PRODUCT LIFECYCLE MANAGEMENT
For as long as we can remember, product lifecycle management technology has evolved
in an incremental way,
absorbing and exploiting
new technologies as they’ve
come along and steadily
gaining in capability to meet
the challenges of multi-organisation product development efforts and supply
chains. Currently, the PLM
solutions industry is being
subjected to a looming confluence of pressures that represents both a major challenge to established
approaches and a substantial
opportunity for harnessing
new technologies to drive
he automotive industry—a leader in taking advantage of PLM to
embrace the whole product development, manufacture and
after-market cycle—epitomises the pressures that will drive
major changes in PLM processes and technologies in the next
few years. Cambashi’s recent PLM research has been looking specifically at
those pressures, which can be summarized as:
• Growing supply chain complexity. The global landscape and shifts in target
markets is forcing automotive OEMs and tier one suppliers to re-evaluate their
supply chains. They must serve new geographies, mitigate soaring material and
energy costs, manage the risk of disruption caused by natural disasters and
accommodate rapidly rising labour costs in emerging markets. The challenge
for the PLM vendors is to provide solutions with the necessary scalability, mod-ularization and global access.
• Embedded software. The increasing prevalence of software as a product
“component” presents new challenges for PLM technologies. A new vehicle now
has over 100 processors and several million lines of code. Previously, good integration between PLM and software lifecycle management software was adequate.
The growing interdependence between software and the physical aspects of the
product makes a holistic approach necessary.
• De-siloing of applications. Ten years ago, we talked about the four pillars
of enterprise applications: enterprise resource planning; customer relationship
management; supply chain management; and product lifecycle management.
These were underpinned by manufacturing operations applications like manufacturing execution systems. The transformation of enterprises into industry
networks requires increasingly responsive and flexible intra-enterprise and
inter-enterprise information exchange. New information flows needed to support these evolving business networks will challenge today’s PLM, CRM, ERP,
SCM and MES categories.
—Tony Christian, principal analyst,
The immediate future promises to be an exciting period for the PLM industry.
Existing leaders (Dassault, PTC, Siemens) will continue to enhance and extend
their solutions Many smaller companies will introduce exciting new technologies. To achieve the PLM scalability, functional coverage and reach to support
wide-ranging business networks, we expect suppliers to exploit generic functional components, data management and exchange mechanisms as well as
advanced user interface technologies available “off the shelf” to drive web-,
cloud- and mobile-based capabilities.