Home News WhichPLM Blog 14 August, 2010 PLM implementations made simple, easy and fast!

WhichPLM Blog 14 August, 2010 PLM implementations made simple, easy and fast!


 Well, that’s what a few PLM suppliers would like you to think, however this is far from the truth in my opinion.

I’ve been involved in hundreds of apparel PDM and PLM solutions searches and implementations over the last 22 years and I can tell you from first hand that there are no simple, easy and fast methods to implementing a successful PLM solution.

The only possible way to implement PLM in 12-15 weeks is to implement a fixed solution that has a limited set of processes, possibly a simple “Tech Pack” (technical specification) with a set of fixed processes that are limited with, limited being the key word!

Another method would be to follow a similar line based on a SaaS model (Software as a Service), again where you can only use what’s available from the supplier’s site.

My strong advice to those customers that are looking to implement PLM is not to fall for marketing “Spin” on the simple, easy and fast approach to implementing PLM.

I’ve always used an old saying that’s proved its worth time after time and it goes something like this: “It’s crazy to spend too much, but at the same time it’s also crazy to pay too little” and that goes for PLM implementations, you are only going to get what you pay for!

Let’s keep in mind what the requirements are for any successful PLM implementation:

• Understand why we are going to invest $XXX,XXX… in a PLM solution and what will the ROI (Return On Investment) be worth to the business.

So now that we know the ROI the obvious next questions are: What; Why; Where; Who; and, When. Questions like these are focused on the current business processes and on how PLM will be able to support the required improvement to deliver a meaningful ROI, yet even then, they are just scratching the surface of the information that needs to be obtained for a successful implementation. As-Is and To-Be process maturity assessments will take some time to organise and then analyse and  let’s keep in  mind that today’s PLM solutions tend to  touch every part of the organisation from Concept including trends, mood boards, themes all the way to Sourcing and Tracking through the extended Supply-Chain. In-between these processes there are many more processes that require a great deal of attention to detail, because as the saying goes “the devil is in the detail” or if you’re looking for ROI “The angle can be in the detail” also.

The truth of the matter is that there are many more questions to be asked and if you’re looking for some guidance on how long it will take your business to implement PLM then ask the independent experts and avoid any quick start implementation “Spin”.

Mark Harrop Mark Harrop is the founder and Managing Director of WhichPLM. During a career that has spanned more than four decades, Mark has worked tirelessly to further the cause of PLM – providing the unbiased, expert advice that has enabled some of the world’s best known retailers, brands and manufacturers achieve efficiency savings across their entire supply chain through informed technology investments.