The cost of PLM divorce

The cost of PLM divorce

My attention was caused by Aras blog – Are You in a Bad PLM Relationship? written by Mark Reisig. Nice write-up with interesting examples made me feel like I’m in a family counseling meeting. There are lot of people in the world that would be happy to give you a marriage advice. It goes between lines – there is a life after marriage to hiring marriage mediation services.

So, these are my favorite passages. The first goes with the theme about the life after marriage.

First, acknowledge you’re not married to your PLM vendor. You don’t need to defend the status quo or show an unhealthy disregard for future challenges. Your PLM system is a platform to manage product complexity and bring new innovative products to market. It’s a key to driving operational excellence and owning your lifecycle to drive stronger customer engagement. No matter how big and complex it is, if it is not performing, it is sunk cost. If your PLM system isn’t tightly aligned with your business transformation goals, you are opening yourself up to a world of hurt. Identify the gaps – the differences between where you are today and where you need to be tomorrow.

And this one is telling you that hiring a mediator or family counseling service is actually a good idea.

It doesn’t cost much to get the qualified professional assistance of an independent consultant, like CIMdata, Forrester, or Gartner. In fact, they’re a bargain compared to the millions of dollars your company can spend propping up misaligned legacy systems that haven’t been updated in years. These experts have a good handle on your PLM vendor’s weaknesses. And, since they work with so many clients, they can bring valuable insights and external perspectives.

The article made me think about what is the cost of PLM divorce. Depends on the company, historical situation and current PLM challenges, you situation can be different. PLM implementations can go wrong. Does it mean that divorce is the best option? And if yes, what are you getting into?

There are few facts you should remember before embarking into next PLM marriage.

1- You new PLM vendor will have to make money on you. Otherwise, it is a bad business for the company. Remember, you always have financial leverage with vendor who screwed up.

2- Legacy is mostly your problem. Even the best data migration service won’t be able to figure out what happened with your data in the old system and how safely to get it out.

3- You will be paying alimony to your former wife (PLM system) that won’t be eliminated fast and might stay alive for quite long time. The idea of PLM layers is popular these days, but it means you pay for new marriage and to support your old PLM wife.

What is my conclusion? It is easy to jump into a next marriage and hope that all your problems will be in the past in the future happy PLM life. You can turn investment into a sunk cost and will develop new PLM program. It can turn out as a very successful new PLM marriage. However, before you do so, take a look in a mirror and make an assessment about how much of these problems were related to your company unwillingness to change, to give up on bad processes and to resist new methods of work. But if after reviewing what went wrong you come to conclusion that the right step is to move on, do it. After all, each next PLM implementation will give your more experience. It is like an expensive health club- after paying membership, you will do what you can actually do by yourself. 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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