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5 Steps to Enhancing ROI from your PLM Platform

Ensure Maximum Return on Investment from Your Product Lifecycle Management Investment

Adopting a PLM Platform offers numerous gains to businesses, as shown in ‘Top 10 benefits of a PLM Platform’ – but why doesn’t every organisation reap the benefits? If a PLM Platform isn’t implemented correctly then everything can fall apart, the project becomes a failure and the PLM Platform won’t help achieve organisational benefits.

When we talk about a failed implementation, this isn’t due to poor implementation on a technical level, it’s due to the business failing to implement and adopt the PLM Platform into its own organisation. By following these 5 steps businesses are more likely to succeed in their implementation and will start to see the true benefits of a PLM Platform earlier on:
1. Don’t Drop PLM on the IT Department
Too many organisations feel that implementing a PLM Platform is a job for the Information Technology (IT) department. This is not the case!
That’s not to say that the IT Department shouldn’t be involved, but to truly realise all the benefits an organisation needs to empower a PLM Team that is made up of the core business functions such as R&D, Design, Engineering, Manufacturing, Sales etc., whose focus is the successful delivery of a corporate wide PLM Platform. By having every department represented by this team, more benefits can be achieved, and the business is aligned to a successful implementation of the PLM Platform.
2. Define a Clear PLM Strategy
If you have already followed the previous step by creating a PLM team with ownership of the project, then that team will need to create a clearly defined PLM Strategy for the business. By establishing the PLM Strategy clarity can be gained on how the business will achieve its business objectives ensuring the governance and continual leadership of the PLM implementation.
3. Ensure Everyone is Speaking the Same Language
Everybody may be using the same terminology, but they might have differing ideas on what they mean – for example you might have an engineer who is saying PLM but means Product Data Management and is only concerned about looking after the CAD Data. By ensuring everybody understands the true meaning behind the terminology, there can be no confusion around the solution that’s actually being delivered. This way you don’t get any unhappy users, who either didn’t get everything expected, or who now are using the platform more than they anticipated.
4. Achieve a Business Wide Buy-In
As with any organisation the relationships between different departments can be tense, and when adding in a PLM Platform deployment, things only become more tense if they are not aligned. By securing the correct inter-departmental sponsorship organisations ensure that the strategy is aligned, and the PLM Platform will deliver the benefits anticipated.
5. Demonstrate Success Through a Clearly Defined & Visible Pilot 
To ensure the true success of your PLM Platform Implementation it’s sensible to start with a pilot project. This should be a single product or project that is highly visible across the entire organisation involving all the relevant departments that will be using the PLM Platform. By focusing in this way you can ensure that the deployment is successful and that any lessons learned are followed as the PLM Platform is rolled out across the remaining projects within the business, whilst the business as a whole is able to view the benefits gained from the PLM Platform.

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