PLM Adoption…

I have been selling, marketing or consulting in the PLM [Product Lifecycle Management] space since the late 80’s.  Early on, the prospects that purchased and implemented their software saw some good return on investment numbers.  These companies were the early adopters.

Those of us in the business expected PLM to become adopted by the main stream fairly quickly – maybe 5 to 10 years.  That didn’t happen.  Let’s look at some of the reasons in no particular order.

Enterprise software can get expensive.  In the beginning, companies could spend as much as 10 times more for the professional services to do the implementation.

PLM software crosses functional boundaries – like engineering, manufacturing, finance, marketing, etc.  When you get that many people involved, it is difficult to make the simplest of decisions.

Scope creep – If your company keeps changing the scope [requirements/features], it will be difficult for the implementer to complete the project on time and within budget.

PLM software has a business process management component – think engineering change control.  Many companies see this as a good time to do process re-engineering.  This activity will cause huge delays in your PLM project.

Company Politics – This brings up a myriad of issues.  Who owns the data?  Who owns the implementation?  Is the bill of materials owned by the PLM software or your ERP [enterprise resource planning] software?  Sorting through these issues will cause delays in the project.

Integration – Do any of your enterprise software databases need to share information with another?  This requires planning and coding delaying the project.  What information is needed by other enterprise software?  Should you publish information as it is entered, or would you rather query as you need it?  The implementer will need to choose an integration methodology like HTML, SQL, or some other.  Coding the solution takes time and can get expensive.

Bulk Loading of files into the new software – In reality, not everything needs to be loaded.  What does need to be loaded and what doesn’t?  This will start you down the path to a data cleansing activity.

These issues are all real, but they can be simplified and minimized with the help of someone that has been through it before.  I can help.


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