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Your colleagues may struggle to access the right data at the right time, especially when it’s spread across various systems. Worse still, outdated information can be passed through processes without proper checks in place.
As a result, you’re left coping with a considerable loss of data quality, dissatisfied colleagues and additional costs.
This is where Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems save the day. They support process design and data organization across the entire value chain, from design and production to marketing, sales and service.
Medium-sized companies are often characterized by close and long-term customer relationships. But as consumer demand continues to push the bounds of innovation, customer requirements become increasingly challenging.
In order to maintain good relations with your customers, you may be producing fewer products in series, or even making to order. As a result, the variety of products and variants increases, and so too does the amount of product data to be managed.
What SMEs often lack is the consistent digitization and integration of this product data across various functions and systems. This results in additional work, including searching for, reprocessing, manually transmitting, or creating redundant information.
A well-thought-out PLM strategy, on the other hand, ensures that formats are automatically converted between systems — supported by a continuous development process. The logical, product-centric linking and digitized release of data takes place via a central integration platform as a “single source of truth”. So, PLM is also the basis for the digital transformation of a company.
The first step is to choose the right PLM solution. It should be suitable for medium-sized companies and the respective company. It should also be flexible enough that it can be adapted in the event of future changes.
The optimal balance between rapid implementation and a systematic approach is important. However, our experts warn of two scenarios that can cause issues in practice:
In order to avoid these scenarios, take a look at the basic phases of PLM introduction below.
What are the phases of PLM implementation?
Before entering into a contract, you should talk to your potential PLM partner about the goals of your project:
You should only sign a contract when it is certain that your prospective partner has fully understood your use case.
The crux of a successful PLM implementation is Change Management. A system change leads to more productivity in the long run, but in the short term you’ll likely encounter internal resistance.
In order to ensure acceptance in your teams at an early stage, we involve all stakeholders in good time. Show the opportunities that PLM systems offer and ensure understanding between all those involved. We’ve found from experience that this is the best way to ensure a smooth transition.
After all current business processes have been identified and analyzed, it is finally time to prioritize them. These are then reassigned in the new PLM system in order to achieve your KPIs and company goals.
In this phase, you can completely rely on your PLM partner. You benefit from our extensive knowledge and experience with our software, which we gather every day with leading companies from all over the world.
With a clear, unambiguous and mutually agreed project plan, you are then ready to move on to the next stage — the roll-out.
There’s a lot to consider during the roll-out: hardware & software, processes & procedures, knowledge building and training. Communication, both internal and external, is critical to ensuring that everyone involved understands what’s expected of them and when.
By sharing the new PLM working environment, your employees can quickly get used to the new system. This should shorten the implementation phase significantly.
Unfortunately, certain work interruptions cannot be completely avoided during the system changeover. But we’ll do everything we can to help minimize this as much as possible. And we’ll always communicate it to you at an early stage.
All our training courses are held by experienced engineers that use the software each and every day. During the roll-out, we continuously monitor performance to ensure that you achieve the end results you expect. You’ll also receive a report from us that compares the actual performance with the agreed goals.
From the first order onward, our aim is to support the sustainable growth of your business by ensuring that your PLM implementation is performing to the highest possible standards.
A constant exchange helps to uncover optimization potential through PLM. While software, hardware, and processes undergo continuous improvements, your day-to-day business continues. Of course, we’ll always be there for you if you decide to further expand and optimize your business processes with the PLM system.
Changes in the organization and corporate culture represent the first potential hurdles for the transformation of your PLM business. So, your PLM roadmap should depict an ideal scenario while being flexible enough that all those involved can drive the implementation forward through iterative processes.
It’s essential to raise awareness of your PLM introduction across the entire company. All employees should be part of the implementation.
This way, you’ll learn what advantages you can expect and get a better idea of how the implementation process will run.
Many PLM initiatives are doomed to failure because management is not 100% behind them. Practice shows that it’s advisable for management to announce the introduction of PLM to employees when approaching them. Collective acceptance is advertised so that a common learning process can take place. The entire company benefits from this — including all employees.
PLM solutions that are perfectly tailored to medium-sized companies are not new. They’ve been tailored to meet the requirements and business processes of SMEs precisely. And the software is geared towards these types of corporate structures.
Because they’re pre-configured, thanks to a high degree of standardization, there’s no costly implementation effort required for successful PLM deployment. So, it’s also possible for medium-sized companies to fully incorporate any product data into their processes and systems to promote digital transformation.
We prefer to ensure that all aspects are considered when setting goals and that all possibilities are fully explored. Whether PLM and document management, CAD or ERP — we want to make sure that you’re familiar with any related systems and solutions, in order to provide the perfect advice.
During consultation, we’ll develop your specific PLM strategy together. We’ll talk about user interface, functionality and customization, and we’ll find the best solution for your business.
Start developing your perfect PLM strategy with TECHNIA today!