PLM – What does it REALLY Mean?

What is PLM Really? It has been defined and redefined by the
marketing departments of many companies. The definitions chosen depend on the
definer. The ERP (MRP II (MRP)) companies like to push PLM in the BOM
direction, a position of strength for them. The CAD companies lean toward the
file management & workflow, topics more in their wheelhouse. Personally, I
think the term has been rendered useless. So, I will bravely step into the void
left by so much marketing effort on three little letters and declare, with apologies
to our president, "I am the definer". What can I hurt at this point?

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)

The way in which a specific organization manages the
definition of the products and processes that, in turn, define the organization
from product conception, to end of life is that organizations PLM system.

PLM is NOT:

  • Software
  • A product

 PLM IS:

  • As unique as the organization.
  • As unique as the people who make the system work.
  • ALWAYS changing as the individuals that make the system
    work change in their knowledge and behavior.

 PLM can be changed by:

  • Changing the knowledge and behavior of the people who make
    it work, for better or worse.

Every product driven organization has a PLM system. Some are
good, some are bad. Some are completely manual, some are automated. Some are
effective, some are ineffective, but EVERY product driven organization has a
PLM system.

How do you affect positive change in your PLM system?
Improve knowledge and/or change behavior to make the PLM system more efficient.
How that can be done is the topic for next time.

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