PLM Maturity

From an article written by Andreas Lindenthal…

About 20 years ago I had just started to work as the head of new product development at a large Swiss technology corporation when we decided to evaluate and implement a 3D CAD and Product Data Management (PDM) system. Our primary motivation was to improve engineering efficiency and reduce product development costs. The scope was quite limited and included CAD data management, some document management, EBOM management, engineering workflow management and a semi-automated Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP) interface. But that was pretty much all that was available in PDM systems at that time; the term Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) had not even been coined yet.

My thoughts…

My experiences are very similar to those of Andreas.

I only had one customer that did not manage CAD files, engineering change control and writing to MRP.  This one customer managed their work instructions.  This is far more important than it sounds.  If the engineering designs are done and you intend to manufacture widgets next week, you better have the work instructions ready to go. The workers on the factory floor need to know how to make widgets.

I would just like to add that I am still amazed at how few companies have implemented any kind of engineering data management solution.  Solution prices are lower and the rewards are still high but many companies won’t take the plunge.

Most of the horror stories about implementing PLM are from 10 to 20 years ago.  Today, these products are far superior and much easier to implement.

The rewards are big.  The first ROI that I performed showed a return on investment close to 900%.  I knew that no one would believe that, so I put in worse case numbers where ever I could to get it down to 400%.

There has never been a better time to take the plunge…

Your Thoughts…

Are you one of the companies that have not yet implemented any kind of document management solution?


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