Develop A Successful PLM Elevator Pitch?

How many times you’ve been in the situation when you need to explain what PLM is doing to the people who are not familiar with the magic TLA – PLM ? I assume it happened to you many times… It could be your technological fellows, potential partners, customers… or maybe even your wife is asking about what are you doing on your job after 7pm :). Whatever reason it happened, have you tried to develop 2 minutes PLM pitch about what is your company best PLM products are doing?

So, this is my 1 min elevator, conference, friends pitch: PLM is about helping engineers and everybody in the company to develop (better) products. It includes products to plan, design, engineer, manufacture as well as collaborate between all participants including your customers.

Then, I tried to find some of the existing pitches on the web:

PTC is all about helping discrete manufacturers succeed by meeting their globalization, time-to-market, and operational efficiency objectives in product development.

(Siemens) PLM is the platform for turning more ideas into successful products because only PLM can provide the application depth and breadth needed to digitally author, validate and manage the detailed product and process data necessary to support continuous innovation.

(DS) company’s software and services allow businesses of any size in any industry around the globe to digitally define and simulate products, as well as the processes and resources required to manufacture, maintain, and recycle them while sustaining our environment.

Arena Solutions enables small and mid-size manufacturers to deliver quality products to market on time and on budget. Arena provides a collaborative environment for centralizing, controlling and analyzing complex and constantly changing product information, including bills of materials (BOMs), part specifications and change orders.

I think, PLM was born years ago as a software to support highly complicated product development of big aerospace, automotive and defense programs. It seems like not true anymore, but it is hard to change your past and your roots. With today’s strong trend for simplification, what do you think about how PLM can explain what is doing and present a value for customer?

Just my thoughts. I’m looking to your comments and ideas.
Best, Oleg


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  • Nice try Oleg, reading this lines I ask myself (as a mid-market company): I am already doing my best thing and you want to improve this ? How ? What does it mean ? etc

    From the elevator pitch you might think that CAR manufacturers create a green planetif you hear some of their message

    I told my wife I am an bussines tour guide. Assisting companies to take the right path through the PLM jungle, equiped with the right tools and still enjoying 😉

  • Jos, thanks for your comment! As a company, I can ask you, why you are taking me to the jungle? Maybe, I can try to find an alternative route? Just an opinion… Best, Oleg

  • AndyF

    Oleg, some of those pitches from the PLM companies would make me an instant winner at buzzword bingo! I can’t even understand what the heck they are trying to say. Sounds like the pigs talking in Animal House. (Orwell’s version not Belushi’s)

    When someone asks me what I’m working on I tell them that I’m building tools that deliver information to decision makers. That is the whole idea behind PLM and I don’t need a bunch of 50 dollar words to describe it.

  • Andy, thanks! I like your definition. However, I have to say that this is only subset of what PLM is doing. Important part, btw… Best, Oleg.

  • Jos, Reading again your comment I decided to put “better” in the “interesting state” like that – (better).

  • Oleg,

    As a former DS employee (IBM PLM, PTC and SW too!), I still think those elevator pitches are foggy and not stressing the value to the customer (user) enough and clearly. All those brilliant brains to hatch such egnimatic description of their missions! How about running a survey among customers (medium and large companies)now they are familiar or mature with PLM, to provide their thoughts to contribute to editors’ production of simple and understandable definition of PLM (even formulated in different ways depending on editors’ possibilities and own culture)?

  • Sorry Oleg,I forgot to say that you had a nice try but needs to be more specific and differentiating from one company to another

  • yml

    This is an an interesting challenge, how to describe to the common of mortal what is PLM. It is particularly interesting to note that the definition given by the major players is not the same and does not tell much too the imagination of a potential user that would like to understand which kind of beast he will face in its day to day work.

    PLM is a software that manages the digital information generated during the life cycle of the a Product. It also supports the communication and the decision process on the product during all its stages : idea, development, production and service disposal.

  • Martijn Dullaart

    Hi Oleg,

    You mention all this: “to plan, design, engineer, manufacture”. If you start listing don’t forget “service”, because for a lot of companies the service department is/can be profitable.

    I also think you need maybe several elevator pitches depending on the situation. What if the question would be like how can your PLM products make my company more profitable? In that case your PLM pitch is not well suited.

  • Patrik, thank you for comment! The biggest problem that I see in PLM industry space is low differentiation. This is was my point when looking on existing statements. To the develop unique differentiators in business and technology is what I see as a challenge and at the same time as an opportunity for new and existing vendors today. Best, Oleg

  • Yml, You made an interesting observation. Major players have very common and close value definition. I’d figure out small difference in DS value. On the other side, you can see small players, like Arena, moving out of PLM slogans. Thank you for your comment! Best, Oleg

  • Martijn, you are right. Support is part of digital lifecycle change and, of course, need to be in. Pitch also can be different for different people – managers, technologist etc… Best, Oleg