Tech companies are trending in our current pandemic world. One of the trends that became obvious over the course of the last few months is how technology and the companies that adopted technology for the last decades are continuously winning over the companies that didn’t do so. I can see three main reasons why these companies are winning –
1- Technological companies much easier adapting to remote work
2- Remote work and tech can attract more talents
3- Hight efficiency of remote tech companies
As much as COVID-19 is a tragic event, the last few months finally unlocked the reality of remote work for many companies and businesses. As I can see safety and efficiency coming together, more companies will try to figure out how to set up remote teams to work instead of getting back to old realities of travels, meetings, visiting costumers, and getting together workshops. Companies will look at how they can improve efficiency by saving on the cost of the offices, which can be substantial. There is a high probability customers won’t be requesting vendors to visit their physical locations as well – another place for efficiency. The distributed nature of manufacturing companies will create an additional reason to manage everything remotely.
It is very much likely that remote will become a dominant model of work and it made me think about what it means for the future of PLM teams and competition. So, how to develop a remote PLM team strategy to win?
Here are some thoughts about how after the pandemic remote PLM team will work and what will be demanded by PLM sales, implementation, and actually customers.
1- Save time on on-boarding.
In every PLM project, the setup and configuration is a critical element from both – evaluation and implementation projects. At first, the customer would like to start the evaluation as soon as possible and see the real software performance. Deployment of solutions for production is not less critical. SaaS PLM systems are getting full advantage of instant registration and account setup. Hosted or on-premise PLM systems also can leverage modern remote virtualization setups to make it more efficient. If you don’t do one of these, you will be in total disadvantages.
2- Focus on online material delivery (any time any place)
In the old world, the sales team was coming to the customer site to deliver presentations and materials. Once it is done, materials were shared somehow with the customer. In a new remote or online world, the demand to have materials live available will become the top imperative. Sales and marketing materials are inseparable from training and support. All together, it creates a new online user experience for customers learning and adopting PLM products.
3- Licenses and availability
The remote environment creates a new set of requirements on how to make systems available anywhere and at any time. PLM SaaS tools are ideals to make it happen, but existing web tools can be optimized for remote work too. On the opposite side, on-premise modules can easily become not accessible and slow down the development process.
4- Collaboration and Virtual Office Rooms
Virtualization is not only about tech and infrastructure, but also about communication and collaboration. Physical offices will be replaced by virtual office rooms combing video interfaces, online collaboration, simultaneous data editing, and AR/VR tools.
What is my conclusion?
Remote PLM teams will have a huge advantage in the next decade over traditional teams because of the foundational technology and set of tools. It is a combination of sales tools, onboarding technologies, training experience, and PLM tech and products. All together these tools will make a platform for remote PLM delivery at any place to any customer at any stage of PLM product development and implementation. 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.