PLM’s silent majority

PLM just isn’t connecting with the business

I was reading the PLM-oriented blog at (it’s not really a .org) and ran across this post about a CIMdata PLM survey.

Both the blogger (hey, you should sign your posts with a real name) and CIMdata miss what I think is the most imporant point.

Simply: over 60% of respondents did not say that “PLM was enabling business processes” (see CIMdata’s written analysis of the poll at the newsletter archive here). Instead, CIMdata adds together two minorities that answered different, unrelated questions to reach the conclusion that “This combined 60% reflect that PLM has become more than just an engineering solution – it is important to the entire business.”

The blogger at picked up on this, but still his or her concern is only about PLM not getting its “just due” in the minds of senior management.

Sheeesh….and to think we, of all people, have been accused of being propagandists on our blog!

Seriously, this is what happens when a majority of users are not being heard or served when it comes to the selection, deployment and integration of enterprise systems like PLM. Non-engineering users don’t care about PLM infrastructure issues: they want access to the digital product data to create product deliverables on their desktops.

And, what does it say about PLM when the most committed believers — the ones who subscribe to a PLM newsletter and respond to its (admittedly unscientific polls) — can’t muster a majority to positively answer questions about the impact of PLM on the larger business?

Forgive me my Nixon-era metaphors, but there’s a silent majority in manufacturing companies to whom Seemage speaks volumes about doing real work…creating real deliverables without getting all tangled up in whether or not PLM is “strategic” or not.

3 comments to PLM’s silent majority

  • LHirr  says:

    Just to clarify. If you read “About PLM Savvy” (link to my identity and background is clearly stated. While I work for a PLM company at present – the blog was originated by me prior to my employment there and will continue to remain independant of my employer. It is not a “commercial” blog and is not owned by any corporate entity, thus I requested a dns name with Org.

    My point was to take the poll to task for unreal conclusions – to remind people that it is NOT a scientific poll but rather a poll taken of individuals. I too believe that PLM needs to be more tangible and real but I also know that executives STILL don’t understand what it is.

  • Chris Williams  says:

    Does anyone understand what it is and if so did they understand before there were plm companies and a plm market? As well did anyone practice plm before there were plm systems?

  • John Doe  says:

    Wow, Chris, do you not think that people have practiced PLM before? They have historically used Microsoft Excel, paper drawings, and home grown change order systems. That is PLM, but the old systems are terrilby inefficient. Did companies recognize that MRP was useful before companies emerged to sell software to help? They had been using ledgers and paper, which did consitute Material Resource Planning, but that was inefficent too.

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