TATA Technologies: Building Competitive Advantage with Effective Implementation & Use of Product Lifecycle Management
Date: Friday , April 17, 2015
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:
- Misaligned expectations between the implementation vendor and different stakeholders within the customer\'s organization
- Lack of management commitment (organizational and budget-wise)
- Lack of dedicated PLM leadership and organization (e.g.: PLM being someone\'s part time/add-on job)
- Not inclusive (focused mainly on Engineering Dept. i.e. PDM only)
- Low level of maturity and experience of the PLM implementation vendor
- Lack of after-service support (eg: minimum two years required to make PLM part of the organizational DNA)
- Lack of regimented PLM adoption mandate within the organization and a zero tolerance policy for circumventing the system
- Lack of global training and constant training of users
- Inadequate internal marketing and branding
With almost three decades of PLM experience, Tata Technologies, a global engineering outsourcing & product development IT services company is helping customers overcome these roadblocks. Tata Technologies has mastered the art of formulating strategies to address these challenges and implementing course-correction, instead of haphazardly proposing a complete overhaul of PLM at the client site. Additionally, their PLM Scan offering helps identify OFIs (Opportunities for Further Improvement), while conducting audits. These OFIs result in strategic and tactical action plans which help address these challenges.
Obsessed with incessantly bettering its solutions, this Singapore headquartered company with regional headquarters in Pune (India), Novi, MI (U.S.) and Coventry (UK) excels at implementing, customizing and extending highly sophisticated and focused PLM solutions to manufacturing customers. Aside from years of expertise, the credit for its astounding rise goes to its consultants, most of whom have earned their stripes by working on multi-year PLM programs for digitally mature customers in America and Europe. \"We\'re not an IT company implementing PLM. We are manufacturing professionals who are also splendid PLM consultants and implementers. This unique blend of skill sets ensures that the PLM systems implemented are an ideal fit into the manufacturing enterprise,\" says Moorthy, talking about the company\'s USP in PLM domain. He adds, \"Our employees are our core strength. For our strategic customers, our engagement is focused around enabling product innovation through leveraging PLM across the broader enterprise. We ensure our offerings help companies to realize true ROI. Because at the end of the day, it\'s all about ROI.\" Having profound domain expertise enables Tata Technologies to deliver projects with exceptional quality, on time and within budget.
The All-Inclusive Solutions Pyramid
Tata Technologies has value propositions for all manufacturing companies. At Tata Technologies, they implement, customize and extend PLM systems for their customers. Consider a three tier pyramidal structure:
- At the bottom of the pyramid (Enable segment), they have solutions like Application Maintenance Services, Support – L1, L2, L3 type of support and Education services. They also have WorldHelpdesk – a single stop shop for all the customer\'s engineering systems,supporting the customers 24/7 when and if needed
- The middle of the pyramid (Realize segment) represents the heavy duty lifting – implementation of PLM systems, customizations of these PLM systems to support the ever-changing business landscape at the customers\', and also integration of PLM systems with legacy systems, mainframe systems, ERP systems, and others. Lastly, one of the biggest problems customers face worldwide is migrating data from legacy systems/legacy PLM applications into what they like to call as NextGen PLM systems. This problem is exemplified when you see companies having a growth-by-acquisition strategy and quite obviously, they struggle to leverage the newly acquired company\'s data and IP. Their proprietary tools and processes combined with significant data migration experience helps such customers migrate their data to the NextGen PLM systems
- At the top of the pyramid (Transform segment) are key offerings around high end consulting to enable Business Transformation with solutions like PLM Scan, PLM Benchmarking and PLM Blueprinting
Unearthing Opportunities for Further Improvement
The PLM Scan from PLM Analytics solution set is a high value digital maturity assessment model that aids to perform a top to bottom auditin terms of processes, tools & technologies and organization. For instance, a $30 billion European organization with several business units was moving from an electro-mechanical product company to a solutions-oriented energy management company. Tata Technologies was invited to this transformation journey to perform a PLM Scan, which then extended to PLM Toolset selection and finally, PLM Blueprinting. Tata Technologies advised them on how to precisely filter out the noise and derive more value from their PLM implementation. Aside from valuable five-fold ROI, the client also attained priceless knowledge about taking industry\'s best practices and implementing them internally. \"No company is too large or too small for us,\" added Moorthy. Though it can be risky to deliver a project at a certain cost without counting the time & material factors in, most of Tata Technologies\' projects are fixed bids, since that is what customer prefers.
