A Needed PLM Integration…

In past blogs, I have discussed PLM integrations.  What follows is a good example.

Engineering & Purchasing

As an Engineer is designing a new part or new product, they typically go through several iterations before reaching an approved design for release.

During that design process, purchasing will typically get involved for several reasons.

If the part is new:

  • They will need to find a company that can manufacture the part for the right price with the right quality assurances.
  • If they can manufacture the part in-house, they need to find vendors to supply the materials needed for manufacturing.

If the part exists:

  • They will need to find a manufacturer that can deliver the quantity they need for the price they need with the required quality.
  • If they manufacture in-house, they need to check inventory to determine the quantity of materials needed to begin manufacturing the additional needed parts.

Communication Options

Without Integration:

  • Assuming that they use PLM software, the software can send off Emails to purchasing providing drawings, specifications and quantity information required for purchasing.
  • Upon release, the bill of materials will need to be entered into their ERP [enterprise resource planning] software so that manufacturing knows what to make and when to make it [effective date].
  • The current inventory will need to be determined either from your ERP or with a manual count so that purchasing will know what quantities to order/manufacture.

With Integration:

  • The PLM software can still send Emails, but the pending bill of materials could already reside in the ERP [where purchasing tends to work].
  • Upon release, the PLM software will post the bill of materials into ERP with an associated effective date.
  • The inventory will be visible in the ERP software so purchasing can determine quantities.

As with any integration project, if the cost of the integration exceeds the cost of entering the information manually then the integration can’t be justified at this time.

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