PLM for SMB: Business, Market and Numbers

PLM for SMB: Business, Market and Numbers

I attended the first virtual CIMdata PLM market forum last week. If you missed my earlier article check them here – PLM future is unclear and it is not only because of COVID 19. As usual, CIMdata shared the research and insight on the PLM market, trends, and industry numbers.

The topic I want to speak today is PLM for small and medium-sized companies (SMB). I feel like the opportunity around SMB PLM is trending. Recently, I’ve seen a few companies mentioned in their news and updates. One of them that caught my special attention was Minerva. A combination of Minerva and Aras made especially interesting for me knowing Aras focus on large enterprise. I was curious if Minerva found a way to scale down Aras for SMB. Check this article by Leon Lauritsen, Vice President at Minerva – Minerva has roots in SMB PLM sphere, which was written partially to comment to my article – Can Aras scale down for SMB? The most interesting part for me was to understand Minerva experience in SMB and maybe also the definition of SMB PLM.  

Here is the passage:

I would like to bring attention to the fact that while Minerva Group has worked with large customers, including Airbus, BAE, Saab, Dräger and many more , the majority of the 100+ implementations we have done with Aras Innovator have been done successfully at smaller and medium-sized manufacturing companies with 250 seats/users or less.

In addition to our significant experience with the Aras Innovator platform, Minerva Group has worked with PLM, ERP and CAD integration systems for 25 years, mainly operating in the SMB market. For quite a few years, we have been working with Agile 9 and in particular  Agile Advantage, a solution specifically targeted towards SMB manufacturers. Our expertise within implementing enterprise software solutions was founded during these years. In 2008, we became reseller and implementation partner for Aras Corporation, bringing our vast experience with SMB’s to the Aras Innovator platform.

So, Minerva has experience in SMB PLM and I wanted to find numbers about the PLM SMB market in CIMdata reports. Here are few slides I captured from CIMdata market report.

CIMdata didn’t provide any company size breakdown and the numbers. How much the average Minerva customer paid for Aras/PLM? It is not clear. But here are few data points/ According to Aras’ website, the 250 users tier cost is 79$ / user / month, which will be coming to roughly to $237,000. CIMdata survey shows 28% of customers are spending $500,000 or less for PLM projects. Both numbers don’t provide enough information about the scale of SMB PLM deals below 250 users threshold. And 250 users is still a large number when it comes to company size. CIMdata didn’t provide any analysis of the PLM SMB segment, company sizes, revenues, and other data points.

What is my conclusion?

One size doesn’t fit all and PLM solutions are heavily biased towards larger companies. It would be interesting to hear comments from both Minerva and CIMdata. CIMdata market numbers in the cPDM segment don’t show a huge growth (5.4%). It looks like PLM SMB is not very much covered by CIMdata research or CIMdata didn’t share this information. Just my thought and I hope CIMdata will comment and share more information.

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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