Future of PLM beyond complex answers from nostalgic PDM experts

Future of PLM beyond complex answers from nostalgic PDM experts

PLM was started few decades ago and it looks like coming to some sort of mid-life crisis. I can see it by an increased number of questions about PLM challenges, accumulated problems, regrets about past projects and challenges in existing implementation.

There is growing number of questions about  ability of organizations “to sell” PLM acronym in current state of business in manufacturing companies. I recommend you to listen to Peter Bilello of CIMdata. The following video was published by Plm.tv recently and raised a good number of comments and questions on LinkedIn. Check it out here.


My two favorite pictures related to status quo in PLM business are coming from these two articles PLM is not simple by Jos Voskuil and What PLM identify crisis by Lionel Grealou.

There are few important points mentioned in the image below. PLM is mostly used by engineering teams and has many challenge to grow beyond that point. Sold by vendors and VARs, implemented by special PLM IT organizations. What is missed in this picture is clearly beneficiaries of PLM implementations.

Jos Voskuil’s article is stressing the focus on challenges related to organizational transformation and, in that context, alerting us that simple approaches might not work.

Videos, pictures and articles made me come back and think again about the question if we can still sell PLM acronym. Here is the thing… The ideas of PLM are really good. Companies that found how to sell PLM are in huge business advantages these days. But, PLM industry should change its perspective on complexity. Traditional PLM approach – complexity is the reality of transformation and… PLM. Thinking beyond traditional PLM  – complexity is a challenge. To solve this challenge PLM industry should embrace sophistication and simplicity. Combined together they can move PLM forward and bring PLM technologies and products to a new place.

What is my conclusion? Can you sell PLM paradigm? Yes… this is what company are selling today. The buzzwords and trends are changing, but the idea of product lifecycle is fundamentally right idea. However the challenge is to make it simple and sophisticated at the same time. Whoever will figure out this formula will be the next PLM leader. 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


Share This Post