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John Stark Associates                                                                                                                                                              August 31, 2009 - Vol12 #12

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PDM: The Forgotten Discipline

by Roger Tempest

 
 PDM has faded from the limelight. Overshadowed by PLM, its more glamorous and high-profile offspring, plain old Product Data Management has become something of a 'Cinderella' subject.

To reach PDM on the major PLM vendors' web sites you will have to search through to the back pages, where you may find it presented as an entry point for smaller and medium-sized businesses. The smaller vendors that do focus on PDM are regarded as more specialised, almost to the point of selling a niche product. And at even at work, it sounds much better if you are a 'PLM Manager' than if you are a 'PDM Manager'.

It's time that PDM received some more attention, because it is an immensely complex subject that has a huge impact on a company's costs and product development performance. Furthermore, unlike PLM, the issues and practicalities of PDM are very specific, and can be quantified and formalised if enough industry thought is applied.

The problems with PDM are often unseen by anyone except the PDM support "backroom boys", and are always wrapped in unforgiving detail.

In PLM you can blithely ask: "What is your product?" and add nonchalantly: "A product can be a service, you know." In PDM the whole complicated mix of products, parts, variants, alternatives, systems, project work and associated services must be defined precisely enough for you to place serial numbers on them.

In PLM you can consider the product as it evolves through the phases of the lifecycle. In PDM, the product explodes into a detailed structure with many configuration options that must be embodied within the data management system. There are structures for 'As-Designed', 'As-Manufactured', 'As-Built (or Delivered)', 'As-Supported' and 'As-Maintained', and in most companies these are all different.

In PLM you can set an implementation target of "Q2 next year". In PDM you have a go-live weekend of 17-18 April, and absolutely everything has to work on Monday 19th. (A corollary of this is that, in PLM, you can have an Easter holiday. In PDM, all holiday leave is cancelled for 2 months before the launch date.)

The challenge, therefore, is to focus attention back onto PDM, and to do something about formalising the vast amount of technical expertise that PDM specialists have gained over the years. It will be to everyone's benefit if we can do this.

This will not be easy, because of another difference between PLM and PDM. With PLM, you can go to a conference and have an interesting high-level exchange of ideas over a coffee or in a short discussion. With PDM, you can't even explain the problem in that short a time - so a longer timeframe and a deeper level of detail are needed.

Over the next 6 months, the PLMIG aims to help formalise many of the essential principles of PDM, and produce guideline information that everyone can understand and agree. The first step will be to understand which PDM issues we should concentrate on, and you can add your views via the PLMIG web site. The results of this initial discussion will be covered in forthcoming issues of 2PLM.

Roger Tempest is co-founder of the PLMIG. You can send your comments or input via pdm_formalisation@plmig.com

 

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To BPM or not to BPM?
by Scott Cleveland
 
Ever wondered whether your company should address their business processes? Many of you believe that managing business processes is a good idea, but it is too expensive. So, let's look at some reasons to address your business processes.

My Thoughts....

→ Looking to contain costs?
The 'ax man' approach is likely to leave gaping holes in your business processes.

BPM provides the management disciplines and the tools to surgically target problem processes and put them on the path to recovery. Improve your business processes and cut costs at the same time.

→ Looking to improve customer relationships?
Everyday we interact with companies - we give them the opportunity to meet or exceed expectations. Our experience with a company determines whether we will buy from them again or whether this will be a one-time sale.

Customer expectations management is a process that BPM is well suited to manage.

→ Looking for more visibility into your company processes?
Do your managers complain about the lack of visibility into their processes and projects? Do you have trouble identifying who or what is impeding your processes? Does it take hours to determine the status of a process? Have you hired a program manager to solve this problem?

BPM software provides visibility.

→ Looking for more control of your business processes?

Are the cycle times of some of your high value processes too long? Are the people involved in the process spending too much time looking for information; looking for the descriptions of their next activity; determining the next person in the process; etc? 

BPM software brings control to your business processes.

→ Looking for improved agility?
Do you fear that your processes are not adapting to changing business requirements because 'this is the way they have always been done'?

Using BPM, a company is better equipped to switch gears and respond to its changing business environment - faster than its competitors.

