Why No-One Can Quantify PLM Value, Most Cited PLM Publication, Global Product, Cultural Change - Key to PLM Success


2PLM Newsletter

John Stark Associates                                                                                                                                          April 7, 2014 - Vol16 #8

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Why No-One Can Quantify PLM Value
by Roger Tempest
When people talk of "PLM Value", or the "PLM Value Proposition", it often seems to be a warm, fuzzy idea rather than a specific set of hard figures. The PLM Financial Framework has shown that calculating metrics is reasonably straightforward, so why does this concept of Value remain so elusive?

This concept isn't just elusive. It was actually found during development of the PLM Financial Framework that PLM Value cannot be calculated - and there is no point in trying.

In a similar way, some vendors will try to identify 'Points of Pain' during the discovery process, in order to show where PLM should be applied. Points of Pain cannot be quantified either. Or, they may emphasise features of the PLM application that will support or enhance some important business processes. These, too, cannot be quantified.

The fact is, what you quantify in solid financial terms are PLM Benefits. Benefits are what act on the 'As-Is' situation of the business and create the actual improvements. Benefits are what are processed by the Metrics Algorithm, and are the "algebraic variables" of the financial calculations.

To put it simply, you need to feed the Metrics Algorithm (which is the engine of the Financial Framework methodology) with Benefits, so everything else must be translated into Benefits in order to be used. 

'Points of Pain' are perfectly valid, but they need to be inverted - and expressed in terms of the Benefits that will occur when the Points of Pain are resolved. 'Features' need to be restated in terms of the Benefits that will result from their use. 'Value' needs to be re-expressed in the more specific terms of.... Benefits.

With the Financial Framework methodology, Benefits are perfectly quantifiable, so the activities of PLM Justification and PLM Financial Management can begin.

For the past three issues of 2PLM we have looked at reasons why PLM is difficult to quantify. The next issue will cover how the Metrics Algorithm makes this quantification possible.


Roger Tempest is co-founder of the PLMIG. Membership of the PLMIG is available via membership@plmig.com


Most Cited PLM Publication  
A reader asked about the most frequently cited Product Lifecycle Management publication. Google Scholar was used to find the answer - it provides a quick way to search for citations across many sources. The answer, with 429 citations as of March 31 2014, was Product Lifecycle Management: Paradigm for 21st Century Product Realisation.

The book was first cited in 2004 - in "Durchgängiger und übergreifender Konstruktionsdatenzugriff als Baustein eines wirksamen PLM".

In the first quarter of 2014 it was cited 14 times, most recently in the publications listed below. The list illustrates how PLM is now applied across the world, in different industries, and in different phases of the product lifecycle. It confirms the book's definition of PLM - Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is the business activity of managing, in the most effective way, a company's products all the way across their lifecycles; from the very first idea for a product all the way through until it's retired and disposed of.

  • A cloud-based platform to ensure interoperability in aerospace industry Details
  • Towards Knowledge Driven Adaptive Product Representations Details
  • Managing design change order in a PLM platform using a CSP approach Details
  • Critical Success Factors for New Product Development in Hard Disc Drive Manufacturer in Malaysia Details
  • Investigating the total quality elements based on Deming management model in oil industry in Libya - an empirical study Details
  • Evaluation of EDA tools for electronic development and a study of PLM for future development businesses Details
  • Reviewing Product Lifecycle Management Models For Complex Sectors: A Proposal Details
  • Part-out-based spares provisioning management: A military aviation maintenance case study Details
  • Perspectives of Users and Service Providers on Deployment Maturity Assessment: A Study of Product Lifecycle Management Systems Details



Global Product  
According to Google Scholar, Global Product: Strategy, Product Lifecycle Management and the Billion Customer Question has 27 citations. This book has the following review at Goodreads:

A great discussion about the necessity of PLM software within organizations wanting to scale to the global market place. Everything from writing a clear business case complete with smartly defined goals and objectives to running a project for PLM implementation is covered. The book introduces readers to the various software modules that are available to define a PLM solution for an organization.

The thing that stuck out most for me though were the efficiencies gained from companies that implemented PLM without a clear business strategy vs those that spent time formulating one. Think a 4% improvement in productivity vs 100%...

A must read for anyone entering the PLM space.

One of the subjects of the book is the problems that can occur with products throughout their lifecycle - during ideation, development, manufacture, use and end-of-life.  
Product Recalls
According to Chapter 1 of the book: Problems with products can involve big numbers. In October 2003, Nissan Motor Company said it would recall 2.55 million cars at an estimated cost of 15-16 billion yen ($138-148 million) due to an engine defect.

GM ignition switch recall
On April 1, 2014, General Motors' CEO Mary Barra testified before the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance about a defective ignition switch that has led to deaths and recalls of 2.6 million vehicles, spanning model years between 2003 and 2011. An ignition switch design change was approved in 2006, but doesn't seem to have been applied to all affected models. GM's dedicated customer website about the ignition switch recall is here.



Cultural Change - Key to PLM Success
by Scott Cleveland
In my experience, the primary key to PLM success is managing change - cultural change management.

