This week, Oleg Shilovitsky posed the question ‘Will PLM manage the enterprise BOM?’
PLM software and ERP software are entirely different animals.
PLM software began years ago as engineering data management software and, over time moved into product data management. Software vendors wanting to differentiate their software created a new category called product lifecycle management. Still, all of these programs started in engineering to manage engineering information. It was designed to work in the engineering department. It is in their language and follows basic engineering rules. Most PLM software vendors are looking to increase their revenue opportunities by moving into other departments.
ERP software began as manufacturing resource planning software [MRP]. Initially, the MRP software managed the resources of a manufacturing company. The software focused on 2 departments – finance and manufacturing. It is in their language and follows the rules of each department. These departments use the software daily if not all day. ERP software vendors are also looking to increase their revenue opportunities by moving into other departments.
Today, you will find the latest manufacturing bill of materials [MBOM] in a manufacturer’s ERP software. I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
In most companies, there is company politics that has to be overcome. Years ago, I was first told that ‘he who has the data has the control’ and that doesn’t seem to have changed. Manufacturing will not be receptive to having PLM be the location of the manufacturing BOM.
Finance needs access to the BOM in order to order materials and ERP is where that happens.
Manufacturing needs access to the BOM to plan the factory floor and ERP is designed to do that.
And then there is the arrogance of PLM vendors believing that they can do ERP better or ERP vendors believing that they can do PLM better. In each case, there will be compromises made that are not in the best interest of the customer.
The cross over could happen but I don’t expect it anytime soon.