When we talk with customers that may have a need to enhance their PLM technology or methods, there are commonly two different schools of thought regarding the subject. Generally companies start the conversation with one of two different focuses: either CAD-focused or process-focused.
CAD-centric companies are the ones who rely heavily on design and engineering work to support their business. They generate a lot of CAD data, and eventually this CAD data becomes a real pain to manage effectively with manual processes. Things get lost, data is hard to locate, design reuse is only marginally successful, and the release process has a lower level of confidence. These companies usually start thinking about PLM because they need to get their CAD data under control. They usually start PLM with a minimal approach that is just sufficient to tackle the obvious problem of CAD data management. Sometimes other areas of PLM are discussed, but are “planned” for a later phase, which inevitably turns into a “much later” phase which still hasn’t happened. What they have done is grease the squeaky wheel while ignoring the corroding frame that is potentially a much bigger problem. CAD-centric companies often benefit from taking step back to look at their processes; many times they will find that is where the biggest problems lie.
Companies that don’t deal with a lot of CAD data can often realize the benefits of PLM from a process improvement perspective. Product introductions, project management, BOM management, customer requirements, change management, and quality management are just some areas that PLM can help improve. Many process-focused companies already have systems in place to address these topics, but they are often not optimized, and usually not connected. They tend to be their own individual silos of work or information, which slows the overall “get to market” process, and reduces the overall effectiveness of the business. These companies might not have the obvious “squeaky wheel” of CAD to manage, but they have PLM challenges just the same. The key to improvement with them is to identify the challenges and actually do something about them.
In either case, Tata Technologies has the people and processes to help identify and quantify your company’s biggest challenges through our PLM Analytics process. This process was developed specifically to address the challenges companies have in identifying and quantifying areas for PLM improvement. If you’re interested in better identifying areas of improvement for your company’s PLM process, just let us know. We’re here to help.