PLM, Please Don’t Take Giant Steps…

This post caught my attention last week. “PLM, please take 3 giant steps forward!” by Jim Brown. I’m very well connected to Jim and yet I’d like to pose a controversial question – should PLM do it? I would like to explain my points and look forward to a fruitful discussion.

I will be discussing the three dimensions raised by Jim –

1/ Product;

2/ People;

3/ Lifecycle:

Products are expanding. Of course we are thrilled by our product capabilities, but what is the actual adoption rate? How much of our functionality is used by customers? How we can implement and answer exact customers needs? Since about 50% of revenues in our industry are generated by services, I assume that we still have a long way to go to deliver a good fit of functionality to customer needs. So, here’s my request:  please, let’s do what customers want slowly– and in the current turbulent time, we will try to deliver as much more precisely. I’d like to learn from Google, put more betas out of the door and see how our customers can adopt our functionality.

People. When I first saw all the social-related development by Product Lifecycle Management vendors, I thought –this is really great! We will allow users to be better connected. Which means to be aligned with what customers want. Actually for PLM vendors, we need to allow our products and processes to be better connected with people that use them, and we need to be able to get their feedback step by step, and implement it. This is related to the overall manufacturing ecosystem that needs to be driven by vendors and their partners.

Lifecycle. This is a good one and really connected to PLM in my view. Everything is about to change. We are managing the lifecycle of products created by our customers. But what about our lifecycle?. Our customers these days are trying to be more lean and agile. So, how we can we manage change successfully? Our implementations are still so complex and expensive that customers need time to adopt to new versions and changes of existing implementations. So, I want us to be more agile and be able to go with multiple small steps.

So, what is my conclusion? We definitely need PLM to leapfrog in the future and improve what we are doing in the current turbulent economical situation. But let’s start this huge leapfrog with small steps. This will be more flexible and lean and simple for our customers.

What is your view on this? I’m looking forward to our discussion.

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