I’m coming to PI PLMx conference in San Diego which will take place next month in beautiful San Diego. Organized by MarketKey, this traditional gathering of PLM customers is unique because it is one of very few non-vendor PLM events. In the past, you might remember my presentations from PI PLMx Chicago – How to extract more business value from PLM and PI PLMx Hamburg – Tricky path towards network innovation.
This year PI PLMx San-Diego is focusing on How PLM delivers in the Digital Value Chain.
The event will be exploring the emerging role of PLM as backbone for a digital and connected enterprise. Together with that, conference is planning to focus on how manufacturers ensure a seamless flow of information by taking advantage of PLM capabilities enabling simulation and validation, design engineering, manufacturing optimization, and quality assurance across the entire life cycle and value chain.
Sounds like cool topics, right? I’m planning to run a focus group about digital transformation.
My presentation this year called – How will digital transformation apply to manufacture companies and businesses and will be focusing on how companies can transform their operations through digital technologies. But what does digital transformation mean and how will it augment your business? This focus group will be discussing the importance of defining a roadmap and setting out a strategy to use new digital capabilities to transform manufacturing businesses.
The main theme of the conference “digital value chain” is very much intertwining with the new paradigm development trend I can see happening in PLM. In this session, I plan to introduce you to the concept of Network PLM – a new paradigm that will replace the current central database PLM paradigm.
PLM companies have a real chance to lead this innovation because of their industry presence and connectivity to fundamental product IP assets. These assets are represented by all CAD and related information.
However, existing solutions are experiencing two major challenges – downstream information availability is hard because of complexity. Also, PLM connectivity to business processes and profit centers in manufacturing companies is limited.
At the same time, the demand for collaboration and communication is huge. Manufacturing is not done in a single place anymore like it was 100 years at Ford Motors and other large companies. Today, even the smallest manufacturing companies and projects are more reminding a giant web of resources and activities.
Therefore I can see a real opportunity for the new PLM paradigm – network-based. In the past several years, we’ve seen the growing success of companies built around networks – Facebook, Uber, Airbnb, and others. The network is connecting people, provides a foundation for the marketplace and serves as a technological and data platform for application development.
What is my conclusion? PLM is transforming from an old-fashion software running on top of SQL databases focused inside of company operations into modern network platforms. While basic PDM functionality of the PLM system is still very much engineering department focused, the much bigger opportunity for PLM companies is to bring technologies and product capabilities to support engineering and manufacturing operations on a global scale without the need to sync data between multiple excels and transient databases. 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.