Why you still cannot sell PLM without exec support?

There are variety definitions of what is PLM. Not much agreement about that among PLM vendors, PLM analysts and manufacturing companies. However, if you want to introduce PLM in manufacturing company, you can find majority of people to agree that implementing PLM takes time and includes some strategy planning, implementation and patience. My PLM industry colleague and blogging buddy Jos Voskuil calls it PLM journey. One of the things that often comes during PLM journeys is to have C-level support during PLM sales and implementation.

Aras Corp. recently featured the issue of C-level management support for PLM in their blog – Executive Support for PLM and Why You Need It. I captured few interesting quotes from that post:

Executive support is a crucial part of the PLM selection, implementation and acceptance processes that often gets overlooked. Having executives back a PLM initiative not only shows that the software is here to stay, it also ensures resources, and brings executive insight into the business model and processes to the project.

PLM is not a one-year solution; it’s a long term decision and the results have to be measured over time. For example, are your product development cycles still improving 3 years later? ROI has no expiration date. Including the long term impact of PLM in your business case could be the key to getting much-needed executive support.

In my view, these messages are capturing very well the essence of what called "PLM business transformation" process. You cannot sell and implement PLM without having PLM implementation champion in a company as well as execs giving their buy-ins to the project. It represents what I called enterprise sales old schoolers in one of my previous blog post. However, I’d like to put some controversy in this PLM journey nirvana. It would be great for business to have time to choose their PLM journey road with enough time for discussing, planning and implementing. It should be also good to have unlimited resources to spend in PLM journey. However, this is probably not going to happen these days and for visible future for most of companies I know. Businesses are very dynamic these days and driven by lots of unpredictable business factors, cost constraints, competition and regulation. It applies a new perspective on how companies will treat PLM in the future. And, it will drive even more attention from executives in the companies.

What is my conclusion? Regardless on what PLM implementation strategy you choose these days, to have exec support for your PLM project is a good thing. When it comes to redefining how is you company develop and manufacturing products, you want to have some C-level support people to backup your PLM strategy. In the modern dynamic business environment to have execs on board of your PLM implementation is even more important. Nowadays, you don’t have 5 years to manage your PLM journey project. Your PLM journey becomes PLM sprints with execs serves as supporters and judges at the same time. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

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