PLM High Performance: Business and Operational Objectives [video]


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Twenty years after manufacturing companies first began to invest in PLM technology, PTC Global Services wanted to understand how business objectives for these initiatives have changed.

In the early days of PLM, companies focused mostly on improving collaboration and productivity in the engineering department. PLM systems helped centralize engineering planning and design data.

Has that changed? How are business people today justifying their investments in PLM programs? What are they trying to accomplish with today’s more mature PLM systems and solutions?

Working with independent analyst firm Tech-Clarity, PTC Global Services interviewed 190 business and IT leaders from North America and Europe about their PLM objectives. The survey focused on manufacturing companies with PLM systems in place. Half of the companies have implemented PLM within the last two years, and the other half has had systems in place for two years or more.

According to the research, companies today have a much broader range of objectives with PLM than they did in the past.

In the area of business objectives, the top three priorities are to improve product-time-to-market, increase product development efficiency, and reduce product cost.

But a range of other objectives are also prominent. Manufacturers today are looking to PLM to help improve product quality, improve the performance of their supply chains, and even improve their after-market service business.

Using PLM to support product innovation, and to develop more green or sustainable products, are also top business drivers for many firms.

Operationally, survey participants also reported a broad range of objectives for PLM: Streamlining and standardizing manual processes, creating a single source of information truth, integrating product development with other systems, supporting distributed global teams, and improving communication and collaboration across the organization.

With such a broad range of objectives, companies in the survey are using PLM to address a much broader range of business processes than in the past. Along with the traditional focus on product data management and engineering change management, many companies today are integrating manufacturing and quality planning, systems engineering, and even service management into their PLM programs.

They are including multiple, major business functions in their PLM programs. Along with the engineering department, companies are commonly including the manufacturing and supply chain organizations, Quality, and Procurement. Many companies are now looking to bring sales and marketing into their PLM programs, as well.

Overall, this means that PLM has become a much broader program with potential impact across the entire business, not just the engineering department. PLM today is more about business transformation than just organizational efficiency.

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