Allow individual initiatives for PLM improvement

Posted on October 31, 2012

PLM is a continuous process and the solution/framework built to support it needs to follow evolutions. This is a simple statement but it sounds already a bit contradictory with the basis of PLM which is developing a system with processes to enhance creativity and support development. Why is it contradictory? Because developing a system to enhance creativity let people think you would have a fixed system which allow creativity, so which would mean you wouldn’t change the system. Well I believe the first statement is the right one. Two factors are key to demonstrate that. First, the technology innovations for the tools supporting the PLM initiative. Then the innovation process can use tools that are evolving, new databases. Do you think the innovation process stay the same when a car manufacturer is including a lot more electronics in its car?

Allow to follow the technology

One interesting stat here would be to know out of 100 CIO, how many have already been involved in software development or infrastructure management? One thing that I find always complicated is to talk with a CIO about the technology I’m showing. I sometimes have to push to show the software, I guess a powerpoint presentation would be enough for some of them. So in this case how do you follow the evolving technology? You need to have in your companies, some people allowed to try new products or evolving products and get feedbacks from them to understand if some product are getting more interesting then others for your organisation.

Follow the changing processes

Evolving processes is not something you allow or not. It is something that you just need to acknowledge because the market, the product evolution requires it. Then you have two ways to deal with it. You either ignore them and your IT system supporting the innovation process will soon become used for far less then it should be or you follow these changes, you record them and you support them by either trying to know if your IT can take it into account or providing a roadmap with potentially other more flexible tools to support them.

How to capitalize these initiatives

The issue is always to get the information of a changing process, the information of a process that is not already taken care of in one of your IT systems, the information of a new technology that would fit more with your requirements. Toward your users, you need to get feedbacks.  PLM is a continuous enhancement process, your input is your user feedback. I have been working in companies where I could never get someone proactively telling people “we need you to work efficiently, if you think that any of your work could benefit from automation, data-sharing,… tell us!”.  Well maybe it happens for CAD designers. To give you an idea of how you can help your users, I created an example of a form that companies should provide to their users to capture these particular use-cases.

Form sample to capture your user’s PLM IT requirements 

Let me know what you think about that form and more generally about capturing user request, what is your actual process to do so?

Yoann Maingon

Yoann Maingon is an Entrepreneur and a PLM enthousiast. He is our main blogger at Minerva as he has been publishing articles about General PLM concepts and Aras Innovator for more than three years.

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Another Local ACE Event : ACE Copenhagen 2012

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Last week with our Minerva team, we organized the Aras Community Event for Northern Europe gathering customers, prospects and other curious around presentation and discussions about Aras Innovator and PLM implementations. This event was hosted by Microsoft facility in Copenhagen as you can see on the map below.

Peter Schroer CEO of Aras corp was here to remind every attendants that Aras is definitely in the group of PLM solutions for large scale implementations. Not having an extra large sales staff doesn’t mean not having a world class product. It means investing more in building the right flexible product for PLM.

CEO of Aras Corp


The Agenda

Here is the agenda we covered. Feel free to get back to us if you want more details on a specific topic we covered.

Day 1

Start 10.00 – Tuesday

  • 10.00 – 10.10 Welcome (Speaker: Leon Lauritsen)
    • Quick welcome and update on Minerva
  • 10.15 – 10.35 Introduction to Aras – Capabilities (Speaker: Leon Lauritsen)
    • New to Aras. Understand the uniqueness of Aras’ business model and solution
    • High-level intro to Aras. Quick demo and short configuration change
  • 10.40 – 11.10 Aras Momentum Update (Speaker: Peter Schroer)
    • Aras Momentum. Global Aras update. New customer

11.10 – 11.25 Break

  • 11.25 – 12.10 Implementation & Experience Workshop
    • Table 1: Customer lead discussion
    • Table 2: Customer lead discussion
    • Table 3: Medical Device Industry solution lead by Minerva
    • Table 4: Q&A with Peter Schroer
  • 12.15 – 12.55 Why traditional PLM isn’t the solution for everything (Speaker: Peter Schroer)
    • Extending/Complementing TeamCenter/Windchill/Enovia
    • What are the global Experiences? Examples of clients.

13.00 – 13.45 Lunch

  • 13.45 – 14.15 Seamless integration between Engineering and Manufacturing (Speaker Erwin van Zomeren)
    • Business challenges between Engineering and Manufacturing and how to improve them
  • 14.15 – 14.45 How to support seamless integration between Engineering and  Manufacturing with Aras
    • Capabilities of Aras (Speaker: Antoine Van Riel)
  • 14.50 – 15.20 Implementation & Experience Workshop
    • Table 1: Customer lead discussion
    • Table 2: Minerva EHT solution, what to put on the roadmap. Minerva Lead Discussion
    • Table 3: Q&A with Peter Schroer
  • 15.25 – 15.45 Break
  • 15.45 – 16.30 Platform design (Speaker Erwin van Zomeren)
    • Understanding the transition from order engineering to platform design, challenges and benefits.
  • Hotel Check in..
  • Evening entertainment start 18.00 – 22.00

