PLM and New Manufacturing in a Networked World

PLM and New Manufacturing in a Networked World


For the last decade, many industries learned lesson or two about disruption and how internet and other technologies can change the reality of their businesses. It happened to publishing and newspapers. The way we consume news is radically different (although we still can see printed newspapers around). Uber and Airbnb are leading the trend of changes transportation and hospitality business.

I think changes are coming to manufacturing too. For the last few decades, manufacturing became global with companies leveraging market, design, engineering and manufacturing facilities located around the globe. The growing specialization in specific manufacturing verticals created industry of contract manufacturers and suppliers. Most of these companies are acting like independent entities, obeying some rules and trying to optimize their behavior.

Small is a new big. You don’t have to be a large company with established manufacturing facilities to manufacture things today. New production technologies and global manufacturing environment created a new opportunity for small teams and companies to innovate to create new products. But these small entities have to be organized in a different way. Hence an increased demand for collaboration, communication and optimization.

Next month, I’m going to learn more about new manufacturing and innovation at CIMdata workshop – A CIMdata Collaborative Innovation & Product Development Workshop. The detailed agenda is here. I’m super excited to join an group of innovation leaders  Taylor Dawson of FirstBuild, John B. “Jay” Rogers of Local Motors and Dr. Svetlana Dimovski of BASF  and to share my thoughts and learn about future of manufacturing in a new connected world.

Here is a short passage from CIMdata workshop introduction:

With rapid advances in digital technology and hyper-connectivity around the globe, the early 21st century has all the signs of a transitional time with no clear pathway to the future. Complexity is increasing as familiar boundaries are being altered forever and information is growing exponentially. While PLM has been embraced by many as a successful business strategy and more recently has emerged as a platform for innovation, significant challenges remain. Companies want to embed business processes with intelligent workflows in the tools to help easily identify experts, get close to customers, collaborate externally with partners, and reduce operational cycles with better internal collaboration, yet they struggle with strategic, cultural, and technology questions.

It made me think about future relation of manufacturing and networks. The dependence on networks in our lives is growing every day and is not just limited to communication. Manufacturing companies are going to have a lesson of networked world. It will be impossible to optimize the performance of single manufacturing entity without relevant network information. It will not happen overnight. Companies will try to get connected and operate more intelligently. Those companies that will be able to transform into new connected reality and leverage the power of network will create a significant competitive differentiation for themselves.

What is my conclusion?  Networks made a transformative influence on the way we live, work, and conduct business. Increasingly manufacturing companies are leveraging market, design, engineering, and facilities located around the globe. The networking paradigm will apply to manufacturing companies and will be transformative. The growing specialization in specific manufacturing verticals will create a new type of manufacturing company, one that is capable of leveraging networks, allowing them to optimize performance, improve collaboration, and reduce cost. Intelligent PLM software with a networked mind can provide a competitive power to future manufacturing. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

Image courtesy of watcharakun at



Share This Post