PLM and Small Businesses…

PLM [product lifecycle management] software may not be a good fit for a small business. 

Product lifecycle management is a broad topic.  It starts with engineering information and branches out to manage human resources information, marketing information, customer service information, and many other kinds of information.

I am a firm believer that as manufacturing companies get larger, they will eventually have a real need for PLM software.  However, while they are still small PLM may be overkill.

  –  A small business may not have a need to address all of their departments today.  They may only need to manage engineering files.  In this case, a PLM solution may be way more than they need.

  –  Most often, a PLM solution has a price tag that is far greater than they are looking to spend.

  –  Typical PLM software has more than 400 features.  Small companies may not even need 20 of those.  Capabilities of PLM software far exceeds what they need today and in the near future. 

  –  Implementing PLM software is a big project.  It involves implementation services from the vendor, IT services from your own people and participation in the project by more of your own people.  Your company may not be in a position at this time to make this kind of commitment. 

The right decision for right now…

PLM may be in your future, but a better business decision may be to start small and work up to PLM.

A good decision may be to purchase something less than PLM now with the idea that you will dump it in a few years.  You could decide to keep that software and just add PLM software to the mix – integration would be a part of this decision.

A thorough analysis can help you make an informed decision – I can help…


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