Management Currency of PLM, Value of PLM/ERP Integration and Collaboration (6), PLM Connect 2011


2PLM Newsletter

John Stark Associates                                                                                                                                               January 31, 2011 - Vol13 #22

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The Management Currency of PLM
by Roger Tempest
The recent PLM Innovation Congress in London attracted a number of attendees who had not yet adopted PLM, and were making their second or third attempt to understand how it could be of use to their companies. There were also many delegates from companies with a long PLM track record. In conversations with them, a common theme kept occurring.

The more experienced PLM managers had clear ideas about their own implementations and where they felt they should be heading. They all had an enterprise-wide view of PLM, and had established a wide engagement with company management on PLM issues.

Their problem lay in maintaining a cohesive body of thought and understanding, across all of the stakeholders, through the long-term process of debate and change as PLM progresses. The PLM team knows what should be happening, but how can they persuade everybody else, year after year?

This is almost impossible to do without a "mechanism" of written material that is clear enough to bind all of the various opinions together, and robust enough to withstand the many disagreements that are part of the process. Such written material is the "currency" that is traded by the PLM Team and the rest of the company as the implementation is managed. As with financial currency, it comes in a range of denominations and is understood and accepted by those who trade with it. Everyone knows how to relate to it, and it enables ideas to be exchanged in an open market.

The challenge for PLM managers is to generate and maintain this set of material so that, company-wide, the correct PLM decisions are reached and acted upon. Every time a major decision is to be made, you need all the stakeholders to be working from the same written documentation. It is much easier to get accurate input, and commitment to action, if everything is presented clearly and in writing.

Some of the working documents will be company-specific, but it is helpful to use standard formats to cover the main issues. The CEO Briefing Document provides a platform for liaison with the board, who will also want to see a Vision, Strategy, and Roadmap. The PLM Maturity Manual establishes a 10-year forward view for the company, and PLM Dashboarding defines the management information framework that should be built over time.

The Self-Assessment Toolkit generates a clear picture of how PLM take-up varies in different parts of the enterprise, and the Benchmarking Handbook enables you to produce more detail by running a high-level internal benchmark. The 2009 and 2010 issues of the PLM Journal include advice on how to manage the board and the Steering Group; how to plan in the long term for PLM and PDM; and how to measure progress via permeation and traction.

This framework of documentation is still not complete, but it provides a core toolset for generating the written documentation that PLM needs. As the PLMIG continues its work in 2011, more of this documentation will be generated, and the PLM manager's role should become progressively easier.



Roger Tempest is co-founder of the PLMIG. Membership of the PLMIG is available via

Maximizing the Value of PLM/ERP Integration and Collaboration (6)
by Dick Bourke
Part 6: Some Questions - Some Comments


In the first five parts of this series, I presented an overview of several PLM/ERP topics. The content had been purposefully limited. As a result, some questions have surfaced. I have summarized these questions and my comments in the following.

Question: There are more differences between product lifecycle management (PLM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems than you have cited. Don't we need to know more about them before starting down the integration path?

Comment: Definitely. My point was to sensitize your antenna, pique your curiosity and encourage you to take advantage of the many references identified in the "Additional Sources of Information." Hence, it was a start to a fuller understanding of each systems' functions and capabilities. Such understanding has proven to be a pre-requisite to gaining the benefits of the PLM/ERP bi-directional integration, previously described.

Question: You identified PLM and ERP as the two mandatory foundation systems for management of the entire product lifecycle. Don't some companies also want more detailed information from work-in-process (WIP) than most ERP systems provide?

Comment: Yes, I agree. So, let me expand on this subject. For some industry sectors, three systems should comprise the indispensable foundation: PLM, ERP and MES (manufacturing execution system). Any company requiring detailed information to manage WIP, or to cope with industry regulations, must consider an MES. Prime examples include those companies in aerospace and defense, automotive and medical product industries. However, even if regulations do not drive the necessity a company still might choose to get more efficient WIP management by implementing an MES system.

The above question triggers another comment about any differences between integration methods for PLM/ERP/MES.

