One of the questions, that was very popular in my childhood was about "life on Mars". Nowadays, thanks for NASA and Curiosity, this question became practically obsolete. Let me speak now about PLM. What if all questions about what is PLM, how companies can implement PLM and many others disappeared. Hard to believe, but let’s dream about it this situation :). Obviously, my next question is the following – "what comes after PLM?". You may think people are not asking this question. Actually, they do and I found few interesting opinions about what comes "after PLM".
Dassault and 3D Experience
According to Dassault System CEO and President, Bernard Charles, sees 3D experience as the next horizon that comes after PLM. Navigate to the following link to read “3D Experience is the next horizon after PLM”. Dassault is thinking about cloud computing, social networking, virtual reality and search-based analytics as a foundation of life after PLM. I found the following passage very interesting:
An iPhone is a winner because it provides a great experience that’s about more than a product. It’s about how you take advantage of any physical good and its contribution to how you run your business or conduct your life. 3D Experience is about doing that. It’s the next horizon after PLM. The fundamental value is about how we can offer our customers the ability to put the consumer or their customers at the center of the product creation pipeline in a holistic sense including design, engineering, simulation and production.
Interesting enough is how Charles defines the combination of social tools with a significant focus on cloud and user experience.
Supply Chain Execution
Another example is coming actually from a complete different space. NGC groups publish the report – Report from NGC:After PLM, What Comes Next? Perfecting Supply Chain Execution. Navigate to the following link to get a copy of the report (note – registration is required). The report includes case studies on VF Corp. and Landau Uniform; analyst insight from WhichPLM‘s Mark Harrop and Leslie Hand, Research Director, IDC Retail Insights; and a Q&A with Mark Burstein, president of sales, marketing and R&D, NGC Software. The main point of the report is that efficient SCM (Supply Chain Management system) provides the most logical step after PLM implementation. Here is my favorite passage:
PLM is a very important enterprise system, but its main focus is on product line planning and the subsequent development of the line until it is adopted. Global sourcing/SCM tools track and manage the movement of the physical product until it is delivered. SCM begins with distribution of the initial purchase order to the selected vendor, and then continues with tracking materials procurement, production work- in-process, quality audits and shipment logistics until the finished goods are received at the final destination.
What is my conclusion? PLM doesn’t live in isolation. PLM becoms more visible and important in organizations these days. There is a simple reason for that. PLM serves as a core system helping engineers and everybody in the coming to run product development processes. Vertical integration is important, therefore, connecting and expanding PLM system towards the supply chain is a possible strategic direction. Supply chain might have different priorities depending on the company and type of operation. Speaking about user experience, I believe it becomes more important these days, since the demand of people is driven by consumer websites and mobile applications. Just my thoughts. What is your take?