• The Finding PLM to Fit Mid-Sized High-Tech Companies ebook explains how smaller companies in the high technology industry find themselves stuck between full-featured Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems that feel out of reach and less capable solutions including cloud-based file sharing or very basic data management applications. They know they can’t afford the errors and inefficiency inherent to informal data and process management, but can’t afford a large time, resource, and financial investment to fix their problems. Unfortunately simple solutions like web file sharing, while very attractive, fall … [ read more ]

    Finding PLM to Fit Mid-Sized High-Tech Companies
  • The How-to Guide to Transitioning from 2D CAD to 3D CAD  shares best practices for moving from 2D to 3D. The guide shares the reasons you should consider going from 2D to 3D, common challenges to avoid, and benefits enjoyed by other companies who gone to 3D. The guide then shares advice to make your switch from 2D to 3D CAD a success. The recommendations were developed by analyzing the responses of Top Performing companies and comparing them to Average Performing companies.This eBook is one in a series of three:Transitioning from 2D CAD to 3D CAD Migrating from 3D CAD to a new 3D CAD Adopting … [ read more ]

    Best Practices for Going from 2D to 3D CAD
  • The Reducing Cost of Quality in CPG report shares perspectives from a survey of over 175 CPG companies to determine how Top Performers manage consumer packaged goods quality. The research finds that these leading companies are able to achieve better quality results with lower internal costs. The report analyzes their processes, organizational structures, and enabling technology to determine how they can get better quality results without placing a financial burden on the business.Please enjoy the summary below, or click the report to download a PDF overview (free of charge, no registration … [ read more ]

    Reducing Cost of Quality for Consumer Packaged Goods (survey report)
  • What type of experiences prepare engineering students the best for "real world" industry work? What should new graduates know when they start their first job?Please share your experience, thoughts, and lessons learned in this new survey on the engineering skills gap. We are exploring questions such as, what types of things do you look for in a new graduate? How can engineering colleges and universities improve their curriculum to better prepare students for today's modern products?  What concerns do you have about the future engineering workforce?Developing the future workforce is critical to the … [ read more ]

    What Skills Do You Wish Engineering Graduates Had? (Survey Invite)
  • This infographic shares the importance of developing a cohesive digital thread when developing formulated products in the consumer packaged goods industry. The digital thread should be driven by customer requirements and incorporate the recipe / formulation, specifications, packaging design, compliance information, claims, cautions, ingredients, labeling, artwork, and more to provide a full view of the product and it's design history. An effective CPG Digital Thread relies on an integrated Product Innovation Platform to connect product data from early in the front end of innovation through development, … [ read more ]

    The CPG Digital Thread (infographic)

The Integrated ERP-PLM Strategy


Insight: The Integrated ERP-PLM Strategy: Closing the Loop on Product Innovation reviews the importance of an integrated ERP-PLM strategy to provide a rapid, confident flow of innovation information to and from Manufacturing. The paper discusses a strategy to close the loop between Engineering and Manufacturing to get the most business value from innovation in all its forms.

Please enjoy the free Executive Summary below, or click the report title above to download the full PDF (free of charge, no registration required).

Table of Contents

  • Introducing the Issue
  • What to Expect from ERP
  • What to Expect from PLM
  • Closing the Loop on Product Innovation
  • Developing the ERP-PLM Strategy
  • Conclusion
  • Recommendations
  • About the Author

Introducing the Issue

The modern manufacturer relies on strong enterprise systems to stay competitive in today’s global, challenging, and uncertain markets. Of all of the solutions that manufacturers employ, ERP and PLM are the primary systems driving product profitability. As reported in Tech-Clarity research report The Complementary Roles of ERP and PLM, ERP and PLM play important, distinct, and complementary roles. The integration of these solutions has increased and advanced as manufacturers’ use of the systems has matured. Combined, ERP and PLM can provide greater value, closing the loop on product lifecycles and product innovation. After all, a major product innovation such as introducing a new product can’t contribute any revenue if the enterprise can’t execute on sourcing, manufacturing, and selling it effectively. PLM’s role of innovation and ERP’s role of execution are not only complementary – they are dependent on each other.

As clear as the lines between ERP and PLM have become, innovation is not limited to Engineering. While major new product developments typically come from Engineering or R&D, Manufacturing and Service organizations frequently identify smaller innovations that can improve quality or reduce total lifecycle costs. These day-to-day innovations, such as minor part revisions to improve manufacturing efficiency or make products more robust, are frequently implemented in a disjointed way. For example, drawings may be manually marked on the shop floor or manufacturing bills of material (BOMs) may be changed in ERP independently from the engineering BOM. This leads to disconnects between Engineering and Manufacturing and prevents capturing the innovation for future products.

An integrated ERP-PLM strategy, on the other hand, provides the opportunity for a rapid, confident flow of innovation to and from Manufacturing. In today’s lean and competitive business environment, companies can’t afford a disconnect. Manufacturers must develop a strategy to close the loop between Engineering and Manufacturing to get the most business value from innovation in all its forms.

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