A typical PLM implementation will present the user community with several changes:

  • It will change how they do their work. At a minimum, they will now have to interface with some new software.
  • It may change the processes in which they are involved. (Although it's a good idea to not get carried away making big changes to processes for the initial rollout.)
  • It may change some terminology that they are used to
  • It will definitely involve some compliance [rules will need to be followed] on the part of the user
  • It will increase visibility into their work

These changes can be difficult for some people. Here are some things you can do to minimize the impact of the change:

  • Identify a Champion. This person doesn't have to be a VP, but must be well respected so that the user community will listen.
  • Put together an implementation team that includes: a Champion, a project manager, an executive sponsor [can be the Champion], process owners, users, subject matter experts and someone from IT. Involve any people who might want to kill the project [so they will have some ownership].
  • Conduct regular meetings [weekly or more] to get all of the players involved and informed

The role of the Champion is to sell the story to management and to sell the story to the user community. Think of them as a pied piper. They should lead your company to a successful implementation. They should lead your company through its culture change issues.

All the successful PLM implementations that I have seen have had strong Champions. Contact me if you need some help .... 


Scott Cleveland can be contacted on +1 408-464-6387

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Stratasys Ltd. announced that it has entered into definitive agreements to acquire two privately-held companies, Solid Concepts Inc. and Harvest Technologies. Details

3D Systems announced that it acquired Medical Modeling Inc. Details



IGE+XAO Group announced Consolidated Accounts for the first half 2013/2014 (in IFRS norms). Consolidated turnover was 12,570,465 euros. Details 


GM announced that Jeff Boyer has been named to the newly created position of Vice President, Global Vehicle Safety. Boyer, 58, will report to John Calabrese, Vice President of Global Vehicle Engineering and become a member of Global Product Development staff, led by Mark Reuss, Executive Vice President, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. Boyer will provide regular and frequent updates on vehicle safety to General Motors CEO Mary Barra, senior management and the GM Board of Directors. Details 


AVEVA announced that Inter RAO - Engineering has implemented AVEVA engineering and design software. Details

AVEVA announced that Jinglu Shipbuilding signed a contract for AVEVA Marine software. Details 

Visual 2000 International announced that Marsylka has begun implementation of the Visual End-2-End suite. Details

WFX announced that Oxford Golf selected WFX Cloud PLM for product lifecycle management (PLM) software. Details 


ANSYS announced that the latest version of HFSS includes linear circuit simulation. Details

ASCON announced KOMPAS-3D V15. Details

Autodesk, Inc. announced 2015 versions of its 3D animations tools. Details

CCE announced Express 3D on CNET. Details

CONTACT Software announced the Unicode release of its Workspaces technology. Version 3.3 offers product developers further improvements for CAD data management and collaborative working in teams. Details

Dassault Systemes announced availability of SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual. Details

Delcam announced the 2014 R2 release of PowerSHAPE Pro. Details

ESI Group announced IC.IDO 10. Details

Formtek announced version 5.5.2 of Formtek | Orion 5 Foundation Server on the Linux platform. Details

Geometric Limited announced CAMWorks Virtual Machine. Details

Informative Graphics Corp. announced Brava! Enterprise 7.2 for EMC Documentum D2 4.2. Details

Informative Graphics Corp. announced the latest release of its Brava! Enterprise universal viewer for Alfresco One. Details

Lightwork Design Ltd announced the release of Artisan 2014. Details

Mentor Graphics Corp. announced the Mentor Graphics Valor NPI software product. Details

Siemens announced that NX is available in a private cloud environment. Details

ShipConstructor Software Inc. announced ShipConstructor 2014 R2. Details

tetra4D announced the release of 3D PDF Converter 4.1. Details

Visual Technology Services Ltd. announced enhancements to PV+ enabling 3D PDF report generation for COMSOL users. Details

Zuken announced enhancements to Design Gateway and Design Force. Details

ZW3D announced the availability of ZW3D CAD Library. Details



The Altair Partner Alliance announced that Multiscale Design Systems, LLC has enabled its software, MDS, on the Altair license manager. Details

Altair announced that its HyperWorks Unlimited appliance for CAE has been certified as Intel Cluster Ready. Details 

 Product                         Lifecycle                         Management: Paradigm for 21st Century Product                         Realisation

Aras announced a partnership with Kisters AG to integrate the high performance 3D digital mockup product 3DViewStation to the Aras PLM platform for multi-CAD digital mockup. Details

Informative Graphics Corp. announced that Brava! Enterprise has passed Alfresco's certification process. Details 


Addnode Group announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Symetri. Details

Delcam announced that it has donated over 1,000 Delcam University courses to the SkillsUSA partnership of students. Details

EAC announced the acquisition of TerraXML's Arbortext Business Unit. Details

Eurostep announced support for STEP AP242. For more than 10 years, Eurostep has been deploying standards into production with Share-A-space. More recently Eurostep has been actively involved in harmonizing AP239 (PLCS) and AP242. Details

GlobalSpec announced the release of Datasheets360. Details

Intergraph announced that its TUF groups have surpassed the 10,000-member milestone. Details

MachineWorks announced controller simulation advancements. Details

PTC announced that it is working with Colorado State University to deliver an authorized training program for PTC software. Details

PTC announced a donation of Windchill and Creo software to the Florida Institute of Technology. Details

Siemens announced that its PLM Software business unit has been awarded a 5-Star rating in the CRN 2014 Partner Program Guide. Details



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