Friday, August 8, 2014

The Expanding PLM Footprint and Impact on Innovation

The second law of thermodynamics states that everything is getting less organized, or something like that. If one gazes upon my desk they will see this law in action. It may not be obvious, but there is order in the seeming disorder of my desk. PLM has also been growing, expanding, and developing new solutions to provide opportunities for improved innovation. In the apparent disorder of all the new solutions and technologies there is an opportunity to enhance innovation, and take advantage of new and better methods for product development.

The first reason for this expansion of PLM is that the PLM vendors would like to provide a complete solution that can take your product from conception through to manufacturing. This is a huge challenge  for most companies, and very few have realized the holy grail of complete PLM deployment across the enterprise. Of course, today there are many PLM vendors that can provide a large part of the product development requirements. There are still gaps, but if you want to rely on one vendor's solution set for product development, you will have several very good options.

The second reason PLM is expanding is that today we have many new technologies that can support innovation. These new technologies have the potential to revolutionize the way we do product design, and allow a more seamless and streamlined process. Implementing these solutions will not be easy nor quick, but starting today will allow you to be ahead of your competition. A few of these new technologies are:

  • The Cloud (Not really new, but the application of this technology is having a big impact)
  • Social Tools (How will they impact PLM? The jury is still out)
  • The Internet of Things (Lots of options here, but it will require an effort by many groups)
  • Big Data/Analytics (There is so much information to analyze. How do we do it?)
  • 3D Printing (Also not new, but the new materials and uses are making this a reality)
  • Mobile Devices (Potentially allows global teams to collaborate more easily)

The list could go on. New technologies provide a way to increase the amount of innovation you put into your products while at the same time preparing you to take advantage of any other new technologies that may appear. If you still do much of your data management with MS Excel spreadsheets, and rely on disconnected silos for data management you will not be able to take advantage of these new technologies. PLM expansion is an opportunity for greater innovation and inefficiencies in product development, just don't look at my desk.

Would you like to learn more about the expanding footprint of PLM and how new technologies can support your product innovation? Then join me for a FREE webinar on September 10 at 11:00 AM to hear more details about these important topics. I'm sure you have nothing better to do.