…Unless your product is documentation and in this case your document management system is your PLM. This is a very usual question which we either get from our customers or which we have to solve when we implement a PLM solution in an environment that already contains a Document Management System. Many companies compare our features with the ones provided by their document management system.
Capture the main focus of the company…
What is a document management system? Wikipedia gives the following definition “A document management system (DMS) is a computer system (or set of computer programs) used to track and store electronic documents and/or images of paper documents”. These solutions like Alfresco, Nuxeo, and many other popular solution are offering a lot of opportunities to manage electronic content in the company. But everytime I face this question about these software, I ask the prospect: “what is the main focus of your company? what is the common item that everybody is working for?”. Answer is: your product. Your product can be services, manufactured goods and also as previously said documentation and in this particular case you might not be so wrong about having a DMS in place for your PLM strategy.
…and allow the whole company to be involved in your PLM strategy
So this is to me the most important thing which is also part of most discussion about “what is PLM”. Back to our first stop-motion video about this topic, we were clearly saying that everybody was potentially related to the PLM startegy as long as your were in some way interacting with the product related informations. Some example:
- HR will need to know from the product developments if in 10 month we might move to a product that requires much more soldering manufacturing steps. They will then be able to book trainings and make sure they have the competencies on time.
- Purchasing is definitely impacted with PLM to manage the suppliers relationship
- Quality needs to have their reporting looking at all the data from the PLM.
With these statement it would be much more difficult to get people around a same document management system implementation project. They all build different documentations with many processes while at the same time everybody is working for a same goal. the success of the company delivering its product.