Expanding PLM

Jim Brown shared his thoughts on the PLM market…

He sees PLM expanding in 4 dimensions:

  • To more people
  • Covering a richer view of the product
  • Enabling more processes
  • Supporting further up and down the product lifecycle

But not everyone is taking advantage of the broadening capabilities.

My thoughts…

PLM has been around for at least 20 years.  I am still surprised to find companies that using protected directories instead of a software solution.  I think that you would be amazed at the number of companies that have not implemented any kind of software solution.

I see a lot of Sharepoint implementations which may manage documents, but don’t do a good job of managing a product lifecycle.

Most PLM implementations begin in engineering.  Engineering needs to manage CAD drawings, bills of materials and the engineering change process.  It is very typical to add more people to the system.

Initially, a bill of materials will have parts [or items], sub-assemblies and assemblies.  Over time, companies will want to associate different items like: requirements documents, test procedures, test results, work instruction packages etc. [covering a richer view of the product].

After successfully managing the engineering change process, some of my customers have begun managing other processes like the purchase order process, work instruction package creation, etc.

However, as Jim points out, not everyone is taking advantage of the full capabilities of PLM.

After you are successfully managing your CAD drawings, bills of materials and your engineering change process look to other areas that could use some improvement.  PLM software is a great platform for improving other processes.

Your thoughts…

How are you using your PLM software?


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