PLM Think Tank – April Top 5

PLM Think Tank – April Top 5

What do you think is the most hard thing in everything we do? This month for me was overloaded by conferences. It started from COFES 2011 in sunny Scottsdale, AZ and ended in rainy Detroit, MI. However, the one thing was common between these two events – an extremely energetic community discussing various topics related to engineering, manufacturing and Product Lifecycle Management. My blog posts this month were influenced significantly by everything I was listening and discussing with people. Nevertheless, I’d like to mention one statement – “redesign is not so much having a new idea as stopping having an old idea”. When I’m thinking about what will be the next 10 years of engineering and manufacturing software, I give my vote to people and companies that thinking differently. This is the most complicated thing. Just my opinion, of course. Now, let’s move to my traditional PLM think tank “top 5”.

Post COFES, Dropbox and PLM Made Simple

This post started from a very simple tweet – “Drop box is a model for PLM in the future…”. Yes, people are looking for simple tools. This is what made DropBox successful. PLM is complex. PLM companies have similar functionality in their hands today. However, the simplicity wins. Security is another question. This is a matter of trust. Do you trust Google? DropBox? Dassault? PTC? Use the cloud you trust…

PDM. Pre-configured? Painless?

Another post about simplicity and thinking differently. Engineers normally dislike PDM functions. They are trying to avoid it as much as possible. Therefore, PDM systems are not as popular when it comes to implementations. It requires time, cost and affect CAD functionality. However, the industry perception is that you need to have PDM to control your data. CAD vendors are trying to embed PDM functions into CAD packages and improve vertical integration between CAD and PDM packages. Can it be completely pre-configured and painless? I’m not sure. I think, the best thing engineers can think about is the “invisible PDM”.

PLM and Comprehensive Search

Search is an important infrastructure. The demand for search in manufacturing is growing. After ten years, people finally got Google. So, they expect the same from enterprise software. To be competitive, software vendors in this space such as PLM, CAD and others are trying to bring new technology to solve old problems. This is a good sign, in my view. However, one of the biggest problems in PLM and enterprise software is the complexity of solutions. This is quite important. I think, effective search solution can make software simpler. What is your take?

Moving from PLM to PLMSocial?

“Social” is trending. Do you think we are moving from PLM to PLS(Social)? I think, it is important to differentiate “technology” and “technological buzz”. Social has a power. People like to watch their friends’ pictures on Facebook and thinking about new Color startup supposing to change the way how people sharing photos in small communities. Do you think, the same technology will change the way people work with CAD drawing and Bill of Materials? The adoption of social networking (and associated technologies) is defined primarily by “social interests” in photo sharing and people belonging to the social net. User experience is important. That’s why Salesforce’s Chatter very similar to Facebook UI. Technology is secondary here.

ECO Management: What Matters?

ECO is a an important, but very complicated process. It involves many people from organizational departments to work on this and following ECO related activities from inside and outside organization. To have an appropriate tool is important. When you choose a tool, take into the consideration what are specific characteristics of your organization from the standpoint of mobility, complexity, need for visual and 3D before you make a right choice. In parallel, the simplicity of a tool is another important thing. To have a simpler can be a much bigger problem for manufacturers in coming years.

Best, Oleg


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