PLM implementation may be one of the most strategic projects facing your organization over the next few years. PLM is the cornerstone of the digital thread, and it has become a vital component of the digital transformation of every modern manufacturer.

PLM helps enable MDE (model-driven engineering) and MBM (model-based manufacturing), which:

  • Allows for faster time to market and better-quality products
  • Helps eliminate information silos and data discrepancies by providing a single source of truth
  • Streamlines processes by removing unnecessary steps

You Should Take a Strategic Approach

But you won’t achieve these benefits unless you approach the PLM implementation strategically.

Because PLM provides the backbone to your digital thread, it must coordinate and consolidate data from every one of your enterprise business systems, including ERP, SCM, CRM, EQMS, CAPA, field service, and even finance. Each of these solution vendors will insist that their application should be the backbone, but not one of them has as complete a data model as a top-shelf PLM solution such as PTC Windchill.

 PLM is the cornerstone of the digital thread, which makes PLM implementation a strategic initiative.

PLM is the only enterprise solution that covers the full scope of manufacturing

And if certain pieces of information aren’t part of an application’s data model, how can it coordinate and consolidate data from the other systems that do require that information?

How can an application present information in a real-time, actionable manner if it doesn’t have the data in its own repository?

The answer is—it can’t.

Using any solution other than PLM as your company’s data backbone leaves you at the mercy of middleware or third-party data repositories and expensive and complex customizations.

PLM provides the most comprehensive data model of all the enterprise applications.

Coupled with a Systematic Approach

But even with the extensive data model provided by PLM, the PLM implementation must be approached systematically to ensure it meets your present and future needs and to accelerate time to value.

Four Key Steps

Achieving these goals requires a carefully thought out PLM implementation methodology. The PLM implementation should begin with four key steps:

  • Assess: Perform a detailed analysis of the present state.
  • Discover: Map out priorities and align the entire team.
  • Accelerate: Define specific use cases and the expected improvements. This may require the use of experienced outside professionals to lead the team in new ways of approaching business processes.
  • Transform: Develop a roadmap and journey plan. Here too, the use of experienced third parties who are familiar with the PLM product and PLM implementation can help eliminate missteps that limit future adaptability.

Don’t Forget Change Management

The PLM implementation team should not try to replicate existing processes across the board. Maximum efficiency and speed of PLM implementation may be enhanced by adopting proven industry-specific best practices. Once again, this is an area where it pays to work with an experienced third-party PLM implementation professional.

Solution overview training as well as role-based training can help the entire PLM implantation go faster and make the process less stressful to the organization. Training is an area where many companies under-allocate funds, but this is not the place to skimp on resources. Well-trained users will hit the ground running on Day One, and they can also identify and solve any potential problems well in advance—long before they become a crisis.

Consider a Predefined PLM Implementation Methodology

PTC developed its Value Ready Deployment (VRD) PLM implementation methodology according to these principles. VRD assumes a cloud-default infrastructure for scalability, security, and expert management. Cloud deployment also eliminates the need for in-house tuning and updates, and generally provides higher security and greater uptime than in-house deployment can.

To achieve speed and stay in budget, consider a prescribed PLM implementation methodology.

Cloud Deployment Provides Speed, Scalability, and Security

Wherever you decide to deploy your new solution, the Value Ready Deployment PLM implementation methodology ensures that the PLM solution is deployed in a prescribed manner, assuring that each piece of the implementation builds naturally on prior work so that the PLM implementation goes forward smoothly, efficiently, and cost effectively, with no surprises or false starts.

The recommended cloud deployment is highly scalable, so it eliminates the need to plan and coordinate hardware, software, and network infrastructure components. Along with the reduction in low-value day-to-day IT processes such as backups, the cloud deployment of your PLM implementation reduces the burden on your in-house team, so they can spend more time on strategic initiatives.

Cloud deployment can help your PLM implementation succeed more quickly.

Work with a PLM Implementation Expert

Anyone can call themselves an implementation consultant. There are no certifications to achieve or tests to pass. An implementation consultant may be highly experienced with one type of software—such as ERP—but not PLM. Or they may be familiar with one PLM solution, but not necessarily the one you’ve chosen. Even if they know your chosen solution, the PLM implementation might not go as smoothly as it could because the outsider isn’t familiar with the latest releases or all the possible use cases and the ways to address them. Even with the best of intentions, this lack of insight can lead to a less than optimum PLM implementation. That’s why we recommend that every company work with a reputable PTC partner, like NxRev, and use the proven Value Ready Deployment methodology designed by PTC to ensure the best possible PLM implementation experience for your company.

Interested in learning more?

To learn more about PLM implementation in general and the Value Ready Deployment methodology, contact us today.