Simplification is a significant trend. I’ve been watching it a lot in consumer space. People got really obsessed by simplification after Apple. And these are all good things. However, I want to come back to something I call “simple PLM”. Well, you can tell me it is a joke… maybe. First time I put a word about simplification was in 2008 (Simple PLM Technology). It was more like a question rather than post how to simplify data representation. My second take on “Simple PLM” was last year (Post COFES, Dropbox and PLM Made Simple) – I was talking about how to simplify data sharing. Not sure whether Dropbox will provide a concept for a future PLM, but two keywords out of that conversation were – “usability and simplicity”.
First simplify, then automate
I remember one of the conversations that happened to me during the sales meeting with customers. It was about 7-8 years ago. I will not mention names, of course. I was “impressed” by a try of a sales person to convince a potential buyer by saying “Don’t underestimate the complexity of things we can manage”. I found it very remarkable, and it took me long time to drive my conclusion about PLM sales. The predominant assumption of PLM sales is that manufacturing world is very complicated. So, we need a really complex system to manage this manufacturing world. Nowadays, I think, this is a mistake.
I found a very interesting quote from the following book: Product lifecycle management: 21st century paradigm for product realisation – First simplify, then automate. In my view, we need to think more how to simplify organizational processes. It will help us a lot to simplify PLM too.
Back to basics – back to BOM?
Here is another interesting observation. It came from Arena Solution. There are two things I like about Arena these days. First – Arena’s blog became one of my favorites. The second is about how Arena is trying to simplify what they do. Historical record – Arena started about a decade ago as a company called bom.com. You can still navigate to Arena vai this url. However, what I wanted to mention is how Arena Solutions changed the definition of what they do. Arena came from “PLM” back to “BOM”. Can I call it “back to basics”. I think, it will be a valid statement.
What is my conclusion? Few days ago, I wrote about process simplification. We will see more signs of simplification in the world of software for product lifecycle management, manufacturing and engineering. It all starts from the interest of people to simplify the world around them. Drop complicated acronyms and go beyond PLM with simple words – BOM, Change, Part, etc. When this goal is achieved, we will more a clearer picture of what new PLM software need to do. Just my thoughts…
* freebie. nobody paid me to write this post.
** picture is courtesy of Arena Solutions blog