Purchasing PLM Software

When purchasing PLM [product lifecycle management] software, the person in your company that is responsible for ‘spend’ will need to feel confident that your company has made a sound financial decision.

I have helped many companies with their PLM projects.  Often, they will come to me after having chosen a technology.  This is like purchasing a computer before determining CPU speed, internal RAM size, storage disk size, etc.

Companies don’t really purchase PLM software – they purchase a solution to a problem. When you purchase a drill bit, you actually want the hole it creates.  The problem that you are attempting to solve is the need for a hole.  The solution happens to include a drill bit.

What specific results are you hoping to achieve?

So, the first task when purchasing PLM software is to determine what problem or problems are you attempting to solve.  What will your company look like when they have succeeded in solving their problems?

Why do you want to solve these problems?

Most likely, these problems either cost your company money or they aggravate you daily.  So, gather your requirements – what features does the solution need to have to solve the problem or problems?

These requirements could include software features and/or user activities.  What technology is available that could meet these requirements?  Calculate the potential costs for this solution.  Perform a return on investment analysis to be sure the solution is viable.

How will you achieve success?

Determine a reasonable path to your solution.  How will you get from here to there?  Will you do it internally or will you seek outside help?  Combine this plan with your return on investment analysis and present it to the person in your company that is responsible for ‘spend’.

Be sure to define success before you start your project.  This will help you with upper management and your success will make it easier for future projects.

Contact me if you would like some help…

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