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The Supply Chain Management Blog covers the latest in SCM strategy, technology, and innovation.

PLM – A New Hope

By Avery De Marr, PMP, PLM & Emerging Tech Solution Engineer

 

Working in Silos

When I was an engineer working on Technology; I was constantly updating the product record.

When I was an engineer working on Quality; I was constantly trying to drive down errors in the product record.

When I was in IT working on a PLM Roadmap; I was constantly looking for a solution to keep the product record correct.

When I worked at a large corporation on their ‘state of the art systems,’ I should not have had these problems, but I did. The real problem was that I was always working on siloed systems with multiple systems of record. Did you hear that…..? Multiple systems of record!

Still Getting it Wrong

We put in the time, energy, and, maybe most of all, stress into getting the product right. We put the data in the system, we wrote checklists to make sure we got the data from the right place and from the right people, at hopefully, with some luck, the right time. We wrote code to check the data, we wrote code to pull the data. We tried building analytics to verify the data, we looked at the data with multiple eyes to reviewing it. We still got it wrong! 

We wished that we only got it wrong in some other hidden place that our customers couldn’t find and didn’t affect the end product. Well you know what they say about wishes! 

The problem is that we were working on a Product Lifecycle system that was inherently siloed. Yes, it was really good, but only if you were just in the CAD world or limited to only the NPI world, but rarely does a product end there as PLM1.0 & 2.0 did, and even there it had a lot of challenges. Want some analytics? Good luck! If we had a nickel for all the Process Extensions (aka CODE) and integrations that we had to think through, develop, code, test and deploy (and redeploy, and redeploy)…well, I think you get my point.

Evolution of PLM

PLM is changing from a fighting for survival mentality, to a state of foundational evolutions built from a primordial soup, in order to perpetually chase a place of “better existence.” This is now being called Protopia: The ability and foundation, to seek the better and not be held back by a solution that doesn’t fit the new challenges in our changing economy. The key word there being ‘foundation.’

PLM3.0, as we called it, set out to solve the problems of various business processes, and therefore systems, with a unified data model in which we can advance towards the future. This new PLM gave you the ability to configure, aka no or low code, your system so that you don’t have to stop and jump from silo to silo, or combine data into a data repository and find the master data. This new foundation for PLM also gave you built in analytics, the ability to natively interact from mobile clients, and contextual collaboration. Contextual collaboration so you no longer were cutting and pasting from emails, or posting bits of meetings into the product record to create traceability. It was all there real time. The ability to use one configured, there is that word again, solution to face not just your business today, but your business of tomorrow.

 

Future Ready PLM

Speaking of tomorrow, let’s talk about PLM4.0.  If you haven’t already, you should be thinking about some buzz words: Adaptive Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Internet of Things (IoT), and Digital Assistants (DA) and how your company plans to approach and utilize the advantages already disrupting the market, today! Ask yourself - can you pull data from your product, your manufacturing floor, from social media and the greater web in general in order to drive quality resolution faster than your competition? Can you do it real-time? Do you have the foundation to be able to combine information from your operations into your system of record, and intelligently act on these insights? Can you do this without an army of recourses, because your system gives you these insights? PLM4.0 answers these questions.

Join us to talk about how your new PLM4.0 solution can give you a future ready Protopia today! Remember make a plan and execute the plan…..because if wishes were fishes we’d all cast our nets!

Start your casting:

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