“Sometimes, I feel frustrated at work—there is a constant conflict between my department and others and it never stops.” – A product developer at a fashion company
During the process of building the request for proposal (RFP) template for fashion product lifecycle management (PLM), I spent some time talking with some relatively large fashion goods manufacturers and retailers to gain a better understanding of how the fashion business runs. As I learned more, I realized that the conflict between the two major driving forces (pushing and pulling) behind fashion products is causing frustration, unachievable sales targets, and missed sales opportunities. Let me explain these two forces briefly. Read the rest of this entry »
A few months ago while I was listening to Dassault Systèmes (DS) executives explaining the company’s sales and marketing strategies and achievements, I wondered what the next move might be since I found the relationship between DS and IBM was becoming more delicate than before. My concern was that a very sophisticated approach would be required in order to grow DS’s own sales capability, while keeping the strong and long-time DS/IBM partnership in good shape. Here’s the answer to my question: a press release from DS on October 26 tells us that “Dassault Systèmes and IBM Announce Intent to Integrate IBM PLM Sales Operation into DS.” Read the rest of this entry »
A recent blog post CRM for the Finance and Banking Industry – Part 1 by Gabriel Gheorghiu touched on a pain point of many of today’s enterprise IT environments. Due to the inconsistency of customer data amongst different systems in use, the bank employee “asked three or four of her co-workers for help, and took about 15 minutes” to simply change the address of one customer. As a matter of fact, the bank that Gabriel mentioned is not the only one in this situation. Recently at the Gartner Master Data Management Summit 2009, I learned from a case study that prior to the master data management (MDM) initiative, a large Canadian retailer had over 45 million domestic customers recorded in its various systems, even though the entire country has a population of less than 34 million. Read the rest of this entry »
Within the product lifecycle management (PLM) arena, there is a category of solutions with a very specific industry focus: fashion and retail PLM solutions. For example, Lectra calls its solution Fashion PLM; at PTC, its FlexPLM solution is created for retail, footwear, and apparel; TradeStone Software names its solution Merchandise Lifecycle Management (MLM) (instead of PLM) and focuses on helping retailers to design and develop private label merchandise. No matter how vendors describe their solutions, it seems certain that now PLM manages not only “trees” but also “grass.” Read the rest of this entry »
PLM Boot Camp ’09 is coming in one week. As one of the committee members for this event, I’m delighted to provide three tips to those who are planning to attend this two-day virtual conference.
Tip #1: Prepare to See a “Different” PLM
PLM Boot Camp ’09 is obviously focused on product lifecycle management (PLM). However, it also has vertical foci: the fashion and consumer products industries. If a couple of years ago I had been told there would be such an event, I wouldn’t have believed there would be a large enough audience. However, things are changing significantly in these specific PLM fields. In the fashion sector alone, there are over 40 software solutions that serve specific PLM needs from this vertical. Although the methodology of PLM stays the same, when it comes to applying PLM in the fashion and consumer products industries, the business cases, adoption strategies, and functionality priorities are likely to be different than in industries such as aerospace and automotive. Read the rest of this entry »
I went through the agenda of the PLM Road Map 2009 (September 22 and 23, in Detroit, Michigan [US]) when I submitted my attendance preferences to conference organizer Collaborative Product Development Associates (CPDA). Looking at the agenda, I’m convinced that the two-day event is well structured to cover critical issues in the product lifecycle management (PLM) field and to apprehend the future of PLM. Below are what look to me like the conference highlights:
Today, many assets are designed and manufactured with the help of product lifecycle management (PLM) tools and systems, which contain highly valuable product definition information for enterprise asset management (EAM) and computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) operations.
That being said, if there is a way to tie the two systems (EAM and PLM) together, the result will be beneficial to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), asset owners, and third-party maintenance service providers. However, this isn’t an easy job. The following are a few barriers between EAM and PLM as I see it. Read the rest of this entry »
There are multiple answers for how a bad product is developed; many of them are rooted in myopia in the development process.
This morning, when I was leaving a subway station through a tunnel, a billboard caught my eye. Actually, at first glance, I was kind of scared by the weird eye of one of the women in the picture. A second look revealed that the weird eye was a bolt (on top of a washer) located very close to her right eye. Read the rest of this entry »
Bringing all product stakeholders in a tighter loop within the entire product life cycle is one of the main strategies of the product lifecycle management (PLM) methodology. Following this idea, letting the customers (those who pay for and/or use the product) get involved as early as possible in the product design and development phases provides many benefits, including: more ideas for innovation, less design rework, higher customer satisfaction, shorter time-to-market, and more.
