be an interesting and efficient strategy.

There are lot of questions that customers will raise as soon as vendors like Aras will unbundle specific 3D CAD functionality from broader scope of process management. To achieve both vertical integration and granularity in platform and tools is very hard and this is a weak point in Aras strategy compared to integrated PLM suites. Few weeks ago, I debated that topic with Chad Jackson of Lifecycle Insight. Read about debates here – CAD: Engineering bundles vs. granular apps. More of my ideas and thoughts about the same topic is here –  PLM: Tools, Bundles and Platforms.

What is my conclusion? To unbundle complex engineering applications suites as PLM is not easy. Vertical interesting is very important and it will be hard to give up them. Flexibility and agility are on the top priority lists for IT managers when it comes to management of application and resources these days. It looks like an interesting topic to put on the list for PLM vendors and software architects these days. Unbundling was very disruptive in many domains. Will PLM domain can be disrupted by unbundling into platforms and granular apps. Will 3D CAD become the first tool to unbundle from PLM? It is a good question to ask. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

Share

7 comments

bom-process-vs-technology

The importance of Bill of Material in product development and manufacturing hardly can be undervalued. BOM is a cornerstone of almost all processes and activities – from early requirement and design and to manufacturing, services and support. Therefore, efficient BOM management is an absolutely important element of product development processes. PLM vendors are coming with different solutions to manage BOMs. Together with vendors’ solutions, manufacturing companies are developing practices (and sometimes a complete solutions) how to manage Bill of Materials.

I’ve been discussing the idea of “single BOM” for the last few years as a possible way to simplify BOM management. My earlier post – Severn Rules towards Single BOM is almost five years back (2009) raised very interesting debates. All of them are still relevant in my view. I wanted to highlight one very insightful post by Jim Brown here. Jim speaks about different aspects and advantages of single BOM management. As part of this conversation Jim introduced a concept he called – associated BOMs. Here is the passage I specially liked:

Companies have spent a lot of time and effort making logical connections between different BOMs, and developing tools to help develop and synchronize different BOMs. For example, PLM, MPM, and Digital Manufacturing software helps companies translate an engineering BOM into a manufacturing BOM and then further into a BOP. In fact, they have gone further upstream to match conceptual BOMs and requirement structures downstream to BOMs. Maybe you would call these “workarounds” to the real answer of a single BOM. But I would propose a different view based on history and my observations. Perhaps engineers have done what we do best – addressed the problem in the most practical way as opposed to the most elegant way to solve a problem.

I think, Jim’s post is absolutely relevant today. After few years of discussions on this topic, one of my hypothesizes is that companies are not ready for single BOM solution… yet. At the same time, I do believe companies can take realistic steps into single BOM management already today. The variety of ways companies are managing bill of materials can surprise even people with lot of experience in manufacturing and PLM. After many years, I’m always surprised to find “yet another way” to manage bills, configurations and associated manufacturing and production information.

My attention was caught by Teamcenter PLM blog few weeks ago – Bill of Materials concept.  Author, posted a very good summary about different types of BOMs. Together with eBOM, mBOM, sBOM and few others, it outlines the idea of Master BOM as a centerpiece of BOM Management capable to provide “single source of truth” about BOM. The following passage explains the idea:

To overcome this challenge, the concept of Master BOM has come.  Master Bill of Material can be defined as single source of BOM having all aspect of information for various configuration and discipline. Hence Master BOM by definition is single source of truth for all BOM. Industry is still struggling to find the exact solution in term of defining and managing Master BOM. Also it become more complex due to the facts that different BOM types are managed in different systems. PLM vendors including Siemens PLM has come various solution and tools, but still required to show the success and maturity of managing Master BOM as a single source of truth across various BOM lifecycle and discipline.

This post and exchange of comments made me think about potential two challenges in BOM management – technology and process. The way and technology to support and implement the idea of “master BOM” is quite complicated as well as PLM implementation attempts to integrated product data under the umbrella of “single point of truth”. At the same time, the idea of “master” or “single” BOM management faces multiple political challenges including discussions about internal and external company processes. In my view, modern data management technologies (especially coming from web and open source) can introduce some advantages in BOM management. It can be related to scalability of data management solutions as well as improved collaboration features. Would it be enough to overcome process challenges? This is a good question to ask these days.

