Speed and complexity. These are two main challenges for every PLM implementation. So, much was said about this topic in the last decades. One of the most debatable topic is so called – out-of-the-box (OOTB) implementation. One of my earlier articles – The end of debates about out-of-the-box PLM, I mentioned that sustainability of PLM as a strategy to keep PLM implementation agile and simple.
Vendors are not giving up on OOTB PLM. PLM for SMEs out-of-the-box article caught my attention yesterday. Navigate here to read more. The article brings news about specific product OOTB offering Catia, Enovia and ERP system integrated into single module. Here is a passage with some details.
The result of this intensive software development work is a new preconfigured solution for machine and tool making that significantly reduces both the costs for customising and implementation, the company says. A key topic is the continuity and consistence of the processes: Match connects Catia / Enovia and the ERP system via an interface that makes an automatic flow of information possible. The data can be exchanged from CAD and PPS in both uni-directional and bi-directional ways. An interface to the ERP system (ratio.net) is already available as standard, while others will be developed in future. The entire configuration of the software is optimised for the needs of the industry. This also applies to the integrated Catia tools that facilitate the work of engineers and designers. Match, for example, contains uni-Tool-Set V6 that can be used to create attributes such as material, dimensions and weight for E-Bom.
It made me think about future options in OOTB PLM systems and implementation. Here is my take on 2 options Vertical (traditional) and Horizontal (OOTB platform):
1- Vertical OOTB PLM is focusing on integrating modules into viable industry scenario, pre-configure data model, process and other related information. An example of CCE implementation is exactly what vertical OOTB can present. The pros of such approach is the ability to focus on end-to-end process and tools configuration. Such model can be replicated between multiple companies with relatively low cost. But, no customization can be made. Cons – in a real life it is really happening.
2- Horizontal OOTB PLM is focusing on platform first. In such case, the OOTB is actually platform (opposite to applications in a previous example). Such model assumes standardized services and tools can be used to create models, scenarios and services. It might sounds like “toolbox” approach, but here is a difference – combined with cloud deployment, horizontal OOTB can be used by multiple companies and provide a way to reuse models and implementations.
What is my conclusion? After so many years, PLM vendors are still believing in vertical OOTB implementations. From my experience, replication of such OOTB implementations is hard and often next to impossible. Whatever is delivered as OOTB package will be reconfigured very soon and turn out a traditional PLM implementation. Horizontal OOTB platform can be a new approach capable to scale to multiple implementation. The OOTB reusable element is platform. Such approach can have a better ROI trajectory and implementation speed. It focuses on a core set of problem – speed and complexity. Just my thoughts…
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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.