About John Stark Associates


John Stark Associates (JSA) advises companies on all aspects of PLM, helping them to achieve their business goals.
JSA helps companies develop PLM visions, strategies and plans.
JSA helps companies plan and implement PLM projects.
JSA presents PLM workshops and seminars to increase knowledge and understanding of PLM.

Founded in 1991, JSA is headquartered in Switzerland. It has offices and partners in France, Germany, UK and US. JSA has successfully assisted many large, midsize and small companies in the aerospace and defense, automotive, consumer goods, electrical, electronics, fine chemical, food, medical device, machine tool, machinery, pharmaceutical, power and watch industries with PLM.


John Stark, President of JSA, is a leading developer and implementer of the business theory of Product Lifecycle Management. He is the author of two books about PLM (Product Lifecycle Management: 21st century Paradigm for Product Realisation and Global Product: Strategy, Product Lifecycle Management and the Billion Customer Question), has written many articles on the subject, and is a frequent keynote speaker at PLM conferences.

In his long consulting career, Stark has worked with many companies including ABB, BMW, Braun, Coca-Cola, Eaton, Ford Motor Company, HP, IBM, Kodak, Legrand, Nestle, PSA, Renault, Saab, Schindler, Sikorsky, Valeo and Xerox.

Prior to founding JSA, John Stark worked with Coopers & Lybrand (1984-1991), Battelle (1979-1984), Cap Gemini (1976-1979) and CERN (1972-1976).

Stark received his B.Sc. (1969) and Ph.D. (1972) degrees from Imperial College, London.

Definition of PLM

PLM is the business activity of managing a company's products all the way across their lifecycles, from the very first idea for a product all the way through until it is retired and disposed of, in the most effective way.
PLM is the activity of managing a product throughout its lifecycle - 'from cradle to grave' - making sure that everything works well with the product and making sure the product makes good money for the company.
The objectives of PLM are to increase product revenues, reduce product-related costs, and maximize the value of the product portfolio.

From : Making Progress with PLM (2005)

PLM is a very integrated and holistic approach. It manages everything about a company's products:

  • from the first idea for a product to its obsolescence
  • across all departments of a company and its Extended Enterprise
  • across the lifecycle from innovation to recycling
  • addressing product-related processes, information and IS applications

Before PLM, the approach to managing products was fragmented, departmental and unconnected. It was only partially defined, incomplete, wasteful and difficult to measure or improve.

PLM in 2009

It's a long time since the global economic, financial and industrial situation looked as unclear as it does in January 2009. Given such an unclear environment, it's not surprising that many PLM VPs and Managers are asking questions such as, what's the future for PLM?, what should PLM Managers be doing now?

Faced with the current global economic, financial and industrial situation, the top management of many companies will want to reduce costs quickly to make sure that quarterly revenues continue to exceed costs.

However, they will also think about what will be needed when the current difficult period comes to an end. When conditions improve, they will want to offer the products that will be needed in different markets around the world. Without the right products, sales will drop, and they will face further difficulties.

As PLM will be needed both during the current difficult period, and the following period, what should PLM Managers be doing now? They need to:

  • make sure they demonstrate the business benefits of PLM
  • make sure that existing PLM implementation and expansion projects continue
  • make sure that top management really understands the importance of PLM, The objectives of PLM are to increase product revenues, reduce product-related costs, and maximize the value of the product portfolio

Both during the current difficult period, and the follow-on period of expansion, PLM will be needed to make sure that the company has the right products available at the right time in the right place.