Why I haven’t bought PLM yet.

Well, Product Lifecycle Management sounds like a very profound concept. I can see organizational benefits, values, etc… etc… But I’m not buying yet! You are probably familiar with such behavior – it all sounds good, but people are keeping their positions and not moving. So, I tried to analyze and talk with a few of our customers.

Here is my list of “why I’m not buying yet”?

1. Complexity. This is key. I mentioned it yesterday in a separate blog post called “Complexity Kills…”. It’s too complex to be true. I’m afraid that when I start following all the processes, recommendations, models, and user interfaces…. I see too much. So, in this situation, my reaction is – you guys are too smart and too complex for me.

2. Need to change the way I work. PLM comes with a state of mind “We know how to change it — believe me!” My user’s position here is that I want be able first to see how PLM handles my environment. So, from this standpoint, I want the company to be able to implement PLM, see how it works in not optimized way and then optimize everything.

3. Additional hassle to handle. Unfortunately, this is another system on the table. I need to learn it, handle it separately, ultimately work on this system separately. So, I don’t like this idea :) …

4. Want LEGO approach. This is want I want. I want my PLM LEGOLAND. I want to add blocks as easily as possible – to play with them, allow to users to play with them, and only after we’ll see how it flies in the organization – by moving it to the user’s daily work. And… one more thing: Users need to be part of this process. They need to provide inputs interactively– not only to see it.

So, what is my bottom line? I want to go with the Toyota approach – “test before design”.  So, afterwards, we will make the system simple — the main approach will be to see how the system can work in the organization AS IS, use it, and improve it with small steps. All this will help people want to buy PLM to improve their daily work within their organizations.

What do you think?

11 Responses to Why I haven’t bought PLM yet.

  1. Hello Oleg-

    Another resistance I’ve seen is that implementing PLM, to many clients, is a financial burden that doesn’t bring in revenue, like a new product for example.

    So the PLM implementation gets pushed back whenever the budget is reviewed by upper management. Upper management is usually unaware of the productivity increase that a robust PLM system can offer.

    Devon Sowell

  2. Hi Devon, Productivity is something that generally considered as slowing when you apply data management technologies and practices. Very few products, in my view, successfully proved different. Today, you cannot build PLM case based on productivity. The most successful PLM case today is to support process(es) that you cannot do without PLM. Best, Oleg

  3. Cam Bickel says:

    We have used Agile PLM for 10 years. It took our ECO cycle time from months down to days – or minutes when we need it. We also reduced the clerical headcount for change processing. Some of this effort was transferred to individual engineers but this is no different than moving from secretaries typing memos for people vs. them doing it themselves in Word. A little more effort but much more efficient and empowering.

    As far as complexity – we had the benefit of starting when the tool WAS simple and we evolved with it. Even though the tool is much more powerful today you don’t have to do it all at once.

  4. Cam, thanks for you insight and experience share!.. I’m sure PLM have great stories behind. Actually I made some of them too ;). My perspective was more from standpoint of mainstream adoption. On “mainstream highway” it looks complex… yet. Cheers, Oleg.

  5. RE:”It took our ECO cycle time from months down to days – or minutes when we need it. We also reduced the clerical headcount for change processing.”

    This looks like an increase in productivity. :-)

    Devon Sowell

  6. Devon, yes, this is exactly increase of productivity. It it happened in many organizations. -Oleg.

  7. Raj Pillai says:

    You mentioned that when budgets are reviewed, PLM budget is usually the one to be cut. Why is that? How about ERP budgets? They are a lot more expensive than PLM implementations…
    Someone is not proposing the roght ROI for PLM projects. I believe PLM hits at the top line as well as the bottom of a company’s balance sheet.
    my 2 cents…

  8. Raj, I believe today’s problem is that ERP is perceived as must and PLM is perceived as nice to have. This is changed for the last 2-3 years, but still not in mainstream. Cheers, Oleg
    PS. Devon, ball on your side :)… Oleg/

  9. “Raj, I believe today’s problem is that ERP is perceived as must and PLM is perceived as nice to have. This is changed for the last 2-3 years, but still not in mainstream. Cheers, Oleg”

    I agree totally with Oleg’s point of view.

    Devon Sowell

  10. Brian Pye says:

    ERP is a Finance related tool in a way that PLM isn’t seen to be. Therefore the Finance chiefs get to say this one (ERP) gets the budget before the “support” systems like PLM.
    If you don’t have a PLM system and are designing and producing something then you must have some systems to support it which are “working” to some degree. Therefore you can continue to do this until the pressure on cash eases up. This is the top management view, however much they may want to change it.

  11. Hi Brian, Thank you!.. this is good explanation of why ERP is viewed as must and PLM is an option. -Oleg

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