→ Do you need to prove Compliance?
Facing regulatory requirements like PCI DSS, 21 CFR Part 11, OMB A-123, etc.? Facing audits from ISO, the DoD, etc.? Implementing internal practices like Lean Six Sigma?

BPM software provides discipline and an audit trail.

Your Thoughts.... Scott Cleveland is VP Sales & Marketing, Ingenuus Software.


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   Product Lifecycle<br />
            Management: Paradigm for 21st Century Product Realisation

 

Yes, PLM Life really is too short
by Antti Saaksvuori
 

David Potter described how "Life's too short!" in the July 6 2009 issue of 2PLM.

Yes, life really is too short in the current PLM software solutions! I have been thinking the same thing for a long time. To my understanding, there are a couple of reasons for this limited or shortened view of product life. First of all, when looking from a historical perspective, PLM, in many ways, is still trying to grow out of the product data management (PDM) framework. In the PDM framework, the focus has been solely on product data. However, the second, and at least to me, the most significant reason, is that any product on a conceptual level has two sides:

  1. Product definition side, i.e. the information needed to define and describe a product
  1. Product realisation side, i.e. the actual realisation of the definition

In companies designing, developing and producing products, these two sides are not always well-connected. Each side is managed through separate processes with separate IT systems and dedicated organisational units. In most cases, the product definition is owned by the product development organisation and to some extent managed with the support of a PLM system, while the product realisation is owned by the production unit and managed with the support of an ERP system. In a way, it could be argued that the current PLM systems should rather be called Product definition lifecycle management systems.


How to broaden the PLM view then? There is no question that there wouldn't be demand for broader PLM system support in companies trying to manage their products. My suggestion, based on experience of the product lifecycle management bottlenecks in businesses in general, is that all businesses should first of all create a comprehensive PLM concept and deepen their understanding and definitions of what kind of processes and products they have, what kind of lifecycles the products have, etc.

Surely, the solution is not even larger IT system suites than already exist today. Companies are stuck with their one size fits all business system suite implementations.
To have a holistic view over of a large range of products and product lifecycles does not require any new IT systems.

The basic requirement is to have a product lifecycle management concept with all relevant definitions in it. It is a foundation for successful product lifecycle management. The operative management work can be done utilising the functionality of current PLM systems better, and integrating the Product definition and product realisation sides better through information models, information content and product management methodology.

Antti Saaksvuori is a management consultant operating in the field of PLM. He is currently a partner in Talent Partners Ltd.

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PLM News

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Corporate

Mentor Graphics Corp. announced that LogicVision stockholders have voted to approve the previously-announced merger. Details

Nikon Corp. announced the voluntary reopening of the takeover bid on Metris resulted in ownership of 92.17% of Metris shares. Details

Oracle Corp announced that the U.S. Department of Justice has approved Oracle's proposed acquisition of Sun Microsystems. Details

Financial

Mentor Graphics Corp. reported revenues of $182.6 million for the fiscal second quarter 2010, ending July 31, 2009. Details
Metris announced that H1 2009 sales came in at Euro 18.4 million. Details

Open Text Corp. announced unaudited financial results for its fourth quarter ended June 30, 2009. Total Q4 revenue was $203.4 million. Details

QAD Inc. reported total revenue was $51.3 million for the fiscal 2010 second quarter ended July 31, 2009. Details

Sopheon plc announced its unaudited interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2009. Revenues were £4.1m. Details
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People

Cadence Design Systems, Inc. announced the appointment of John Bruggeman as senior vice president and chief marketing officer. Details

Geomagic announced that Cathy Hofknecht received a Women in Business 2009 Award in the Inspiration category from the Triangle Business Journal. Details

Implementations

Catalog Data Solutions announced that ASCO Valve has implemented 4 CDS Configurators. Details

CD-adapco announced that Hyundai Heavy Industries, Co., Ltd. has adopted STAR-CCM+. Details

Centric Software, Inc. announced that Klim USA purchased Centric 8. Details

CMstat announced that Halifax Shipyard has selected EPOCH DM for its Enterprise Contract Deliverables Management solution. Details

