PLM – competition with status quo?

PLM – competition with status quo?


When customers don’t purchase product or services, the typical assumption that sales lost to their competitor. But in reality, the competition may not be the problem. According to brutal statistic mentioned by Forbes article, about 60% of leads are not translated into actual sales. The reason is simple – customer don’t find a value in purchasing something new and decide to forgo any type of change.

The same article speaks about 3 things that can make a difference and help to turn a prospect into a sale – context, contrast and concrete. My favorite one is a contrast.

Contrast – The lizard brain needs to be able to contrast the difference that will result from making a change. Providing a side-by-side comparison about what will change if the audience buys the product or service will show the value. Before and after stories and visual tools are the best ways to show contrast.

Unfortunately, many PLM implementations are lacking of such contrast. I think, the main question in today’s PLM world is how to build a better PLM mousetrap is still not answered.

In such context Aras article caught my attention with some notion of difference. Navigate to the following link to read the article – Product Complexity in Today’s Auto Industry: Can You Move Beyond the PLM Status Quo?

The following passage made me feel curious:

Given the unprecedented change facing the automotive industry, there is no more room for data silos in the product lifecycle – a common scenario with traditional, monolithic PLM systems. Product development requires a systems approach where the management of mechanical, electrical, and software components can all be seamlessly integrated, creating a unified digital thread of product data.

According to the white paper published by Aras, here is the explanation of the problem:

Over the past 25 years, automotive companies have made real advancements in mechanical design, electrical engineering and software development with the help of information technology. Each discipline has adopted specialized automation technology – often focused on the “science of engineering,” such as 3D CAD modeling, simulation, programming, etc. ─ that improves productivity within that functional discipline.

These MCAD, ECAD and other specialist applications and their related management systems (i.e. PLM, PDM and ALM) have created isolated, functional islands of proprietary data. They have been implemented at great effort and expense and optimized for the narrow band of specialized professionals who use them, with little or no consideration for interoperability to support strategic processes or ease of use for others.

None of these traditional, monolithic systems were ever designed for broad cross discipline or cross functional use, nor were they set up to be constantly changed and upgraded as market requirements dictate. This is evidenced in both their hard coded technology architectures and expensive licensing scheme.

And now, the main question is what contrast Aras can offer? It says it replaces single PLM systems with resilient PLM platform that integrates with existing systems and easily adapts to align with their unique business processes.

It reminded my last year article – What is different in Aras PLM? As I mentioned there, Aras difference is 1/ free license, 2/ free upgrades included into subscription and 3/ XML driven data model with SOA web services. Does it provide enough contrasts? This is a good question to ask customers replacing Teamcenter, Enovia or Windchill with Aras.

What is my conclusion? At this point, I’m trying to understand if Aras is in business of competing with existing status quo of 3 major PLM systems or trying to bring an umbrella solution to connect siloed PLM implementations. To replace existing systems Aras should develop a better mousetrap, which can demonstrate the contrasts. To provide an umbrella PLM, seamless integration will become a main factor and decision point. The jury is out and the question about how to compete with big 3 PLM vendors is still not answered. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

Want to learn more about PLM? Check out my new PLM Book website.

Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of openBoM developing cloud based bill of materials and inventory management tool for manufacturing companies, hardware startups and supply chain.


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