Comment: At a general level, the characteristics of best practice integrations for MES are about the same as for PLM/ERP, as described in Part 5. In any of the possible combinations of systems integration, one of the essential tasks, of course, will be comprehensive, up-front planning, sometimes called a "vision." And, as tempting as it is to secure fast benefits, moving ahead on a piece-meal basis is not recommended.

Question: You didn't comment on the highly likely company cultural issues inherent when integrating PLM/ERP. Isn't that a consideration?

Comment: Yes, certainly, I'll stress it now with a direct suggestion: Ask any experienced systems implementer about the relative importance of technology - and of sensitivity to company cultural issues. Technology is necessary, certainly. Invariably, however, their response will be to urge would-be implementers to address the likely cultural issues when planning systems integration. This is because planning for a new system demands a process orientation, including defining workflow and identifying appropriate user roles and responsibilities.

Unfortunately, expect heated discussions, such as "Who owns the bill of material?" Another reason to understand PLM vis-à-vis ERP capabilities is to minimize the potential hassle encouraged by parochial system diehards. Thus, as mentioned earlier, one of the objectives of up-front planning should be to eliminate the "we-they" cultural syndrome of these and other entrenched organizational attitudes.

My axiom: Management commitment - by itself - will not put an end to cultural resistance to accepting new software-based processes. Consequently, the project team cannot be passive, hoping that time will deal with the resistance risks, or that momentum will sweep along any dissenters. It will take a proactive approach by a project team to win user acceptance of new processes and responsibilities.

Question: After a best practice PLM/ERP integration, is there a next step?

Comment: Yes, briefly stated, consolidating in PLM all functions for the creation and management of bills of material (BOM) and bills of process (BOP). Some view this unifying approach as a significant step to a "Single source of truth" - but not all agree. I will examine this subject over the next parts of this series.



For more detail, see Additional Sources of Information

Contact Dick at

Invitation to PLM Connect 2011
by John Stark

The Manufacturer magazine, the UK's leading publication for manufacturing leaders, is hosting PLM Connect 2011 on Thursday February 17, 2011 at The Belfry, West Midlands.

This FREE to attend one day event is chaired by John Stark and will provide manufacturers with essential knowledge and insights into PLM.

To register for the event, telephone Ben Walsh on ++44 207 401 6033 or email

Business and manufacturing leaders will see and hear best practice presentations from a range of manufacturers and experts including:


  • Carl White, Engineering Manager, Antonov Automotive Technologies
  • Christopher Collinson, Engineering Systems Administrator, DEK Printing Machines
  • Steve Nevey, Business Development Manager, Red Bull Racing
  • Danny McKendry, Information Management and Technology Manager, BAE SYSTEMS
  • Nina Dar, Managing Director, Cheeky Monkey Business Solutions
  • Allan Behrens, Managing Director, Taxal
  • John Stark, President, John Stark Associates


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EMC Corp. reported record fourth-quarter and full-year 2010 financial results. For the fourth quarter, consolidated revenue was $4.9 billion. Details

Geometric Ltd. announced its Q3 FY 2010-2011 financial results. Operating revenues were Rs. 1,632.02 Mn. Details

PTC reported results for its first fiscal quarter ended January 1, 2011. Revenue was $266.6 million. Details



Lectra announced the appointment of Edouard Macquin as Worldwide Sales Director. Details

T-Splines, Inc. announced the appointment of Keith Mountain to its board of directors. Details



Altair Engineering, Inc. announced that Gordon Murray Design chose the HyperWorks product suite. Details

Cadac Organice announced a contract with Orkuveita Reykjavikur. Details

Cadence Design Systems, Inc. announced that Spreadtrum Communications migrated to the Cadence Silicon Realization flow. Details

Dassault Systemes announced that Solvina has chosen its Dymola modeling and simulation solution. Details

ESI announced that Tata Motors selected PAM-STAMP 2G. Details

PTC announced that Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation selected Windchill as its enterprise PLM solution. Details

Siemens PLM Software announced its NX and Teamcenter software were used to design and develop Exagon Engineering's Furtive-eGT all-electric automobile. Details