Dassault Systemes SolidWorks Corp. announced that eSolar used SolidWorks software. Details

Dassault Systemes announced that Komatsu Forest has chosen 3DVIA Composer. Details

MSC.Software Corp. announced that L.S. Starrett used the template-driven CAE application. Details

Pilgrim Software, Inc. announced that Insulet Corporation went live with Pilgrim's On-Demand (SaaS) solution platform. Details

Pilgrim Software, Inc. announced that Micrus Endovascular Corporation will implement Pilgrim's SmartSolve solutions. Details

PTC announced that XL Video uses PTC CoCreate. Details

QUMAS announced that Wockhardt UK is using ProcessCompliance to manage all deviations, incidents and CAPAs. Details

Developments

BlueCielo ECM Solutions announced it released InnoCielo Publisher 2009. Details

Cadig Inc. announced AutoTable 3.7 for AutoCAD. Details

Celeritive Technologies, Inc. announced release 3.0 of its VoluMill software. Details

CNC Software, Inc. announced the release of Mastercam X4. Details

Geometric Limited announced the release of version 2.0 of its visualization product, 3DPaintBrush. Details

Gerber Technology announced the launch of GERBERconnect remote service solution. Details

Lattice Technology announced Version 8.1 of its XVL Web Master application. Details

LEDAS Ltd. announced V0.2 of its Driving Dimensions plugin for Rhinoceros. Details

McLaren Software announced the availability of Enterprise Engineer 3.6.2 SP3. Details

Planview introduced Planview Enterprise Ideation Management. Details

Renishaw announced touch probe systems using frequency hopping spread spectrum (FHSS) probe signal radio transmission technology. Details

3D3 Solutions announced FlexScan3D 2.5. Details

Relationships

ANSYS, Inc. announced it partnered with HBM-nCode to provide an embedded version of nCode DesignLife within the ANSYS Workbench environment. Details

Arena Solutions announced that CADParts & Consulting LLC is using Arena. Details

Imaginestics, LLC announced VizSeek shape search engine technology research collaboration. Details

Spatial Corp. announced that Huidu Technology Co has joined the Spatial Reseller Program. Details

Zuken announced collaboration with CPV Systems for a software distribution agreement to cover Turkey. Details

Zuken announced a new Value Added Reseller in Italy and Spain. Details

Other

ANSYS, Inc. announced its inclusion on the 2009 FORTUNE 100 Fastest-Growing Companies list. Details

BigMachines, Inc. announced that the company has been named by Inc. magazine in its 2009 list of the 5000 fastest-growing private companies in America. Details

Computer Aided Technology, Inc announced its ranking on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in the United States. Details

DEM Solutions, Inc. announced it was selected for the 2009 Best of Lebanon Award in the Computer Software Development category by the USCA. Details

DP Technology Corp. announced that ESPRIT CAM Center opened for business. Details

Endeca Technologies, Inc. announced that the Endeca Information Access Platform has been named a "Trend-Setting Product of the Year for 2009" by KMWorld Magazine. Details

ESI Group announced the opening of its new training center in Bologna, Italy. Details

IHS Inc. announced that it has been named to the Supply & Demand Chain Executive magazine SDCE 100 list. Details <!-- X -->

   Product Lifecycle<br />
                        Management: Paradigm for 21st Century Product Realisation

MasterControl Inc. announced that it has been named a Utah Business Fast 50 2009 company. Details

Open Text Corp. announced it has earned a spot on Fortune's 2009 List of the 100 Fastest-Growing Companies. Details

Open Text Corp. announced that it has been positioned in the Leaders quadrant of the Gartner 2009 Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management. Details

PARTsolutions, LLC and PHD Inc. announced they are expanding their 9-year partnership. Details

Siemens PLM Software announced an in-kind software grant, with a commercial value of nearly $245 million, to Arizona State University. The grant was made through the Siemens PLM Software Global Opportunities in Product Lifecycle Management program - called GO PLM - and includes engineering software, student/instructor training and specialized software certification programs. Details

TopSolid announced it supports 3Dconnexion's full line of 3D mice. Details

 

Brief lines

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