What is my conclusion? After decades of development in PDM, PLM and ERP, companies are still struggling with BOM management. The topic is quite complicated and introduce many technological and process challenges for companies. Future pressure around competition, customization and cost can bring BOM management challenges back. It will be interesting to see what (technology or processes) improvement will allow to unblock future of BOM management? No specific conclusion. Just thoughts today…

Best, Oleg

Share

2 comments

Let me start today from asking you a question. How do you run your company? Regardless on size, scale and nature, the answer is simple in my view – processes and projects. It won’t surprise you if I say sometimes projects go out of schedule, and processes are stuck. Every company requires a solution to manage processes and projects these days. Do you think you can solve these problems by emails and spreadsheets? The project or process management solution are needed. I was reading Steve Bedder post – Is that a bottleneck in my process? Steve brings an example of how process and project management capabilities are integrated in PLM 360 – new cloud PLM product from Autodesk. Here is an interesting passage:

The Project Management app provides you with a live view of where all the individual tasks\items within the project are up to, as they are moved along their process by the people managing that part of the project, the top level project automatically updates accordingly. You can also quickly and easily link through to view any of the data that is being tracked and managed within each of the project tasks (assuming you have the permissions to do so).

The key aspect in this functionality to me is the ability to integrate process and project tasks with relevant “data”. FPLM project management integration tradeoffs. There are many independent process and project tools that can be used in the company. How important to have integrated project and processes tools?

Frankly, Autodesk PLM 360 is not a unique tool introduces integrated project and processes with PDM/PLM. Almost all major PLM providers have “project management” module – TeamCenter Project Portfolio Management, Enovia Program Central, Windchill Project link, Aras Program Management.

At the same time, I can see many innovative and independent tools primarily focusing on project, process and task management – starting from traditional well known Microsoft Project and going to cloud-based Basecamp, Zoho, Clarizen and many others. While project management is not a new discipline, I can see many companies are trying to come with interesting user experience, available on many devices working in a different way. One of my favorites for the last time was do.com claiming so-called “social project management”

What is my conclusion? Integrated vs. best in class. The dilemma isn’t new. I have an integrated GPS in my car. At the same I found myself many times using my iPhone to find a place and then enter the address into GPS system. To get right information to drive project management tool is an important function. At the same time, interaction with people usability and experience will matter as well. The car with Google’s maps in dash is probably a right solution. Integrated best-in-class class solutions – sounds like a good idea :) . Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

Share

1 comment

From PDM to PLM: Unify or Integrate?

October 31, 2011

Earlier, this year, I post a blog called – Integrated PDM and PLM: Wrong Question? In the beginning, this blog post was inspired by Jonathan Scott’s presentation on SolidWorks World 2011. Aras EPLM announcement last week, made me think a bit more about PDM / PLM trends. The idea of integrating PDM with PLM isn’t […]

Share
Read the full article →

PDM in 2010s: Commodity or Competitive Advantage?

September 5, 2011

Product Data Management is not a new term. The first appearance of PDM software goes back in early 1990s (I believe veterans of the industry will come with some even earlier examples). Nevertheless, 20+ years should be enough to put all dots on “i” in PDM applications, systems, etc. I was thinking almost the same. […]

Share
Read the full article →

PLM and New Openness

July 21, 2011

The topic of openness in PLM software isn’t new. In the past decade, I’ve been hearing lots of good and bad things about PLM and openness. Last year, I shared my thoughts with regards to PLM and openness in my post - Closed Thoughts About PLM Openness. Few days ago, I had a chance to read […]

Share
Read the full article →

PLM and SharePoint Scalability

March 14, 2011

Since Microsoft first released MOSS 2007, I can see an increased amount of manufacturing companies are investigating a potential move to SharePoint. Microsoft used brilliant freemium strategy and decided to give away a basic version of SharePoint (WSS – Windows SharePoint Services) bundled to Windows Server license. It created a significant flow of SharePoint viral […]

Share
Read the full article →

PLM Platforms and PLM Automotive Future

March 7, 2011

A couple of weeks ago, I posted PLM Platform Wars: Who is Right or Who is Left? The following short article in Dasssault 3D Perspective struck me to think more about the future PLM technologies and innovation. Watch the video and make your opinion. Kate is asking: “Can the automotive industry build cars of the […]

Share
Read the full article →

CAD, PLM and Pragmatic Cloud: Do Less

December 15, 2010

The conversations about future CAD and PLM solutions is not a new thing these days. I decided to re-read some of my previous writing about cloud and find it interesting in today’s context: Where is PLM shortcut to the cloud? You can read one more blog post – Putting your design on the cloud. Earlier […]

Share
Read the full article →

iPad: PLM and non-PLM User Experience

July 16, 2010

I think, we are going to see more iPad applications in coming year. Will PLM and other enterprise software vendors adopt new Apple tablet? This is a very good question. On the surface, I can see multiple trials to introduce various iPad applications. Below you can see few examples of iPad application from PLM (Siemens PLM), […]

Share
Read the full article →