Traditional PLM value sandwich

Traditional PLM value sandwich

I’m getting ready to my presentation at PLMx Chicago event next week. Check my earlier blog – PLMx discussion from Hamburg and plans for Chicago. The topic of my presentation – How to Continuously Extract More Business Value out of PLM? will focus on the trajectory of PLM value proposition, modern reality of manufacturing and opportunities to change existing PLM paradigms.

Many engineering companies are faced with ever increasing product data complexity, product compliance requirements as well as a drive to reduce product lead times. This presentation outlines how to build and maintain momentum within the PLM programme and how to continuously revise and complete your vision and strategy to support new business cases.

I found the question of PLM value interesting. Companies have different perspective on what PLM can or cannot do. For some companies PLM is part of the sunk cost to run business. For some others, PLM is an information system to hold data. And for some companies PLM is an added value business approach to transform and change everything related to product development, manufacturing, service and maintenance.

I’m writing this blog before the weekend, I thought I will share two videos produced by Autodesk back in 2012 when Autodesk was first introducing PLM 360 (now known as Fusion Lifecycle). Two videos, ~ 8 minutes total. Spend some time, these videos contain really good opinion and they are a great foundation for any debates about PLM.

The value of PLM – Part 1

The value of PLM – Part 2

I found amazing and shocking that you can listen to these videos made back in 2012 today (2018) and everything stays actually the same – industry, problem, even debates.

Another good recommendation to read about business value of PLM is Jim Brown’s Tech-Clarify paper – The business value of PDM. You can see core fundamental values of PDM/ PLM.

Here is my summary of core (traditional) PLM values through the prism of debates, multiple papers and work I did with customers over the course of the last decade. I call it traditional PLM value sandwich.

The core elements of PLM value are related to information about product, people and processes. Think about CAD data, engineers and change management process. I hope you got my point. These are main elements of a sandwich (or burger meal). Then you need to have a delivery mechanism. The most important (foundation) is integration. Think about CAD integration. By integrating PDM/PLM into CAD systems, vendors make a delivery of the value to engineers (this is by the way a reason why many believe PDM/PLM is mainly related to engineering). The top of the sandwich is a lifecycle. Think about how to move data assets through the all phases. How many times, when you ate your burger you left the top part of the bread untouched? The same with PDM/PLM. I hope you’ve got my point. Lifecycle value of PLM is often not delivered to organization and got lost.

What is my conclusion? PDM / PLM value proposition has long history of development in every single manufacturing organization. Original core data sets (CAD data) created a fundamental perception of PLM as an engineering tool. By itself it created lot of problem in PLM technologies and the way these technologies and business practices are delivered to organizations. Just my thoughts. More about it at PLMx Chicago next week. Stay tuned…

Best, Oleg

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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