Digital transformation is a better way to sell PLM stories

Digital transformation is a better way to sell PLM stories

Digital transformation is the process of fundamental changes of business and product development activities, processes processes and all manufacturing company assets to leverage full scope of digital technologies, accelerating impact and improving communication. You might think digital transformation is a super technology changes everything around. Actually not much…

According to ZDNet article – 4 Hottest Tech Trends that are Transforming the world in 2018 digital transformation is just… about telling better stories. No technologies. Pure marketing and sales.

Here is the passage from the article.

It’s the buzz phrase that’s arguably bouncing around businesses and the tech industry more than any other this year. Nevertheless, while the other three items on this list are all technologies, this one is not. It’s simply about telling better stories.

The enterprise has been talking about better IT-business alignment for decades, which is evidence that it never quite sunk in. Digital transformation has finally become the catalyst–and the rallying cry–that’s making it happen. IT leaders are using it to lead with the business impact of tech projects in ways that everyone in the organization can understand.

For example, in the past a CIO might go to the council of leaders in an organization and appeal for a new set of servers for $1.5 million that was going to enable new real-time analytics capabilities in the company. Now, that same CIO pitches a $1.5 million digital transformation project that will save $2 million in expenses by streamlining one part of the business and generate an additional $1 million in revenue in another part of the business by accelerating the order process. No servers were ever mentioned. The first pitch was dead on arrival. The second is an easy sell.

I reminded me my article from the last year – about digital transformation and sales buzzwords. Let me give you an example how PLM sales can be transformed with the power of digital transformation storytelling.

In the past PLM vendors were pitching engineering and IT management with a story to buy PLM system for $1M licenses and 25% maintenance to organize company data and transform business process. Single version of truth (PLM) was a central part of value proposition focusing on data control and process orchestration. It is a hard sale – to push manufacturing company including all stakeholders into PLM business transformation.

Here is how a new PLM story can be created using digital transformation facelift. PLM “new” story is selling $1M digital transformation project including digitization, IoT and data analytics. Digital transformation is budgeted differently and presents a new way to position the project. New “digital transformation” project will enable a digital flow of data assets between engineering, manufacturing and sales. Data and other digital assets can enable predictive analytics and real-time insight. All together will  show saving from business activities that before were not exposed to PLM value proposition. The profit will delivered as a result of optimization in other departments leveraging PLM data (digital assets), increased speed of sales and saving in product service and maintenance. The same products, data management and tools are used in both sales pitches. Digital futurists (former PLM implementation consulting) will help to package it and sell it to the right people in an organization.

What is my conclusion? Digital transformation is a better way to explain PLM. What was “single version of truth” for PLM and implied long process of building strategy and transforming processes, now has much better packaging with a modern “digital transformation” facade. End users can get it. Managers can get it. IT can get it.  Companies are committed to digital transformation and afraid to miss the digital wave. Budgets are available. My hunch, we are going to see more PLM implementations sold as digital transformation projects. More digital transformation flavored materials will be coming from PLM vendors. 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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