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Manufacturers extend the PLM journey

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Manufacturers are moving to the next generation of product lifecycle management (PLM) – a product innovation platform that uses product data and information as its core and integrates with other related data and processes across the enterprise.
Next-generation PLM is not only an extended internal approach, it is a product innovation platform approach to designing, developing, manufacturing, and delivering products that encompasses the entire value chain so partners, suppliers, and even customers can collaborate iteratively.
A new IDC MaturityScape from IDC Manufacturing Insights, IDC MaturityScape: the Product Innovationn Platform, identifies the stages, critical measures, outcomes, and actions required for companies to effectively develop a PLM strategy that extends across their organisation and value chain.
The extension of PLM outward to the enterprise and beyond is not a new discussion, but the market has rapidly changed and accelerated over the past five years driving manufacturers to take steps toward a product innovation platform. For example, manufacturers face increased complexity – in products, processes and value chains – driving the need for this next-generation platform.
In addition, by extending PLM, manufacturers are in a better position to achieve a balance of vitality and stability. That is, produce quality products that provide a steady, predictable stream of revenue (stability) but also innovate new products and product improvements (vitality) to accelerate growth.
IDC Manufacturing Insights asserts that, ultimately, a full product innovation platform, extended across an internal and external value chain, provides the following value:
* Open innovation: inclusive of the global team of internal and external constituents;
* Product lifecycle economics: business and cost rationalisation of product decisions;
* Decision support: Visual decision making across extended value chains;
* Systems engineering: across multiple engineering, and manufacturing domains; and
* Quality management: improvement of complex products and processes.
While 3rd Platform technologies such as cloud, mobile, social, and analytics provide the technology that leads to faster design, collaboration, and development, and enables better product experiences and service, IDC Manufacturing notes that there are five critical pieces that all manufacturers across industry need to have in place to achieve a product innovation platform. These include:
* Unified, secure, single instance of product data for the global team, internal and external constituents.
* The full spectrum of PLM: ideation, PPM, requirements, cPDM, collaborative design, integrated manufacturing process planning, and visualisation.
* Enhanced collaboration between engineering and manufacturing: Currently this means visual work instructions, and in the near future, augmented and virtual reality will become more prevalent.
* Integrated quality management and compliance management, for tracking and improvement of products and suppliers, as well as development and manufacturing processes.
* Product and service lifecycle integration, for effective service planning, execution, engineering and service collaboration when necessary.
“The complexity of products, supply chains, and demand will continue to increase, so the platform upon which products and customer experiences are designed, enabled, and serviced will need to evolve as well. A product innovation platform provides that foundation for the global team of internal and external constituents responsible for product success,” says Jeff Hojlo, programme director: Product Innovation Strategies at IDC Manufacturing Insights. “That said, manufacturers cannot roll out a product innovation platform in one fell swoop; it should be in phases, depending on company size, industry, primary business need, as well as level of product, demand, and supply chain complexity.”