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PLM Industry Vision for 2020 {from 2010}




This proposal for a PLM Industry Vision was first published in 2010, and therefore expressed a view towards 2020.  It has since been superseded, but is an accurate reflection of the general outlook at that time.


The Need


It is well understood that every PLM implementation should define a PLM Vision as part of its Planning and Company Strategy.  It is a fundamental part of project management.

It therefore seems reasonable to ask the PLM industry to do the same. If the PLM industry itself is ever to become mature, and deliver everything that users are currently looking for, what will the picture look like in 10 years' time?

The Vision


It seems likely that the supply side will look very similar to how it does now, with a wide range of vendors and service providers driving PLM capability forward as they race to compete with each other.  However, in 2020 that PLM capability will be able to be measured against a framework of industry-wide PLM knowledge, metrics and standards, so that user companies of all sizes can plan and implement PLM in a quantified way.

The overwhelming difference with today's scenario is the lack of doubt.  By 2020, PLM has been publicised and developed as a professional activity so that everyone in business, in any capacity and in any industrialised country, is familiar with it. PLM teams work in an atmosphere of understanding and acceptance.  Project justifications are based on an internationally-agreed PLM Benefits Reference Model, which allows ROI to be based on precise metrics generated from real implementation successes over the past 10 years.

Implementations are easily planned using PLM Maturity Model roadmaps and are carried out according to formal PLM Best Practice standards distilled from experienced user companies.  This saves the effort that is wasted today on re-invention and "wondering how other people do it" and means that successful implementation has become completely predictable.

Individual implementations are fully mature. Whatever the size of the company, the PLM director can say: "All of the elements of PLM are in place across the entire enterprise.  The whole enterprise manages its products actively and seamlessly from the executive board down to the most detailed operational level, with commercial integration throughout the product chain with our customers and suppliers.  Product-related data across the whole lifecycle is created once and presented to the right people in the right format and detail at the right time.  People, processes and technology are integrated within the PLM framework, and are supported by a comprehensive and fully-integrated IT infrastructure.  Everyone within our 40 sites in 18 countries understands their PLM role and is working the same way."

More importantly, implementations are fully mature in this way across all of the industrialised world. No matter if you are in the USA, Europe, or one of the Asian countries, the adoption of PLM is just as thorough and complete.  The southern hemisphere has been brought into the fold, so wherever you trade your company will find the same opportunities for skilled partnership.  This has brought about some re-balancing of low-cost economies, but it has also transformed the world's productivity (and the size of the PLM marketplace).

Beyond the Vision


As well as reaching this level of maturity, the PLM industry has prepared for what lies beyond.  For the past ten years, an Academic/Industry Research Platform has brought together leading researchers in an international programme of research into advanced possibilities for PLM of the future, and the results of these projects are now feeding into the products and techniques available to user companies.

How To Get There


This is a PLM scenario of 10 years' time, and as with any Vision it will only be realised if everyone works towards it - in this case, by applying a form of collaboration and industry focus that is currently missing.  PLM needs a proactive industry body, incorporating leading users and vendors, that is truly international.

This body will develop new PLM standards, but will also liaise with major companies and existing standards organisations to incorporate their best elements.  The body will take the PLM message to national industry bodies and media sources around the world to pass success stories from one country to another.  It will coordinate the safe exchange of best practice from leading implementations, thus providing the structure and metrics for the Best Practice and Maturity reference models.  Perhaps most of all, it will bring together leading PLM companies in a cooperative structure that can become a Steering Group for the industry. It is the aim of the PLMIG to provide the vehicle for this.

Add Your Input


The PLM Industry Vision defines a clear picture of where the industry could be by 2020, and how it can prepare for the more advanced PLM that lies beyond.

This PLMIG definition is a starting point in the process of deciding how to develop the industry, and is open to comments and feedback from all PLM professionals. The aim is to use the Vision as the basis for a widespread and constructive debate about the direction of PLM.

Whatever your role, and whatever your company, you can send your feedback and input via .

Copyright 2018. PLM Interest Group


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