How PLM digital strategy can connect silos using data and people

How PLM digital strategy can connect silos using data and people

Breaking down silos was PLM mantra for many years. I have to admit – I believed in such approach as well. The concept of breaking silos and establishing single point of truth was such an obvious thing to think about. Unfortunately, the problem of such approach is becoming real as companies are moving through the process of PLM implementations and breaking silos. This process is facing difficulties and slowness from many organizations as they are failing to smash walls between organizations and departments. After all, each department and organization in large companies is following the process, has specific role and responsibility. People are hard to change. So, PLM is stuck.

The article Why for manufacturers the customer must be at the centre of the digital strategy – IoT Tech News speaks about few interesting trends connecting IoT strategies, data management and organizational silos. Article speaks about the role of data in business digital transformation and orchestration. It is all starts from data. And this is my favorite passage:

This journey requires that they break down the silos between internal systems such as ERP, CRM, PLM, and SCM. Instead, they need to connect “things” – people, data and processes – with more agile systems of intelligence that can keep pace with the new speed of business inherent in delivering highly tailored products and services.

Manufacturers need smart factories that can make their smart products and be at the core of much more agile supply chains. They also need intelligent shop floor solutions and business apps that augment people and address the growing skills gap in manufacturing.

The article made me think one more time about strategies of digital transformation. It reminded me an article I wrote few weeks ago – How PLM can separate data and organize silos. The idea of keeping organizational silos and breaking data silos is resonating. Because it allows to optimize data access around products company is manufacturing. Placing data transformation and not organizational transformation up first allows to remove the first resistance barrier – organizational change.

The question is how to do so? The answer can come from the side of new data management technologies allowing to bring more data transparency, collaboration and connections. While previous generation of PLM systems were focusing on data control and processes, new generation of PLM systems place solid foundation behind data organization allowing companies to manage data, collaboration and connect pieces of information using new data management tools including new flexible data models, new database technologies and machine learning.

What is my conclusion? Connecting data silos should be become a new way to think about PLM implementations and architecture. Instead building new business process and transformation organization, PLM systems should focus on intelligence and data allowing to build bridges above current organizational structure and processes.This is a place where new data management technologies will play key role in the future organization transformation from the vision of no silo extended enterprise to organized functional silos connected by common understanding of data. People are key actors in this transformation because they are demanding connected data and use it in their business processes. 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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