Companies Don’t Buy PLM

Companies don’t buy PLM.  They buy a solution to a problem.

Examples of Problems

Document Control…

Studies have shown that engineers can spend as much as 25% of their time looking for information.

Twenty years ago, manufacturing companies had file cabinets full of drawings.  They had [many still do] document control people that would come up with a scheme to store and retrieve drawings.

Most often, engineers want the latest released drawings.  Before document management software [including PDM & PLM], they couldn’t be sure they had their hands on the latest released.

You might be surprised at how often the wrong drawings would make it to the factory floor.  This kind of error can be very expensive.

Process Management…

In an audit, the auditor needs to know how you manufacture ‘widgets’.  How did a design go from an idea to a finished product?  You need to show that you have a process in place and you need to be able to prove that you follow that process.

All too often, steps in your design process get skipped.  It is not only time consuming to go back and correct this, errors can reach the manufacturing floor.

Configuration Management…

Even today, many companies will type their bill of materials [BoM] into their MRP/ERP software.  They could have the wrong version of the BoM and/or they could interject a ‘typo’.

Potential Solutions

The solution could include PLM software.  In this case, PDM software might be able to solve the problem.

Before purchasing software, have a clear understanding of the problem[s] you would like to solve.  Develop a vision for your solution – I always like to say that if the world were perfect, what would the solution look like?  Now you can begin conversations with potential vendors.  I can help you with this.

By the way – Companies that have successfully implemented PLM solutions have seen real benefits, you could too…

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