Investing in PLM Is No Longer an Option

Accenture’s recent white paper stresses the value of PLM and digital data

“As it stands, companies are missing the opportunity for an $8B bottom line impact.  PLM investments could generate up to 50 percent higher returns if companies apply a sharper prioritization toward digitalization and pursue PLM programs as a means for true transformation.”

We talk with 10s of companies per week.  And the recurring theme is the same.  Companies continue to use emails, spreadsheets, and unstructured file folders to “manage” the organization’s product lifecycle activities.   Of course, the impact varies depending on the type of industry they are in.  But we believe the “opportunity cost” associated with doing nothing is significant.  Accenture shares this view and recently published a white paper that illuminates this “cost” and offers some ideas as to what to do about it.

Doing nothing is Deferred Pain

The article offers up four action steps to help organizations get their digital s*&t together. 

Action Step #1 - Let the business define your digitalization agenda.

To stay competitive, identify what parts of the business need to be digitized, such as product data, processes, or both?   We did a segment in PPLM Newsletter #4 that speaks to what we called the PLM Maturity Quadrant and made a case for doing both. 

Action Step #2 - Prioritize the investment in PLM capabilities that enable digitalization.

The digital world requires a seamless integration of data across the value chain, so investment should focus on those capabilities that enable such integrations and drive future business growth.

Action Step #3 - Drive true transformation.

To capture the full benefits of PLM, existing processes and associated technologies must evolve.  Establish feedback metrics to track the improvement on a process level and continually measure the value and progress throughout the transformation journey.

Action Step #4 - Join forces between business and IT. 

PLM inherently is a cross-departmental solution.  Leverage IT leadership and senior management sponsorship to align priorities.  When IT and the business collaborate to identify areas that can drive growth, the business will be equipped to invest strategically rather than tackle isolated point solutions that don’t create long-term value.

In addition, to these action steps, the white paper spends some time on further articulating the “opportunity costs.”  You can read the white paper here.