2013 Beyond PLM – Top 5

2013 Beyond PLM – Top 5


End of the year is traditionally associated with “top stories” and “next year predictions”. So, it is hard to resist… In the past, I was publishing my “top 5” stories every month, but the tradition somehow went down. However, later better than never. So, in the spirit of coming 2014, I decided to list 5 posts published in 2013 that drove most of my readers interest:

BOM 101: How Many Levels Do You Need in BOM?

The fact you can create multiple levels of BOM doesn’t mean you need to utilize it at full capacity. Multi-level BOMs are complicated and adding an additional work in the process of changes. How to maintain the right number of BOM levels? I’m interested to learn more about your experience. How many BOM levels do you have in your company ERP/MRP/PDM/PLM system?

3 Modern BOM Management Challenges

Bill of Materials is a critical element in the success of many manufacturing companies. Think about driving maps. In the past we printed it on a paper, folded and put next to your driver seat. Now it is different – social GPS systems can alert you about driving conditions and suggest alternative routes. You need to have a new tools to manage BOMs. Traditional BOM management systems won’t survive in a modern manufacturing world. This is a wake-up call for PLM vendors and other software companies in manufacturing world.

Will IBM return to PLM software business?

Business intelligence, decision support, system engineering and integration. These functions are quite desired by manufacturing companies to solve prod development  problems. Large companies these days are looking how to streamline product development processes. Enterprise PLM business seems to be impossible without system services and integration support. IBM is collecting a significant software stacks that can be used for this purposes. Maybe we see IBM renaissance in PLM soon?

Will Tesla Motors build their own PLM system?

I have no clear answer on the question placed in the title of this post. The IT innovation in manufacturing companies is getting interesting these days. The dynamic of business, pace of changes and specific customer requirements will require IT managers to innovate beyond the level of OOTB tools. Thinking about PLM space, customer focused configuration options combined with complexity of supply chain can be very challenging these days. These days Tesla is practically building a single model car – Model S. However, with new car model (model X) is coming soon, I can see the level of complexity growing as well as the needs for specific unique PLM system. It would be very interesting to see the change in the future.

Single Bill of Materials in 6 Steps

Depends on the nature of your business, one of these topics can become a key and showstopper for your organization to transform into the single BOM. Some of you will disagree of structures and some you will not have a system to share BOM across the organization. The multi-BOM paradigm evolved during many years as a result of fundamental organization silos. However, these days, the efficiency how organization can resolve the problem of connected cross department processes is a dominant one. BOM is a lifeblood in these cross-department processes. If you switch to a single BOM, you have an opportunity to optimize processes.

What is my 2013 year conclusion? Beyond PLM is getting about 20-25K page views monthly. I want to thank all my readers for contributing to this number and hope to see you on my blog in coming 2014. I can see a clear trend of interest moving towards PLM roots such as Bill of Material and customer related development. Also our ‘Big Blue PLM’ is still here. Cloud and everything related to that clearly drove less attention than before. Of course, it is very subjective and just my thoughts :).

Happy New Year!

Best, Oleg


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