Selecting the right PLM software is not an easy task.
A word of advice, don’t pick the software or technology first. It leaves you hoping that the software will meet your needs.
Start with your Vision for a Solution
If the world were perfect, what would your software look like? The user interface is what software looks like… Most people have an idea for a solution in mind before they even start looking for software.
What problems are you trying to solve?
Something is happening in your company that is pushing you to look for a solution. It is either ramping up costs or the inefficiency is just driving you crazy. Identify those problems and determine how much money this is costing your company.
Most likely, you will need to write some kind of proposal to get management to spend the cash necessary to make all of this happen. This will be the start of that endeavor.
Document the problems in detail. Talk to the players involved to gather their input [this will be important to the success of the project].
Looking at these problems, how might you mitigate them? You may even be able to improve the situation without software. What will the software need to do [features] to help you solve the problems? This will be the start of your requirements document. You may not be able to find software with all of the needed features, but you can find the best available solution.
You may be looking to solve only a few problems now, but you would like to solve a lot more in the future. Sort this out so that you can find software that can grow with you.
You may even decide to start with software that you plan to ‘toss’ after 5 years to pursue the ‘real’ solution. That is OK if you acknowledge it from the start.
Talking with Vendors
Think of this like test driving a car – what will it be like using this software in your company. Have them do a custom demonstration that will show you how you will be using the software.
As I said, selecting PLM software is not an easy task. Need some help, give me a call…