PLM+ERP: Outside of Equations?

I’ve been watching a recorded webinar with a fascinating name: PLM+ERP = Manufacturing Success. The tweet about this webinar caught my attention. Navigate your browser to the following link to get an access to the recording. You need to register. I registered my blog as a media company. In addition, I failed to run webinar videoe in both Safari and Chrome on my MacBook. FireFox was okay. Later, I’ve seen that video streaming is using SilverLight plug-ins, which made me think about Silverlight portability and future Microsoft strategy with HTML5.

PTC+Microsoft: Webinar

This webinar is organized by PTC and Microsoft and help of IBIS, Microsoft partner. You will have an intensive and deep set of information about what PTC, Microsoft Dynamics and IBIS. There is a mix of sale, marketing and user. The most valuable, in my view, is the last part where you can see a demo of scenario with involvement of both systems – Windchill and AX. I put few slides below that did catch my attention.

PLM+ERP

I remember this formula for the last 10 years. The combination of PLM and ERP systems working together was a permanent challenge for mid-size and bigger companies that were thinking about how to streamline processes in the organization. If you will follow slides and webinar video, you will see all logical steps by organizing processes and data flow between PLM and ERP systems. The complication of organizing the process is high. It would be interesting to understand the effort needed to organize such integration. This is a key question, in my view.

Wrong Equation?

The webinar and demo made me think about how to streamline processes in the organization. The traditional and very often used way to solve the PLM+ERP equation is to make data flow between systems. It requires a significant amount of work in organizing these processes. Hard-wiring of data, connecting events, sending messages, screening exchange logs. Systems are working according to its own rules. Push/Pull of data is complicated. The overall system is very sensitive to changes and requires baby-sitting. The system can function. However, significant resources need to be spent to keep it up-and-running.

What is my conclusion? One of the fundamental principles behind PLM+ERP equation is an event driven process push. Many manufacturing companies and software vendors got into this for the last 10-15 years. It was an obvious way to solve PLM+ERP equation. It makes systems dependent and costly to manage. One of the fundamental ideas that may improve it is to get out of this equation. The name of the idea is "Pull". Pull can make systems independent and much easy managed. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

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2 Responses to PLM+ERP: Outside of Equations?

  1. Bhushan Teli says:

    Hi Oleg,
    Good post, What I think is rather than having two diffrent systems PLM & ERP; we should go for ERP with PLM capability or viceversa like SAP which has both ERP+PLM in this scenario; both the systems will work on same database [no push/pull of data is requiered nor Integartion] & Cost is drastically reduced.
    Just my thaught.
    Thanks & Regards,
    Bhushan Teli

  2. Bhushan, thanks for the comment! For the first look, what you are saying make sense. By adding PLM capabilities to ERP, you remove the waste of integration. However, it doesn’t solve a problem, since it increases the internal system dependencies and decreases the overall system flexibility, in my view. My hunch is that big monolithic systems are a thing in the past – http://plmtwine.com/2009/12/20/large-monolithic-plm-implementations-are-a-thing-of-the-past/. Best, Oleg

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