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In Today’s competitive world, catering to the ever changing consumer demand is the main objective of most of the companies.This brings in the need to continue introducing compelling, reliable new products within sharp deadlines in order to stay ahead of the competition. Fast expanding global and domestic outsourcing is a result of this phenomenon itself. Moving one step further in this direction only is PLM which gives a complete holistic view of a company’s product as they are developed, manufactured and are brought to the market.It incorporates all elements of the product data and tying them up with critical processes and tasks that numerous internatl and external teams undertake to develop and bring products to the market. True Hallmark of a world class PLM strategy is increasing an enterprise’s flexibility and agility to respond swiftly and effectively to new changes, new markets and competitiors . Three crucial factors which drive an organization’s PLM strategy are :-

  • Innovation.
  • Execution.
  • Speed.
  • Essentially, PLM is to a company’s product value chain what ERP is to its inventory and manufacturing processes.However a well through PLM strategy enables a company to adopt new improvements to its product development processes over time in order to avoid the lengthy, costly and complicated implementations traditionally associated with ERP.PLM offers a lot of scope for creative activity as compared to ERP and SCM which support routine processes only. Now lets have a view at PLM from a slightly different angle. With PLM being a hit among corporates, lot many PLM solution providers are coming into the picture some real true subject matter experts and some vendors trying to force – fit tangible solutions which at a later stage require excessive consulting. Some key factors for a good PLM solution are : –
  • Strong PLM Backbone.
  • A Broad set of integrated applications for the complete product lifecycle.
  • XML based interoperability to other enterprise applications.
  • A common low footprint integration for all tools.
  • Dynamic Business Schema.
  • Some of the top PLM Vendors are :- MATRIXONE PLM , UGS , Agile Software,SAP,IBM. PLM vendors are moving toward the same goal: adding specific business and industry process functions to their PLM products, improving PLM user friendliness (including tackling the problems in implementing PLM), and broadening the scope of “product lifecycle” in their PLM systems. Here’s how, starting with how the vendors define PLM. http://www.autofieldguide.com/articles/010605.html Being from SAP Background , now I would like to take the discussion towards SAP PLM. MySAP PLM is SAP‘s answer to PLM Strategy. MySAP PLM is built on an open technology framework that takes advantage of industry standards such as HTML, XML, and Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) to ensure flexibility and interoperability. Its unified architecture can be tailored to the unique requirements of specific industries and companies. And communication via mobile and handheld devices means you get access to product information anytime, anywhere. The mySAP PLM application provides integrated product life-cycle management software – a single source of all product-related information needed for collaborating with business partners and supporting processes including product innovation, design and engineering, quality and maintenance management, and control of environmental issues. The mySAP PLM application can help your organization:
  • Support strategic sourcing by interfacing with supplier relationship management software.
  • Provide role-specific, context-driven access for internal and external users to relevant information, tools, and services.
  • Improve decision-making through insight into projects; flexible reporting; and analytics for portfolio management, occupational health, product safety, and product quality.
  • Increase strategic and operative control by monitoring product and production changes affecting timelines, costs, and resources.
  • Provide an open-technology framework that delivers up-to-date data required by enterprise processes for demand planning, manufacturing, purchasing, and sales.
  • Implementation of mySAP PLM can include the following:
  • SAP cProject Suite — SAP cProject Suite enables organizations to work in a collaborative way for both project management and collaborative engineering.
  • SAP xPD, SAP xRPM, SAP xCQM, and SAP xEM — Based on the SAP xApps framework, these applications support the processes of idea management (SAP xPD 2.0); portfolio management (SAP xRPM 4.0); cost and quotation management, especially in supplier relationships (SAP xCQM 1.0); and support the compliance process for carbon-dioxide-emitting and energy-consuming industries (SAP xEM 2.0).
  • mySAP ERP — mySAP ERP is the foundation for mySAP PLM. The software is currently in Release SAP ERP 2005.
  • SAP SEM — SAP Strategic Enterprise Management enables companies to implement strategies quickly and successfully, as well as manage business performance throughout the entire organization. The product design cost estimate (PDCE) based on SAP SEM provides early costing information to support design decisions. SAP SEM is currently in Release 6.0.
  • mySAP SRM — mySAP Supplier Relationship Management (SAP SRM 5.0) maximizes the return on relationship with all suppliers across all categories of spend at all times. Smooth integration into mySAP PLM ensures that only up-to-date information is used in supplier-related processes.
  • In mySAP PLM, the current release of SAP NetWeaver is 2004s and includes these components:
  • SAP NetWeaver Portal — SAP NetWeaver Portal enables organizations to manage enterprise data — including applications, databases, and Internet information — and deliver content based on user roles. mySAP PLM content is accessible via the portal, especially to occasional users.
  • SAP Business Information Warehouse (SAP BW) — SAP BW goes beyond traditional data warehousing to provide a complete solution for enterprise-wide information capture and evaluation. Reporting specific to mySAP PLM (such as cross-project analytics) is provided to gain advanced visibility.
  • SAP Exchange Infrastructure (SAP XI) — SAP XI is the SAP platform for process integration based on the exchange of XML messages. SAP XI supports the integration of legacy and third-party systems to mySAP PLM.
  • Contribution of mySAP PLM has been significant for many industries and companies and below mentioned find some links which gives a thourough insight into lot of case stuies of MySAP PLM. 1.The Famous HP – COMPAQ MERGER and role of mySAP PLM there. http://h71028.www7.hp.com/enterprise/downloads/PLM_Success_Case_FINAL_FINAL.pdf 2.MySAP PLM Helping NOVA CHEMICALS in achieving their mission of being the best Commodity Chemical Company in the World http://www.sap.com/industries/chemicals/pdf/CS_NOVA_Chemicals.pdf More on Latest Trends in PLM, MySAP PLM and its integration with XI will be discussed in my next blog….
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  1. Alan Arvesen
    From the matrix PLM white paper available on their website.

    e.g. from the Matrix article: “has its share of solution providers that are true subject matter experts as well as vendors trying to force-fit tangential solutions that require excessive consulting and systems integration efforts”

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