New definition of PLM from UK Datamation – Info Assets

The following twitter message from @raykurland of TechniCom, NJ market research and consulting firm woke me up during the long Memorial Day weekend in U.S.

According to Ray Kurland, Datamation of UK provides a new definition of PLM and even provides some implementation aspects for this definition.

Datamation of the UK defines PLM as the effective management of information assets through-life. It is a “live entity” – not disposable.

— Raymond Kurland (@technicom) May 27, 2012

I navigated to the Datamation UK PLM News from June 2012 to read more. The article is talking about well-recognized problems in PLM – long time of PLM implementation. However, DM provided some unusual look on reasons why it happens. Here is the passage that caught my attention:

There has been much debate recently about why the implementation of PLM solutions takes so long. Some blame the management for lack of commitment/vision, some blame the technology/supplier and others put it to the nature of PLM. In reality, it is none of these. Many still view PLM to be like any other business application.

PLM is different from say CAD, ERP, CRM, etc. and therefore investment decisions in it should be based on different criteria. PLM’s key role, as defined in the Datamation PLM Model report, is the effective management of information assets through-life. In other words, it is a “live entity” – not like a car or a pair of shoes that are bought, used for a specific purpose and replaced by the next model at the end of its life.

According to Datamation letter the focus needs to be place on the decision of what information assets will be accumulated and managed to support and manage business processes.

Note that the one thing that will be present/constant through-life is the accumulated information assets. Therefore the first priority is to decide what information assets will need to be retained to support current and future business processes – this is the foundation on which the system will be built. Only when this is decided, should attention focus on what new applications are needed and what integrations to new and existing ones will be needed -these represent the “structure” of the building. No building should be erected without a foundation.

The focus on data is clearly interesting. Manufacturing companies are accumulating lots of design, engineering and manufacturing information. In my view, all PLM vendors, until now, have been trying to solve the problem data management and data sharing. Which is one of the reasons why it took so long to implement all PLM solutions?

To build a foundation is a good approach. However, life is so dynamic these days. Some of data requirements are coming from regulation / compliance needs, some others are result of strategic acquisition made by a company focused on market share capturing, some manufacturing facilities got re-organized as a result of some economical and/or natural disasters. To re-plan foundation data assets on every step can be a complicated and expensive task. Opposite to that, the ability to have a easy data capture and flexible process management capabilities can be an interesting PLM alternative.

What is my conclusion? In my view, time and cost are two factors that will be driving PLM implementations in coming years. Inability to get fast integration and implementation are preventing companies from adopting PLM. If Datamation info asset’s strategy assumes that, it can "keep water". However, I don’t see it different from information assets related manufacturing (ERP), suppliers (SCM), customers and sales (CRM). Just my thoughts…


If you are interested in more information about Datamation and Daista Software approach, you can consider to register to their webinar "Informaiton as an asset" here and get copyrighted whitepaper after registration.


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3 Responses to New definition of PLM from UK Datamation – Info Assets

  1. RealTimeRick says:

    Hi Oleg,

    There is an interesting parallel between PLM and my new world of eProcurement. The actual activity that takes place in the application may not be where the lasting value is. The lasting value is in the reuse, data mining, data analysis of what has taken place over time.

    In PLM, this is most often in the area of discovering and enforcing best practices. At Vinimaya (in eProcurement), we call it Purchase Decision Optimization. The data is there, use it!


  2. […] My previous world (PLM) and new world (eProcurement) collided in a blog by my friend Oleg Shilovitsky; “New Definition of PLM from UK Datamation Info Assets”. […]

  3. Rick, Interesting association. Thanks for mentioning my article in your blog today. I think, the key word is “decision”. It can be decision for ECO, decision for purchase, decision for design. Data plays the key role. Just my opinion… Best, Oleg

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