Today, including customer inputs in the design process is not only a theory, but also an increasing requirement from PLM users. Based on statistics from the TEC PLM Evaluation Center, among 50 possible business objectives for implementing a PLM system, the option of “including customer input in the design process” changed its ranking from 28th (in the year 2007) to 20th (in the year 2008) (see figure 1). Read the rest of this entry »
In a previous blog post, based on TEC’s outsourcing selection criteria, I summarized 6 types of experiences that a buyer should consider when choosing the best provider for application software outsourcing projects. Since then, my interest has been raised to the level of taking a further look into outsourcing buyers’ requirements for their potential providers’ expertise in a real selection process. Thanks to TEC’s Outsourcing Evaluation Center, users are able to identify their high-level requirements, run outsourcing service comparisons, and receive a short list of qualified providers. I was also able to look at the statistics of these high-level requirements and found out something that might be interesting for both outsourcing buyers and providers. Read the rest of this entry »
The IT industry is constructed of three-letter acronyms (TLAs). However, the total number of possible three-letter abbreviations using the 26 letters of the alphabet is only 17,576. This explains the stars-wearing-the-same-dress types of incidents in the IT world. When Sherry Fox discussed ECM and EIM, the acronyms represented enterprise compensation management and enterprise incentive management respectively. In this blog, the two “dresses” are worn by two different stars—enterprise content management and enterprise information management. Read the rest of this entry »
Product lifecycle management (PLM) originated decades ago in the discrete manufacturing area, and for quite a long period of time remained mainly as a solution for the upscale market in industries such as aerospace and automotive. However, recently PLM has become more approachable for smaller-sized businesses in more industries. It is not difficult to have this impression when you see increasing versions of PLM solutions targeting small and medium business (SMB) and mushrooming solutions such as PLM for consumer packaged goods (CPG), PLM for fashion, PLM for retail, and so on.
On the user side, based on statistics from TEC’s PLM Evaluation Center, it seems that users are willing to take the same direction – compared with 2007, more smaller-sized business users are considering PLM in 2008. At the same time, more potential users are from industries that traditional PLM doesn’t fit well.
When there is an outsourcing failure in the application software area, “poor partner performance” is a reason that frequently appears in the post-mortem report. But, who is responsible for choosing the outsourcing provider? Instead of blaming the lousy job that you’ve received, it is more helpful to investigate how you have ended up with this incapable partner if you don’t want to fall into the same trap again.
You can never be too careful when choosing outsourcing partners and you should look through all the aspects or features of your candidates that will affect your selection decisions. Some of the aspects (e.g., business size, level of certifications, and employee educational level) are quite explicit, but aspects such as development methodology, skills, and experiences are harder to measure during the selection process. One good approach to examining those inexplicit aspects is to break them into finer granularity and make them more measurable.
In this blog post, we’ll look at one single but very important aspect—experience. And to give you a better grip on matching partners’ experiences with your business needs, we’ve broken experience down into six main types. Read the rest of this entry »
In the two previous blog posts (What Does the “P” in PLM Really Mean? and What Does the “L” in PLM Really Mean?) I discussed the object being managed within the product lifecycle management (PLM) methodology. Now, it is the time to move on to the last word—“management.” Management is such a general term nowadays, that simply looking at it won’t give you much idea of what it is about in the PLM context. If your organization is looking for a PLM solution, investigating the functionality that various PLM solutions can provide will help you better understand what a PLM system should be handling. However, I’d suggest establishing some high-level ideas about what a PLM system should be able to manage before you are overwhelmed by the functionality flood. Read the rest of this entry »
“Clearly there will be winners and losers in the transition to a low-carbon economy, and investors should be concerned about companies who are not able to provide the information they require.” – Carbon Disclosure Project Global 500 Report 2008 (also known as CDP6)
To today’s enterprises, greenhouse gas (GHG) emission—amongst various sustainability issues—is one of the highest priorities. Some companies, as I have seen, have set up strategies to address GHG emission issues. At the operational level, companies are modifying accounting systems to report GHG emissions and to accommodate carbon trading; implementing energy management systems to reduce energy consumption; and optimizing supply chain management systems to increase transportation efficiency— to name just a few approaches. Read the rest of this entry »