How to ditch old PLM marketing and friend engineers?

How to ditch old PLM marketing and friend engineers?

There is a chasm between old and new schoolers these days in many places and industries. I wonder if PLM will be different and will keep old school formation in everything – business models, marketing, technical solutions, etc. Few months ago I posted – PLM, Viral Sales and Enterprise Old Schoolers article that generated few very open and honest conversations with some of my friends – sales professionals.

Jos Voskuil made me think about new generation of people in PLM industry after reading his article about Product Innovation Apparel conference. Navigate to this link to read Jos’ post. Here is my favorite quote:

There is so much to learn from experiences in the apparel industry. The PLM market for apparel might be immature, the people implementing are not. They have picked up the modern way of PLM thinking in the context of business, instead of a focus on IT. Combined with the fact that it is less a male-only business, it opened my eyes, and other PLM consultants should do the same.

What do you think will be the right place to start PLM transformation? Here is the idea. Let’s ditch old school PLM marketing. The one that focus on big goals of PLM to control all development processes and systems in the company. You might be shocked. The fundamentals of PLM for many years was focused on how PLM implementation can focus on setting up processes in organization and controlling product information. On the grand scale of possible transformation you can think about that as a right approach of value added sales. However, it brings so much change and disturbance in organization. Old PLM folks, you are right by showing a potential problems in organization. However, people hate you for this. And if change is hard, they will not make it happen without stick of CxO sponsoring and big organizational committees.

So, what is the alternative? Here is an idea. Let make PLM “to friend” engineers. In fact, none of them likes PDM or PLM. Most of them won’t be even able to explain what PLM suppose to do for their company. However, I’m sure engineers have problems. And one of the most complicated problem they have is communicate with rest of the company. This communication is not easy. The traditional waterfall product development approach keeps engineers behind the firewall. This firewall is making communication complex in two directions. It is hard to share information from engineering. However, it is extremely hard to get information from outside world and make it available and usable inside of PLM organization. So, new generation of PLM systems will make communication of engineers, sharing data and work on engineering BOM much easier than before and turn engineers to best friends.

What is my conclusion? Old schools value promotions are still here. However, in my view, it is very hard to make it work efficiently and drive future success in implementing PLM systems. Next gen of PLM will remove “PLM marketing” tag and come to people to help share data and communicate across organization more efficiently without barriers and complexity. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

Image courtesy HBR blog.


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