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TATA Technologies: Building Competitive Advantage with Effective Implementation & Use of Product Lifecycle Management

Susila Govindaraj
Friday, April 17, 2015
Susila Govindaraj
An Overview of the Current PLM Industry

Arguably, Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) in India is at its infancy. Most organizations are unaware of the fact that PLM is absolutely crucial to building competitive advantage and needs to become an organizational imperative. Instead of having conversations with manufacturing companies on process re-engineering and NPI (New Product Introduction), PLM vendors end up spending inordinate amount of time trying to convince customers that PLM is crucial for them. Because IT solutions like MES (Manufacturing Execution System) and ERP have proliferated the market place, very often IT professionals make the mistaken assumption that these tools and technologies can provide PLM functionality. This could not be further from the truth. There are significant synergies between PLM and these transactional technologies. In many ways, what these tools are to production, PLM is to planning. Optimistically though, most automotive, defence, aerospace, heavy engineering and medical devices companies in India today have a good handle on PLM with most basic things on the checklist ticked.

According to CIMdata, a PLM consulting and research firm, the global PLM market is forecasted to grow by 5.5 percent in 2014 and has an expected annual growth rate of 5.8 percent to $46.3 billion by 2018. Despite this growth, most manufacturers are not getting anticipated returns from their existing PLM implementations. In India, the biggest hurdle the manufacturing industry faces is the lack of digital maturity amongst organizations. Most companies are still not aware of the positive impact PLM can have on the quality of their products and bottom-line, as their focus invariably is more on daily operations. In fact, a poll conducted by CIMdata, shows a staggering 75 percent of organizations with PLM investments are not meeting their PLM objectives.

This is where PLM veterans like Shreekanth Moorthy, Global VP and Line of Business Head for PLM, Tata Technologies step in. He points out, "This statistic is both alarming and true". He further highlights that there are several reasons why PLM implementations fail and why people don't see ROI:

  1. Misaligned expectations between the implementation vendor and different stakeholders within the customer's organization

  2. Lack of management commitment (organizational and budget-wise)

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