PLM Handbook for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses, Governance Benchmark Update


2PLM Newsletter

John Stark Associates                                                                                                                                               October 10, 2011 - Vol14 #14

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PLM Handbook for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses
by Roger Tempest
Whether you think of them as SMBs (in the USA), SMEs (UK), PMIs or PMEs (Italy or France), small to medium-sized businesses are a massive part of the world economy, and a tiny part of the PLM marketplace.

The US Census Bureau reports that in 2007, over 1 million companies (19% of the total) that ran a payroll had between 20 and 100 employees, and made a contribution of over $5 trillion to the North American economy. If companies of up to 500 people are included, then the figures rise to 38% of the workforce and over $8 trillion in sales.

The European Commission estimates that there are 23 million SMEs in the EU, representing 99% of businesses. While this may seem quite high, in the UK 28% of private sector output comes from businesses of 10-250 people, and in Italy up to 95% of industrial companies are owner-managed businesses with less than 150 staff.

So what is the response of the PLM industry to this huge body of economic opportunity? In a nutshell - to try to sell "PLM Lite".

The PLM Standardisation Workshop in Milan last week showed what a mistaken idea this is. It is easy to assume that the drivers for, and benefits of, PLM amongst small businesses are somehow a "stripped down" version of what large companies experience, but that is the wrong conclusion. When this approach fails, it is attributed to cost factors, or lack of resource within the SME, and attention moves back to easier pickings from larger companies.

This is not just a problem for small companies and PLM vendors. SMEs are part of large companies' ecosystems, and large companies often try to broaden their supply base for technical or commercial reasons. It is very frustrating to find that a new supplier does not have the foundation or internal infrastructure that the customer needs, and helpful to no-one if the SME rejects the customer's way of working as too onerous.

In fact, many SMEs are striving to make the kind of improvements in performance and delivery that PLM could provide, and their problem is that a conventional PLM approach just does not match the world they inhabit. The solution is to apply a PLM methodology that is designed specifically for SMEs, and this is what the Milan Workshop has developed. The PLM Handbook for SMEs is a straightforward instruction book for adopting and implementing PLM that can be used by SMEs or their advisers.

The methodology encompasses the whole scope of PLM, because SMEs need to know how to move up the value chain. It is structured into a checklist format that makes it easy to set up and run PLM projects. It adapts to the "SME management style" (which can almost be the inverse of that of a large corporation), and includes a "terminology translator" that enables an SME to understand the conventional PLM world in its own language.

The Handbook, naturally, is based on the strong SME/PMI presence in Italy, but it is written in English and is applicable in any country. The issues of PLM, and the drivers and constraints of SMEs, are the same everywhere. As the Handbook is used over time, and more small companies adopt and implement PLM, it may become possible to standardise the methodology even further in a way that can be adopted and spread via the many national and trade-related SME associations.

The PLM Handbook for SMEs is published this week as the Q3 issue of the PLM Journal.



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

Governance Benchmark Update
by Roger Tempest
The Discussion Stage for the PLM Governance Benchmark (see 2PLM August 29) will come to a close in the next ten days so that participating companies can start planning the benchmark details.

This will be a structured benchmark between 5-10 user companies, with all of the documentation and management handled by the PLMIG. The companies that are involved so far are all multinational, so your company can take part wherever you are based.


Because the benchmark will be on both sides of the Atlantic, it does not matter if participants are headquarted in the USA or Europe. (This feature is one of the unique aspects of the benchmark, and should result in an unprecedented exchange of PLM ideas and information.)

Participation in the Discussion Stage entails no cost or obligation. If you would like to know how the benchmark will operate and who else might be involved, now is the time to find out. There is more information on the PLMIG web site or you can contact me via



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PLM News

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Dassault Systemes announced the acquisition of composites simulation and advanced draping simulation technology provider Simulayt Limited. Details 


Rand Worldwide, Inc. reported, for its fiscal year ended June 30, 2011, revenues of $89.2 million. Details 


Pilgrim Software, Inc. announced that Thierry Durand has been appointed Chief Executive Officer. Details 


Catalog Data Solutions announced that Amphenol Industrial Operations has selected to use its online parts catalog and CAD download solution. Details

CSI announced use of DDM at Microlights. Details 

MSC Software Corp. announced that it assisted Knud E. Hansen A/S. Details

Omnify Software announced that ACD selected the Omnify Empower PLM solution. Details

PROSTEP announced it was appointed a Certified Data Service Provider for Ford in Europe. Details

TraceParts announced that Clippard Instrument Laboratory, Inc has updated its TraceParts powered online 3D catalog. Details 


Autodesk, Inc. introduced Autodesk Cloud, a collection of more than a dozen web-based capabilities, products and services. Details

AVEVA announced the 12.1 release of its AVEVA Marine solution. Details

AVEVA announced the 12.1 release of its AVEVA Plant solution. Details

BigMachines announced that BigMachines 11.1 software has achieved Oracle Validated Integration with Oracle CRM On Demand Release 19. Details

ESI Group announced the release of Virtual Performance Solution Version 2011. Details

FARO Technologies, Inc. announced the next generation of the Focus3D. Details

Granta Design announced the release of GRANTA MI Version 5. Details

Lattice Technology Inc. announced the availability of the iXVL View application for the iPad. Details

Lectra announced Modaris V7. Details

MSC Software Corp. announced the 2011 release of Marc. Details

Siemens PLM Software announced Femap 10.3. Details

SpaceClaim announced that SpaceClaim Engineer has been integrated with the Comet Performance Engineering Workspace. Details

Theorem announced the JT to/from Creo Parametric CADverter. Details 


Informative Graphics Corp. announced an integration that will provide a more powerful collaborative document review experience for Yammer users. Details    
 Product                         Lifecycle                         Management: Paradigm for 21st Century Product                         Realisation

Siemens PLM Software announced changes to its Solid Edge organisation in the UK. Details

TraceParts announced an agreement with GPL. Details 


Autodesk, Inc. announced that Autodesk Moldflow Insight WS plastic injection molding simulation software, which provides access to the computing power of Autodesk Cloud, is now available to customers in North America and Japan. Details

Aras anounced that Eindhoven University of Technology has selected the Aras solution suite. Details

AVEVA announced the acquisition of Z+F UK Limited. Details

Menhirs NV, the parent company of Bricsys NV, announced that it has acquired the intellectual property rights for several flagship software products from LEDAS. Details

OpenText unveiled results of the "How are Businesses using Microsoft SharePoint in the Enterprise - Fall 2011 Market Survey". Details

Planit Holdings announced the merger of Planit Holdings and Vero Software. Details

Pointwise announced the donation of 36 fully-supported licenses of its Pointwise CFD mesh generation software to Syracuse University. Details

SofTech, Inc. announced an update on its corporate activities. Details

3D Systems Corp. announced that it acquired Kemo Modelmakerij B.V. (Kemo). Details 


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