One of the biggest challenges in PLM is the integration of eBoMs with mBoMs to create a more efficient SCM while managing the growing complexity of your MPM as it relates to a broader PDM strategy.
Head spinning yet? Thought so. Once you wade through the alphabet soup a bit, Product Lifecycle Management, or PLM, starts to come into sharper focus, if you view it as the business systems and product information backbone of a company and its extended enterprises.
I had a chance to meet up with some of the leaders in PLM at the Product Lifecycle Management Congress, which was right in our own backyard in Bloomingdale, Illinois. It was great connect with those in the PLM realm.
So how does that fit with Open Innovation and the Knowledge Supply Chain?
That's a good question, and one I got hit with a lot. Those who attended were bona fide experts in PLM, but for many the management stage started well after ideation. That's where Open Innovation and Open Innovation software comes in.
People got it, and embraced it. One commented that using Open Innovation software is like a new way of thinking, which makes a lot of sense, since Open Innovation in and of itself is a new way of thinking. This is a way of marrying the ideation with the PLM -- something that could benefit from day one and day one-thousand.
So how does one do this?
PLM teams are in dire need of linking to the early stage front end of innovation development, or FEI (I know, again with the alphabet soup). The inability to see both sides of this equation is a barrier to the creation of greater-than-incremental improvements upon existing products. By facilitating a link between the later stage product development and the early ideation and technology scouting stages, a company can begin to weave its materials supply chain with its Knowledge Supply Chain.
Many of the delegates that I spoke to at the conference were interested in going a step further and leveraging the power of Open Innovation and Open Innovation software with their existing PLM systems to be able to see a closer alignment of opportunities with existing manufacturing and materials supply chain capabilities.
Open Innovation and Open Innovation software is definitely the future of PLM, as the focus shifts toward increasing speed-to-market and the search for breakthrough technologies. We look forward to greater involvement in this ever-evolving community.