PLM differentiation is hard. In past, I shared my thoughts about how to differentiate PLM products, technologies and vendors. You can see some examples how PLM companies are differentiating themselves through technology, packaging, business models, brand and other factors. However, things are getting hard. Everyone has a platform these days and everyone is trying to make your life easier or in the context of CAD / PLM business help to build better products or brands.
The situation with PLM differentiation is not getting easier. Cloud was recent technology that used as a differentiator, but nowadays everyone seems to be cloud based, so this option is gone. It is getting very hard to say differentiation story. PLM companies are looking for new ways to do it. But as one character said, when companies are making identical products, you can say whatever you want to differentiate them.
Well… I’m sure you enjoyed the video. Even PLM systems cannot be compared to cigarettes, PLM marketing sometimes doing very funny things, which makes me think idea of “toasted PLM” is alive.
My attention was caught by somewhat brilliant PLM comparison table created by Propel PLM – How Propel compares to other PLM and PIM solutions. Look on characteristics and you will understand why it reminded me Lucky Strike – included, built-in, #1, standard… It is a pure definition of happiness in these words compared to Heavy Integration, Outdated Platform, Limited and Mixed.
However, as Stan Przybylinski of CIMdata wrote in one of his comments to my blog about PLM differentiation:
To me the bigger issue here is that many people do not understand how a “difference” may or many not be a differentiator. It is only a differentiator if someone will make a decision based on it.
What is my conclusion? In my view, the decision process to select right PLM solution is very complex these days. There are companies that don’t believe in PLM. Even the number of these companies is decreasing, for many of them, PLM is still a very distant future. Those that bought into PLM idea, are constrained by legacy, technologies and relationships that often exist many years. For me differentiation of Propel is in a single word – Salesforce.com. I wrote it back in 2013 debating if somebody would consider to build PLM on top of Salesforce.com. I’m glad Propel took a challenge. I’m very much interested to see how Propel PLM will be able to leverage such differentiator and what will be the significance of Salesforce.com choice in a long run. Just my thoughts…
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