Siemens PLM Software announced that Peguform has standardized on Teamcenter software. Details

SpaceClaim announced that Tyco Electronics selected SpaceClaim Engineer. Details

Z Corp. announced that world-renowned manufacturers and schools have selected ZPrinter 3D printers. Details  


Ashlar-Vellum announced the release of Service Pack 3 for Graphite version 8. Details

Bunkspeed introduced the Bunkspeed Cloud Solution. Details

Catalog Data Solutions Inc. announced availability of a new version of the CAD Model Search Engine. Details

CCE announced an update to Oceans SDK. Details

CNC Software, Inc. announced Mastercam X5 for SolidWorks. Details

FISHER/UNITECH announced the release of SELive, an online chat application embedded into SolidWorks software. Details

Geometric Limited announced the release of eDrawings RapidFire Lite version 8.0 with support for DGN files. Details

Lattice Technology Inc. announced the release of XVL Studio 9.2. Details

Nikon Metrology announced CMM-Manager 3.0 for Windows 7. Details

Oce announced the launch of the Oce TDS750 large format printing system. Details

Quark announced availability of App Studio for Quark Publishing System. Details

SpaceClaim announced product enhancements in SpaceClaim 2011. Details

T-Splines, Inc. announced the introduction of tsElements for SolidWorks. Details



Aras announced membership in the SolidWorks Partner Program. Details

Cimatron Technologies Inc. announced a partnership and distribution agreement with Atometric Inc. Details

Cimatron announced a third reseller in Brazil. Details

Cortona3D announced a reseller agreement with Solid Applications Ltd. Details

Dassault Systemes announced an expanded partnership with the National Institute for Aviation Research. Details

 Product                         Lifecycle                         Management: Paradigm for 21st Century Product                         Realisation

OpenText announced it will bring content analytics capabilities to market through an Intellectual Property (IP) licensing agreement with the National Research Council of Canada. Details

Geomagic announced a new agreement with 3D3 Solutions. Details

Siemens PLM Software announced it presented awards to various Asia Pacific channel partners at the GO! Conference in Guilin, China. Details

3D Systems Corp. announced the addition of four resellers to its network of 3D printers and solutions providers. Details  


Autodesk, Inc. announced the availability of new educational content focused on design for product life through the Autodesk Sustainability Workshop. Details

Autodesk, Inc. named Valiant Corporation as the Autodesk Inventor of the Month for January 2011. Details

Cadac Organice BV announced further growth over 2010. Details

CONTACT Software GmbH announced it has set up an Italian subsidiary, CONTACT Software Italia S.r.l., with headquarters in Carrara (Massa). Details

Dassault Systemes SolidWorks Corp. announced that Pittsburg State University has purchased 1,000 licenses of SolidWorks software. Details

decision/analysis partners LLC announced it was awarded a project by The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) to help further its transition into the Model Base Enterprise (MBE) and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) environments. Details

Delcam announced that it has converted its Professional Services Group into an independent subsidiary, Delcam Professional Services Ltd. Details

Delcam announced that its Sales Partner Meeting attracted over 210 delegates from 35 countries, the highest attendance in the company's history. Details

ESI announced that it helps car manufacturers improve biofidelity for vehicle safety. Details

Luxion announced that KeyShot supports SolidWorks 2011. Details

NEi Software anounced it celebrates its twentieth year of providing Finite Element Analysis solutions. Details

OpenText announced that components of the OpenText ECM Suite 2010 together with Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 have met U.S. DoD 5015.02-STD certification requirements for records management. Details

PARTsolutions, LLC and U.S. Tsubaki Inc. announced the launch of the U.S. Tsubaki Attachment Chain Configurator. Details

ProSTEP announced that ISO announced that the proposal for the standardization of STEP AP 242 was accepted. Details

Siemens PLM Software and ProSTEP iViP announced they have initiated the formal process to establish the JT data format as an ISO standard for lightweight 3D data. Details

VISTAGY, Inc. announced that its revenues grew 29 percent in 2010. Details



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