Shattering Barriers to Build Trust
In the niche PLM arena, finding the perfect candidate with a flair for software development, software technologies and in-depth understanding of engineering and manufacturing is a daunting task. Such stringently filtered raw talents with right basic ingredients can be shaped into exceptional consultants. Tata Technologies empowers its highly energetic and enthusiastic workforce to take decisions and interact directly with customers; thus enabling them to learn from mistakes. \"We make sure we break down all organizational barriers. We have an open door policy. This has helped in building trust and a feeling of wellbeing,\" adds Moorthy.
Focusing on Learning & Development, the company has several multi-skilled consultants who are masters of multiple PLM tools like Teamcenter, ENOVIA V6, SmarTeam and Windchill. Tata Technologies actively rotates people in and out of multiple projects so that everyone is part of the organization success and rewards those going above and beyond. \"We are already developing a reputation as the place to work in for PLM. We hope to exemplify the one-family philosophy and treat everyone as we would like to be treated,\" says Moorthy.
Investing for a Better Future
The company prides itself for being manufacturing professionals with splendid PLM consultation and implementation prowess, rather than merely being an IT company implementing PLM. \"Manufacturing is in our DNA. This unique blend of skill sets, ensures the PLM systems implemented are an ideal fit into the manufacturing enterprise,\" says Moorthy. When asked about the future ahead, he enthusiastically added, \"With rapid adoption of IoT, we see a convergence of sorts – virtual factories with smart connected factories using advanced software technologies delivering a complete and more real digital production, to see, touch and feel the product long before it\'s made. To meet this demand, Tata Technologies has started investing in R&D with focus on Systems Engineering, Mechatronics and Innovation management.\" Ambitious to be the world\'s number one partner to manufacturing industry, the company strives to develop a pedigree in this domain enough to become synonymous with PLM. \"We believe in doing the right thing and success will follow,\" concluded Moorthy.
Shreekanth (Shree) Moorthy, Global Vice President & LOB Head – PLM
Owing to 20 plus years of rich experience, Moorthy is recognized as a thought leader and an authority in PLM industry. He has been orchestrating the P&L of the PLM Line of Business worldwide since 2009. This software strategist specializes in emerging technologies, defining enterprise software product direction, coordinating software development in multiple countries and managing PLM projects implementation to customers globally. With sheer passion in digital manufacturing, Shree has authored numerous protocols and technical & research papers in PLM and Digital manufacturing including the Simulation Data Exchange (SDX) protocol to integrate layout design with discrete event simulation. He has helped countless organizations to transform engineering IT beyond just plain PDM.
Engineering & Design, Product Lifecycle Management, Product development IT, Enterprise IT and Manufacturing Execution Systems
When a North American Auto major moved their complete engineering system (both CAD & PLM from one major PLM vendor\'s toolset to another), Tata Technologies completed CAD data migration from one CAD system to another and also migrated the PLM data, documents & other Meta data from old PLM system to new one in an ecosystem of 5000 plus engineers, while the OEM was adding new vehicle programs. This multi-year project reaffirmed the belief that Tata Technologies is indeed the absolute master at PLM migration and data migration.
Tata Technologies Timeline:
1989 – Established from existing European & North American companies as INCAT
1994 – Tata Technologies instigated in Singapore
2004 – INCAT Launched on London Stock exchange following North America, Europe and Japan
2005 – Tata Technologies – having established itself in India, UK and U.S. and acquires INCAT
2009 – Globally re-branded as Tata Technologies
2013 – Acquires Cambric
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