Digital distribution and product lifecycle

Digital distribution and product lifecycle


Digital environment is changing habits and behaviors of people and businesses. Last month I was sharing my thoughts how digital transformation can reshape boundaries between PLM, ERP and MES. The vision of digital transformation requires from PLM vendors to have a full control over the integrated product data in a way it can be optimized and used between organizations and business functions. One of these business function is product distribution. Just a decade ago, the end point of product lifecycle was company distribution dock, which was a way to ship products. These days products are distributed in a different ways. One of them is digital store such as Amazon.

Product hunt is teaming up with Amazon article brings an interesting example of how  manufacturing companies can connect to online distribution channels. The interesting aspect of this connection is related to the mechanism in which products are discovered.

There are more things being created every day and many of the products on Product Hunt are already available on Amazon Launchpad. Together, we’re giving people an opportunity to more easily buy these products as they are discovered. Products that are featured on Product Hunt and on Amazon Launchpad, will include a direct link to the product on Amazon. Amazon customers will also find a destination of products curated by the Product Hunt community along with a badge on its product page, highlighting the popularity of a particularly product with the current number of upvotes it’s received.

It made me think about a potential opportunity to extend product lifecycle management to the distribution. It can create a connection between product manufacturing and product usage. Customers can find it useful because it will provide a specific information about product directly from product manufacturer helping to make a purchase decision or verify product characteristics. On the other side, manufacturing companies can leverage direct connection to consumer, get information about how product was sold and customers are using products.

What is my conclusion? The transformation of distribution channels will expand product lifecycle from engineering and manufacturing space to consumption. It will change the process of information exchange between manufacturers and distribution channel. Information about product can be essential and product lifecycle management system can become one of the key providers of that information. Starting from demonstration about how product can be used and assembled ending up with potential troubleshooting and maintenance. The role of product information is increased and as such the role of product lifecycle management systems. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

Picture credit Medium article

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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. My opinion can be unintentionally biased.


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