Every organization is driven by processes. Even if you don’t have any process management systems, processes are there. You probably manage them using paper trails – this is not very efficiently for 21st century . I know lots of organizations are running their organizational processes using email – this is better, but it is still “very 1985″. More and more manufacturing companies these days are thinking how to improve product development processes. For many of them, it is not only how to improve engineering to manufacturing processes, but how to establish a system that can take end-to-end processes management involving customers, sales, marketing, engineering, manufacturing, support and others.
In previous blogs, I have proposed the premise that a company is a collection of processes. All information generated by company employees goes through some kind of process either formal or informal. It could be as simple as me writing this blog, proofing it and then posting it. Or it can be as complex as managing an engineering change request which could have dozens of people in the process.
In the PDM days, we managed only engineering processes like the engineering change process. However, if you really want to manage a product’s lifecycle other departments need to be involved. As Oleg points out, a product lifecycle includes customers, sales marketing, manufacturing, support and others.
PLM tends to start in engineering. Most engineering departments understand the process that manages engineering changes. This is the most expensive process within a manufacturing company, so it should get some attention. The product lifecycle gets harder to map [define] as it moves out into the other departments even though implementing a solution within your PLM software would make your company more efficient [cuts costs/increases revenues].
It is in your company’s best interest to expand your PLM implementation into other departments so what are you waiting for?
Is there anything wrong with this argument?