One thread that ties all these three parameters – trends, customer expectations, and nuances of business processes, is the Product Lifecycle Management (PLM). It helps the manufacturers with all the essential data through the product's lifecycle from product conceptualization to product retirement. When it comes to streamlining value-chain parameters, the company's supply chain takes precedence over all other processes. In those processes, too, most enterprises focus primarily on ERP investments, and PLM is usually a sidelined application that tends to slip through the edge of the funnel. The irony is - businesses have been pressing the wrong switch. To bring in the product & process innovation, it is the PLM arena that every organization must embrace and concentrate on rather than the ERP.
ERP is essentially a consuming system in terms of product data, and the key source to the ERP is PLM. When the source of truth is not accurate, there is no value in the value-chain investment. The strength of a company's product/service innovation depends on the efficiency of its PLM system and processes supporting its functional stems. Effectively used, a PLM system can open various avenues of profit creation for a product company, right from product enhancement, efficiency improvement, process & cost optimization to enhanced customer experience and satisfaction.
However, despite the merits of PLM, the success rate of PLM projects is relatively low and is a matter of concern, given the effort ad cost investments involved.
The root of the failure can be found in the definition of PLM, as per the Gartner Glossary. PLM is defined as a philosophy, process, and discipline supported by software for managing products through the stages of their life cycles, from concept through retirement. Unfortunately, most companies that adopt PLM and fail, focus more on the software part of the package and completely fail to adopt the 'philosophy, 'process' and 'discipline' associated with it.
The Gap in Traditional PLM Systems to Support the Current Business Environment
Since the inception of traditional on-premises PDM, PLM, and CAD systems, there has been constant chatter about their application features, integration capabilities, platform support, etc. Despite this, there has been limited awareness on implementing these systems to best suit today's fast-paced business environments.
Modern enterprises have steered digital transformation initiatives with product lifecycle management (PLM) at the heart of enterprise product records for a few years now. However, the reality is that traditional PLM systems have been restricted to creating product development records only used by engineering teams. Current market trends are signaling to break away from data fragmentation in silos, be it in manufacturing, maintenance, or quality checks.
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The current pandemic has demonstrated to global businesses that technology is not an independent elective anymore, but it is interdependent within our daily lives. Those who've embraced this sudden change have emerged victorious, and those who have not either faded away or still trying their best to understand this transformation.
For the companies embracing this digital transformation in the PLM segment, Oracle Cloud PLM is one such solution that is emerging rapidly in recent times, transforming how the organizations innovate, develop and commercialize their product and process innovation. Oracle PLM Cloud overcomes the disadvantages of on-premise applications providing an expressway to build best-in-class supply chain innovation.