Looking at PLM Solutions…

What drives a company to look at PLM software? I have seen companies start by trying to solve a problem or problems. I have seen companies start with a particular solution in mind.

Companies that start with a solution

Starting with a solution in mind, companies will look for a problem or problems to solve.

They start with a solution because someone is a big fan of a particular software product and has been telling you about it for months.

They have been told that their competition is using a particular software product and they believe that they must do something similar in order to be competitive.

They have read about a particular software solution and want to implement it at their company.

Companies that start with a problem

Having experienced problems at their company, they will look for software that will provide a solution to those problems. The problems will be causing pain for the user community or you wouldn’t even know about it.

The problem is usually costly and/or extremely annoying.

Some of the typical problems include: Employees can’t find the information they need to do their jobs; Files are lost, so they must recreate the information; The wrong version of a file was sent to manufacturing or your contractor; Your current change request process is extremely inefficient; etc.

Successful PLM implementations begin with a requirements document

Your ultimate objective is to find a solution to your problems. If you start with a solution in mind, it may be a legitimate solution to a particular set of problems, just not yours.

One thing that I have learned from successful PLM implementations is that the more time put into a requirements document, the better the solution. Contact me if you would like some help…

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2 thoughts on “Looking at PLM Solutions…

  1. Scott, I am not sure if I agree with you. In many PLM selection processes, I have seen hundreds / thousands of requirements collected by the business stakeholders to solve their “problems”. These requirements always remind me of Henry Ford’s famous statement: “If I asked my customers what they wanted, they would ask for faster horses”.

    This also applies to PLM implementations. You first need to have a vision where you want to be in 5 – 10 years (or faster if possible). Based on that vision you will have some crucial requirements that you need to fulfill. Here I agree it starts with requirements.

    However do not focus on the details – as you will learn and change while you are implementing – keeping the big picture in the mind

  2. I agree with your statement – I like to start with a vision as well. What I don’t agree with is a customer saying that he wants to purchase Windchill without looking at his problems or his vision to see if there is a real fit…

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