ERP vs. PLM: More Competition in The Future?

ERP vs. PLM: More Competition in The Future?

Finally, my vacation over and Beyond PLM is back to normal. While screening materials, the following title caught my attention: ERP vs. PLM: What’s the difference? WhichPLM? is sharing a free copy of BMS whitepaper with this catching topic. A relatively short publication (7 pages including the cover and contact page) will take you to the explanation about what is ERP and what is PLM with examples about roles of these systems. Navigate to the following link, download the document. The whitepaper was available at the time I visited it without any registration. Have a read and make your opinion. In the beginning, the white paper quote Tom Shoemaker (PTC VP Marketing) by saying:

PLM is to your intellectual property, what  ERP is to your physical property. In other words,  PLM focuses on the planning before you commit    to making a product, and ERP take over from there. Both systems, however, often require customization and their functions could overlap from one company to the next. For instance, some PLM platforms have been expanded both upstream and downstream, thus taking overlap. Some functions formerly thought to be the domain of ERP.

However, the following passage is the most remarkable, in my view:

The type and brand of data management software that you use will determine how PLM and ERP function. Some will allow for extensive integration between the two, other systems may be able to perform all necessary functions on their own without integration. Some systems are customizable and scalable, others are “out of the box.” How Your company implements these systems also determines, to a large degree, how they will operate.

The discussion about differences between PLM and ERP in this white paper reminded me one of my old posts from the last year – PLM vs. ER: Weird or Different? Even so, I discussed few very specific differentiations, in my view, it becomes less relevant in a business word. Companies are making their choices on what system will dominate (PLM or ERP) based on the multiple set of criteria. The choice of the implementer as well as broad IT platform becomes more and more important. At the same time, implementation of both ERP and PLM system can skyrocket the overall investment in the implementation.

What is my conclusion? I think we are going to face an increased competition between ERP and PLM vendors in a near future. The overlap between these two domains becomes more and more obvious. With the increased business objectives, PLM companies and stepping into the ERP territory in the spaces related to business aspects of PLM. At the same time, ERP companies are increasing their ability to handle and maintain engineering and product design data, which will put under a big question mark the potential implementation of PLM. Just my thoughts… What is your take on this? I’m interested in your opinion.

Best, Oleg


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