Selecting a PLM Vendor

I saw an article last week listing questions for selecting a PLM vendor.  I sold PLM software for a number of years and have provided PLM consulting since then.  I didn’t agree with half of what was on their list.  My suggestions follow…

You will be working with this vendor for a lot of years.  It is extremely important to have a solid working relationship with them.  They need to be in your corner.  They need to help you make this implementation work well.

I would hope that customer support is a high priority for them.

Speak with their customers.  Ask a lot of questions:  How did the implementation go?  How long did it take from purchase to ‘go live’?  Did it solve the problem you were looking to solve?  How is their customer support?  Would you recommend them to others?

If your company is global, can they support your implementation worldwide?

All of the vendors have a standard demonstration.  Have them show you what their software would look like in your environment.  What will your users see – the user interface is extremely important.  Can you change the labels in the user interface to your company language?  Can you show only the items that the users need to see?

Is it easy to customize workflows?  [Point and click rather than coding]

What release is in use today?  What percentage of your customers are on the latest release?  What percentage are on maintenance?

Is your licensing concurrent or by named user?

Can the software generate a PDF sibling upon check-in?  This is for users that don’t have the needed application running on their computer for them to view the file.

Have you integrated with other software?  Like ERP?  How did you do the integration?  Does the software have an open API?  Can it do an export and an import?

How much will the implementation cost me?  Include software, services and maintenance.

Technology questions: Can your software run on VMware? Does the software require quad-core?  How much RAM is required?  Will it run on MS-SQL?  What other databases?

Good luck with your PLM implementation – it is well worth it in the long haul.  Interested in learning more, drop me a note…

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