Day 2

Wednesday start 09.00

  • 09.00 – 09.20 The Digital Native and Aras ? (Speaker Andreas Müller)
    • (Projects, Forums, Wikis)
  • 09.25 . 09.45 NEW Aras Component Engineering capabilities (Speaker Thomas Skogen)
    • Aras CE will add data and analytics to Aras PLM to simplify the management of standard electronic and mechanical components. Aras Corporation is partnering with IHS ( to develop a connected‐cloud integration between the Aras PLM application suite and the cloud‐based products and services offered by IHS.
  • 09.50 – 10.30 Implementation & Experience Workshop
    • Table 1: Customer lead discussion
    • Table 2: Customer lead discussion
    • Table 3: Q&A with Peter Schroer
  • 10.30 – 10.45 Break
  • 10.45 – 11.30 Aras Mechatronics Multi-CAD & Visual Collaboration Strategy (Speaker Pauli Vadstrup)
    • Aras strategy for Multi discipline CAD environment.
  • 11.30 – 12.15 Example of CAD integration. SolidWorks (Softech)
    • Capabilities of Softech’s SolidWorks integration
  • 12.15 – 13.15 Lunch
  • 13.15 – 13.45 NEW Aras module to support Requirement Management (Speaker: Thomas Skogen)
    • Capabilities of the new Requirements Management Module
  • 13.45 – 14.10 Mobile with Aras (Speaker Yoann Maingon)
    • How to support Ipad and other special purpose Clients
  • 14.15 – 14.45 New Neutral Aras Browser Client  (Speaker Yoann Maingon)
    • Status update, Dojo dependencies on client side customizing (Minerva)
  • 14.45 – 15.00 Break
  • 15.00 – 15.30 Aras Vision & Roadmap (Speaker Peter Schroer)
  • 15.30 – 15.45 Closing the conference (Speaker Leon Lauritsen)

Yoann Maingon

Yoann Maingon is an Entrepreneur and a PLM enthousiast. He is our main blogger at Minerva as he has been publishing articles about General PLM concepts and Aras Innovator for more than three years.

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Questions I should have, but never received from prospects… #2 : How much time does it take to change this form?

Posted on October 20, 2012

Second writing of our series of article about questions I feel like I should received more often from prospects. For the first article, I talked about the lack of questions about how PLM solutions can manage evolution  this time it brings me back to a presentation I made for a prospect in Electronic and High-tech industry. I was presenting Aras Innovator and answering questions.  As usual I made not only a presentation of the business features but also the flexibility of the solution as it is by far an advantage of this solution compared to older technologies from the competition. Once again, as I often mention in other articles, flexibility is key because most of the time when you get the features sold by a vendor you will change it, adapting it to your company’s specific needs. So I was at this customer site, and there were just asking me to navigate in the software. But at one point after they saw some of the feature they wanted to see I took more control over the presentation and told them how important it was that the PLM solution should be flexible. So I started to modify some forms to let them feel how they could not only make it quickly but I was also demonstrating that some customizing could be done live during meetings.

In order to illustrate this I made a quick video this week about how you enrich the out-of-the-box part numbering feature in Aras with just one line of coding. Usually, no vendor will code live during a presentation but maybe that’s something that you should ask them. “Please when you come, bring some tech people, we’d like to evaluate for real how fast it will take to implement our specifications.” That’s what you should ask. Until then, enjoy the Video !

Yoann Maingon

Yoann Maingon is an Entrepreneur and a PLM enthousiast. He is our main blogger at Minerva as he has been publishing articles about General PLM concepts and Aras Innovator for more than three years.

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MVPLMS – Minimum Viable PLM Solution ! what’s yours?

Posted on October 18, 2012

This article is the continuation of the my previous article about lean implementation methodology for PLM. It is ok to present methodolgies that are said to be best for implementing a PLM strategy. It is better to provide examples and solutions on how to start these implementations. When I was reading about lean startup the good thing was that the illustration of the MVP, Minimum Viable Product was quickly provided and it allowed me to understand through this examples what was key for users to have in order to be able to get feedbacks to, if necessary, pivot as soon as possible. It has to have not too much and not too few features, you can be wrong about the way you think it will evolve and about the product you start with, you shouldn’t be too wrong about the amount of things provided at first.

Size of MVP depends on the departement you are developping the system for

Recently, my other article about why we shouldn’t start a PLM implementation from the engineering has been the root of many comments and discussions on linkedin but also in the meetings I had after that. One of the important point was to get some users live on the system as soon as possible to enhance the dynamic of the PLM implementation project. Most functionnal PLM consultant independant from software editors use to say that the important thing is the PLM initiative itself and not the software. For them what is important is to make people aware that they are all bringing some value to the product. The sooner you get people live on the system the better your PLM initiative will be.

A matter of Budget triggered by the software implementation

Many times in the comments I received on linkedin and other networks were related to justifying a cost of implementation. I had many times the comment that it was easier to have such budget validated when it was impacting R&D than other departements. We know most of the cost is held by the software implementation and not to pure consulting. Then you realize that with these arguments,  the way the implementation will be made will be triggered by the software and that is not what you are looking for. Years ago there was the wave of the “toolbox” system which still existed then but were banned from marketing. Toolbox system could be adapted to any departments the same way you use Microsoft Access, adding workflows, … Problem is, the software was already too expensive. So wen selecting a solution it would be right to look at flexibility of the system and flexibility on pricing.

  • Does your MVPLMS has to start with engineering? still a question for which I’m not sure about the answer.
  • What is the MVPLMS scope?

Yoann Maingon

Yoann Maingon is an Entrepreneur and a PLM enthousiast. He is our main blogger at Minerva as he has been publishing articles about General PLM concepts and Aras Innovator for more than three years.

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