Building on a House of Cards

PLM Underground and the insidious cost of doing nothing

“Our processes just evolved, and now we’re cornered.”  We’ve heard this and similar sentiment numerous times.  It’s completely understandable.  We all get so busy.  There are orders to process and get products out the door.  Who has time to be intentional?  Any way, it seems to do the job for now.

Earlier this year, Peter Schroer, President of Aras, called this the PLM Underground.  Effectively, companies have established their “plm” (in little letters) environment using email, elaborate spreadsheets, undocumented file folder structures and culturally developed processes.  All this is in response to “how do I deal with all this data” rather than “how can we drive business value.”

Staying “As-is” invariably adds more to an evolving, cobbled collection of precariously assembled components, that is, the house of cards. This process is not sustainable.

But, like most things in our lives, pain is a catalyzer.

So let’s park on the pain (sounds like a group therapy session).  What symptoms might be the catalyzers? 

  • scrap and rework driving up the cost of goods
  • delays in shipping and meeting customer expectations
  • discouraged employees who are trying to bridge the gaps, but don’t think management cares

The above conditions have direct and indirect costs associated with them.  So, now it boils down to a cost-benefit analysis.  We would challenge anyone reading this to dig deeper.  If you don’t have P&L responsibilities, then elevate it to someone who does.  If you have P&L responsibilities, then the action is in your court.  Now you know.