Reading the latest blog by Oleg Shilovitsky on PLM: PLM Technology vs Vertical Industries: Wrong balance?
Oleg, you have hit the nail on the head. This reminds me of an old shop joke (which I may have used before). Shop guy goes to the tool crib and asks for a large screwdriver. Tool crib attendant asks, “Slotted or Philips head?”. Shop guys says, “Either one is fine, I’m going to use it as a hammer”.
There you have it. You can’t be all things to all people as a PLM (or MES) system. There are vertical industry specific rules, data structures, even nomenclature, that will trip you up at any time.
I recall a demo with a ‘PLM/MES’ vendor where they were extolling the virtues of their process planning tool. Now, where I came from (aerospace & defense), a process plan was a document used to describe how to create a part from raw material. What this vendor was showing me was how to lay out an automotive assembly line!
What I called a process plan had no context in automotive. Further, the idea of work instructions is an anathema in the assembly line world. They DO have work instructions, but they are set up facing away from the operator. With a vehicle rolling by every 42 seconds, you don’t want someone distracted by reading instructions, Before you get to your station, it’ assumed you know what you need to accomplish in those 42 seconds.
From that standpoint, a lot of vendors ‘go vertical’ at the start. Those that decide to do it later have to walk the fine line between being too specific and losing other verticals and being too generic and too thin to provide real value to any vertical.
Originally posted on Daily PLM Think Tank Blog:
Let’s talk about PLM technologies. Err.. PLM is not a technology. Even more, PLM is even not a product. So, what is that? Business strategy? Product development politics? For the sake of this conversation let’s leave these debates out. I want to speak about PLM technologies that allow you to manage product data, CAD files, bill of materials, rich set of related information as well as processes around it. This technology came to us about 20-25 years ago first as a very hard-coded set of tools. You had to build it literally different for every customer. So, it supported only large customers that were able to pay for software, infrastructure and implementation. Later on, PDM/PLM turned into software toolkit. The next step in PDM/PLM technology evolution was called flexible data modeling. The first flexible (dynamic) PLM data modeling tools were released back in 1995-2000 and… not much changed since then.
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