Implementing “Effective PLM”

I have been writing lot of stuff in my notebook, but didn’t get time to convert it digitally. Recently I am helping a Small size company with their business processes. My initial interaction started with need of Innovation Management. This organization wants to transform them into Innovative organization and move from being a Product driven organization to combination of Product & Sales driven organization.

Traditional PLM Approach

When we started discussing with Management, first requirement we got, is they would like to make work space more challenging and setup processes which will help them transform. As an approach we decided to perform an outside-in analysis of organization. During this analysis we realized need of activities to be performed before we move towards Innovation and PLM. We started helping them with Sales processes, Customer Support process & handle the immediate challenges they were facing.

As we moved towards inside the organization, where we can help organization with Innovation & Product launch processes, it was more important to change culture of organization. The culture change was required with-in management thought process & also employees approach to Innovation.

Implementation of PLM was next progression for us. Discussions with most of the users revealed that their understanding of PLM was limited. For consultants like us, it was mandatory to bring the users on same page of PLM understanding so that we implement an Effective PLM. We started with orientation of business community towards an effective PLM & converted it into a organization wide activity than limiting it to specific departments.

Effective PLM – Customer Value at center

If you realized my topic is not “Effective PLM Implementation” but “Implementation of Effective PLM”. What is Effective PLM? For us Effective PLM is: To bring value to our customer & its customers through implementation of Product Launch Processes & systems. When we started journey with this customer, we always had kept implementation of effective PLM at heart of our engagement. And that is the reason for which we started with an outside-in approach.

For this organization, which deals in specialized industrial equipment, Sales process & customer support processes

were required to be aligned with product development. These two processes were voice of customer. Since they are in specialized equipments, their customers most of the times won’t know what they want. They will only have rough idea about application of these equipments. So trying to get direct feedback on new products was not helpful. So if we look at Effective PLM definition again, implementation of Sales Process & Customer Support processes was critical for getting VOC. Also process of integrating new products into sales through configurator was equally important.  These two activities which are generally not linked to traditional implementation of PLM, gave us a system, what we called an Effective PLM systems.

If we would have gone ahead with traditional PLM thought processes of starting with product data management, we would have implemented PLM effectively, but I am not sure if PLM would have been effective or not.

Conclusion: It is important to implement Effective PLM than just implementing PLM effectively. For Effective PLM implementation, PLM consultants would be required to understand PLM in its true sense and dig out areas where most value lies for a customer. These are just my thoughts on Effective PLM implementation… 


Note: Source of images is third party, these are referred to elaborate point of view. 

Posted in:
About the Author

Rahul Deshpande

Rahul is Principal Consultant at Brainwave Consulting Group – a cutting edge domain consulting group for New Product Introduction and Product Lifecycle Management.   Rahul brings over 16 years of experience in developing Technology and Business Solution for the Manufacturing Industry. He has worked with several clients in the manufacturing space in multiple roles spanning consulting, account management , Solution Architect and Program Management roles across the New Product Value Chain from Requirement / Enquiry management to launch of Product. He brings in cross functional experience covering Pre-Sales& Marketing, Business Planning, &IT Solution deployment. Rahul has worked along with the PLM ISV & Customers to define innovative solution and developed products for BOM Cost analysis and Sourcing Analytics on ENOVIA platform. He has penned different papers on usage of PLM for different processes & industries while addressing their business challenges. He brings a unique 360o view of the IT industry, and has significant contributions in the areas of IT Strategy, Program Management & Product Management.   Apart from holding a Bachelor of Technology in Electronics Rahul holds a Management degree from SIBM(Symbiosis Institute of Business Management). Rahul is associated with SIBM as visiting faculty for Innovation Management & International Business

Leave a Reply