PLMx Chicago – Killing PLM, Factory as Social Network and PLM Police

PLMx Chicago – Killing PLM, Factory as Social Network and PLM Police

I just came from PLMx Chicago. Great conference organized by MarketKey – practically the only independent PLM event in U.S. not related to a specific PLM vendor. I’ve had a chance to attend sessions and enjoyed many discussions with attendees. Q&A Panel with PLM vendors was special and I will talk about it in my next blog. Today, I want to comment on few sessions that caught my special attention.

Future of PLM with Peter Bilello of CIMdata. My discussion with Peter actually started even before the event by sharing my thought about the idea “to kill” PLM acronym. The discuss continued in Chicago. I also asked PLM vendors how much they do care about three letters P.L.M. Here is CIMdata answer. PLM seems to be outdated acronym nobody really likes. But with the absence of alternatives and strong connection to “Lifecycle”, it continued to be used by many. Can we replace P.L.M. acronym? I don’t think another fancy name like digital transformation will replace it. I can see an opportunity to build a simpler and clearer terminology for PLM domain that will be easier to understand.

A very inspirational keynote by Mike “Mouse” McCoy is the CEO/Co Founder and Creative Director of Hackrod – an outfit developing new type of experience to design and manufacture cars. Factory as a gaming with interesting user experience, Siemens PLM software at the back and UPS fulfillment service for supply chain. I think he has lot of great ideas and many of them will be seen in production of manufacturing companies very soon.

Last but not least – the discussion about SSOT (Single Source of Truth). I already said a lot about it in my session. SSOT is an old paradigm that still serves most of PLM implementations and explains value proposition. I attended the session talking about experience of full scope  multi-year PLM project based on SAP PLM. The project was successful and gave clear ROI. Nevertheless, as it was clear stated, it required significant organizational effort to bring people on the same page about understanding PLM values and enforcing PLM rules in the organization.

What is my conclusion?  PLM remains complex and dynamic space with lot of opportunities and huge amount of legacy. It is interesting to see how companies and vendors are navigating through these jungles. It is not simple for both sides – vendors and customers. While people factor is still significant for success of PLM projects, I can see a huge opportunity in building a new value on top of existing PLM assets, which can turn current data control and management paradigm into future PLM intelligence. Just my thoughts..

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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