PI OC: Data, connected products and PLM silo

PI OC: Data, connected products and PLM silo


I attended PI OC (Product Innovation Orange County) event organized by Market Key. The event location was beautiful. Dana Point, California is such an idyllic place with stunning views of Pacific ocean. Combined with unusually warm weather, the event was clearly helping to many attendees from Midwest to forget about snow blizzard at home. PLM implementation problems and other manufacturing challenges are also much easy to handle during a sunset time.


I hope you enjoyed the pictures. So, please come back and let’s talk about manufacturing and PLM. There are two things that stuck in my mind after PI OC event – (1) data and (2) connected products.

Data was one of the most frequent words used by all presenters. It became clear that data drives everything in our digital world. Data is a new oil. If you control your data, then you can control your business. Otherwise, you are out. And to get data in a modern manufacturing environment is not a simple thing. R&D is producing data, supply chain is producing data, customers are producing data and now (finally) products by themselves are also producing data. The question if PLM vendors with 15-20 years old data platforms will help manufacturing companies to sustain was asked many times during the event.





Connected products or connected product behavior is new trend.Unless you live under a rock, you’re more than aware about connected products. Many products these days are connected to some servers via internet or other way. Some industries such as aerospace have been doing it already for many years. Some industries such as consumer product goods just discovered an opportunity to connect a toothbrush to cloud servers. Product connectivity and product data together are creating a wave of changes that can’t underestimate.

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What is my conclusion? Organizations should start making sense of data and how to manage it in a new ways. This is a reality of modern manufacturing environment. Without such understanding manufacturing companies will be blind in understand their processes, making decisions and compete with other companies. Most of existing PLM products live in a silo of engineering data management. This is a big problem. Customers will demand from PLM vendors to expand their existing platforms to scale with the upcoming data management challenges. 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. My opinion can be unintentionally biased.


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