Product Lifecycle Management is an enterprise system.
But this is to use "system" in its loosest sense: it is not just the IT but also the people who use it and the way they use it.
This means to take a PLM project forward, you have to take all three of these elements with you.
All together. Simultaneously. At the same time.
This is the guiding light behind our approach.
Graham started out as a design engineer working on complex electronic products in a large company.
It was easy to think that the engineer was the most important part of the whole enterprise and what the engineer said was law. There was no design that could not be improved, no tool that could not be created, no process that could not be reinvented. Product configurations could be carried in one's head; if the shop floor had any questions they only had to ask. The most important thing was to get the best possible result in terms of the design.
As Graham transitioned through a number of roles including project manager and engineering manager the realisation dawned that there were clever, skilled and talented people who depended on getting good information about the product. These were the internal customers of the design engineers and it was important to please these customers.
When it came to convincing a customer to accept a complex system comprising mechanical elements, electronics, software and subcontract subsystems, it was tough without reliable product data.
Eventually Graham got responsibility for a 200 person division including engineering, initial manufacture and finance. Seeing the cost of routine processes, the impact of incomplete or inaccurate information and the problems of change it was clear that something was missing.
The whole business committed to implementing product data management and Graham took the responsibility to do it and took charge of the IT organisation at the same time.
Not realising it was difficult, after 3 years Graham and his team had put a system in place with bi-directional integration with MRP, migrated legacy data, created a new set of new working practices and deployed custom reports that were invaluable to operations.
His next step was working on the other side of the fence advising companies as a supplier. In 20 years Graham worked with dozens of organisations in Aerospace, Defence, Industrial, Transport, Hi-Tech and Energy.
He thinks he is getting the hang of it now.