No one says it better than customers

Side from Gordon Benson’s presentation at the PLM Road Map conference, September 2007

Last week at the PLM Road Map 2007 conference, Gordon Benson of NMHG gave a presentation on his company’s success in using product information in many different areas of their operations. Gordon has kindly consented to allowing us to post the presentation here for you to browse.

I picked the slide you see here to be the graphic image for this post because it summarizes why Seemage is in business: to help companies share and reuse this fundamental information. By the way, it also shows how manufacturers are beginning to realize and respond to the impact digital product definition data has on their operations.

Gordon presented this information in a way that draws on his many years of experience working with technology companies. Some of the things he said might surprise you…and some just want to make you stand up and cheer.

For example, you’ll see in the presentation that Gordon recommends that when a vendor says “it can [do something specific]…say show me.” This is Gordon’s response to overblown claims of success from technology companies who are reluctant to say their products can’t do everything a customer requires. And it’s something we cheer. We think it’s important to tell customers what you can’t do as well as what you can.

Gordon also set the conventional wisdom on its head when he said that dealing with small companies is sometimes better than with big ones. He challenged the audience to recount the last time a big software company altered its product plan for them. He also described how small companies’ support staffs have been more responsive to his needs. This is an idea that’s obvious once you think about it, but many technology buyers miss these advantages by sticking with old buying habits.

After the presentation, many people said it was among the best they’d seen at PLM Road Map 2007. If you are interested in a longer document which details the work NACCO has done with Seemage, please see this post.

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