Top PLM challenges for 2019

Top PLM challenges for 2019

Holiday Season is over and New Year is here. As we move forward we look at 2019 and what challenges it can bring. The ultimate measure of the leader is not where he stands in the moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenges.

Thinking about 2019, I wanted to revisit and discuss what are biggest PLM challenges industry leaders and pundits see in 2019. Quick Google search found CIMdata link with campaign to help manufacturing companies to figure out what is their #1 PLM challenge. The article starts from the list of questions that potentially can resonate with challenges of manufacturing companies.

Here is the list of questions:

1. Is innovation key to your company’s competitiveness?
2. Is your PLM implementation working at peak efficiency?
3. Are you nimble enough to respond quickly to changes in the market and to customer demands?
4. Is your PLM system optimized to provide the benefits you need and expect?
5. How can you maximize the benefits from PLM in the shortest possible time?
6. What is the best way to keep up with the pace of technology change?

These questions made me think about possible problems with PLM in 2019. Out of the list of six questions, I picked up 2 of my favorites – #2 and #5. These challenges are representing in my view the biggest fear of PLM implementation as very costly and dangerous IT projects.

Is your PLM implementation working at peak efficiency?

This is a great question to ask. After many years, PLM is still pretty much associated with engineering processes and data management. As much as vendors are working to improve it, the reality of PLM implementation is to get a comparison of how much was spent on PLM activities and how much value it brought over the course of time

How can you maximize the benefits from PLM in the shortest possible time?

This question is an outcome of the first one. If PLM system is on the peak of efficiency, improvement is one big goal. Time is money and manufacturing companies are not happy with the amount of time and resources required to implement PLM systems. The longer implementation process – the less benefits business people can see in PLM. Business is accelerating and manufacturing companies are looking how to get faster to the business.

What is my conclusion? I can see huge improvements in PLM development over the period of last 5 years. The awareness, value proposition and demand for PLM is on the rise. But… there is a need for speed in PLM. Every single message in CIMdata questionnaire is telling me that PLM is fighting value and efficiency problems. And it means that after years of development and successes, PLM is still mostly large inflexible system demanding high level of investment to learn and implement. Every single PLM implementation is starting from proof of concept or pilot and requires long path into organization adoption.

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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