Implementing PLM

Oleg Shilovitsky answered some questions in a video format for Product Innovation Boston and he had some interesting thoughts about PLM [Product Lifecycle Management].

In the video, he said that the biggest challenge for PLM is the implementation itself.  It is not completely dependent on the PLM vendor.  A PLM implementation is about your company, your people, your requirements and your PLM vendor.

Why Take on PLM?

Companies purchase software like PLM to solve a business problem.  Typically, they look to cut costs, increase revenues or maybe just to mitigate risks.  Risks could be: Sending incorrect documentation to manufacturing; Recreating documentation because the original was lost; Having a change request take too long to approve causing the wrong ‘widget’ to be manufactured; etc.  Maybe you just want to be sure that you have a ‘single version of the truth.’

Some tips on mitigating implementation challenges…

What is your vision for a solution?  It is important to understand what problem are you trying solve?  What do you want your PLM solution to accomplish?  How will you know if you have been successful?  Do you have a requirements document?

Selecting a PLM vendor – You will be working with this company for some time.  You need to have a good working relationship with them.  Look for a partner – someone that wants to work with you.  Good listening skills on both sides should help you come up with a workable implementation plan.

Sitting with your selected PLM vendor, modify your solution vision so that it can be achieved.  Create a detailed requirements document.  Work with your vendor to define the project scope.  Break a large implementation into smaller [easier to deal with] pieces – don’t attempt to do everything at once.

Your vendor’s objective should be to make sure that you have a successful PLM implementation.  They should want you to be a happy customer so that you can be a reference account for them.

Change is inevitable; Progress is a choice (Dean Lindsay)


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