The Sink Hole of PLM Implementations?

unplanned-cost-roiThinking more about PLM implementation during last few days, I’d like to come and discuss few aspects of PLM implementation cost. Everything looks nice in the beginning of the PLM journey. Single point of truth, collaborative environment, business processes, support of the multiple integrated design environment. The sharp pencil of PLM strategy shows impressive ROI from PLM implementation. The question I want to come with is to analyze what is the potential source of unplanned PLM cost.

I see three core sources of unplanned PLM costs. Let’s talk about them in details.

1. Integration Cost in a diverse enterprise environment. It’s almost impossible to bring PLM solution in empty space. Normally, PLM comes to the organization already having some design and manufacturing environment.In some cases PLM strategy created for companies and organization having acquisition history and previous CAD/PDM/PLM/ERP implementations. PLM is naturally positioned as a mediator in business processes between existing design, manufacturing, supply chain, marketing and sales environments. Because of that integration of PLM into this environment is absolutely a requirement, but at the same time very underestimated by vendors and service providers. Addition unplanned cost came as a result of longer integration processes or unplanned works that need to be done to acquire data or integration functions.

2. Support of new PLM environments and versions. PLM implementation is spanning on a significant time frame. When working with multiple CAD/PDM/PLM software, coming from different vendors the new version can come with overlap to the PLM implementation or very soon after implementation release. To support new and updated software can be a second important source of waste and unplanned maintenance cost of PLM.

3. Implementation Change Cost. Business becomes very dynamic these days. “Build to change”- this is how modern business systems need to be created, in my view. Unfortunately, I don’t see many of today’s PLM software packages answer these needs. Adjustments and changes in PLM implementation are a third big danger for additional PLM implementation cost.So, far these are my top 3 sources of unplanned PLM cost? How do you see it? Have you had chance to experience something similar in your PLM projects?

Best, Oleg


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