Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is a software solution that can greatly help manufacturers to speed up innovation, reduce costs, and improve time to market their products in global and domestic markets. This being said, to get the best results, there has to be smooth communication between manufacturers and the PLM service providers.
Many a times it has been witnessed that PLM service providers are unable to communicate the functioning and benefits of the PLM solution to their clients. Or, they are more than willing to bend over backwards to accommodate client demands in order to sell their product without sparing a thought to the long-term consequences.
PLM has standard tools and features though it does allow a fairly large degree of customization. However, the customization is secondary in the sense the primary functionalities remain the same. Then again, PLM does not function in silo and has to be integrated with the rest of the operating system which means that even if there is problem with one rung, the entire supply chain will be disturbed, defeating the very purpose of implementing the software.
While the manufacturing company is trained to operate the PLM solution, the ultimate responsibility to provide post implementation and support services lies with the service provider. In a situation when the manufacturer is unable to extract value out of the PLM he will approach the service provider to ask for change in tools or at times, even replacement. As soon as the service provider plugs one loop hole, another one arises and what results is a vicious cycle and a lose all situation for both.
To avoid this situation, both the manufacturer and PLM service provider must sit together and work out a blue print that clearly showcases functioning and benefits. The manufacturers should clearly identify the business challenges and focus on what they want to achieve out of PLM before going ahead with a PLM project. They should then communicate clearly to the service providers the mission critical project. The service providers, in turn, should be upfront and transparent with their clients so that there are minimum or no post-implementation issues that would drag them both down.
As a service provider, you may go the extra mile to accommodate client request but ultimately this could turn out to be a case of being penny wise and pound foolish. An ideal option is to meet, communicate and lay all cards on the table right from pre- to-post implementation costs, benefits and returns.