• 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)
  • Join Tech-Clarity's Jim Brown on this webinar sharing  recent survey results from almost 200 Consumer Packaged Goods companies, delving into their quality issue and how top performing CPG companies achieve better quality without suffering from excess internal cost. Learn the process, organizational, and technology approaches that Top Performers leverage to overcome their challenges and drive cost-effective quality. This Business Review Webinars event is brought to you by Dassault Systèmes BIOVIA. Register for the June 20th webcast now (free of charge, registration required). All registrants will … [ read more ]

    Cost Effective Quality in CPG (webcast, survey results)
  • On Thursday June 8, 2017  please join Michelle Boucher as she conducts a live interview with Mark Turner, Technical Manager for Development IT at Alcon, a Novartis Division. They will focus on key topics for medical device companies, including the Case for Quality. During the discussion, Michelle will share research on medical device industry trends. She will also discuss the implications for the Case for Quality and offered advice to efficiently manage regulatory compliance. Throughout the discussion, she will have an interactive conversation with Mark Turner. Mark will reveal how Alcon addresses their … [ read more ]

    Live Interview – Medical Devices: Making the Right Choice — Your Case for Quality
  • This eBook shares survey results analyzing companies' ability to hit new product development (NPD) targets, then offers seven practical tips identified by the research as best practice processes, organization, and technology leveraged by the top performing product developers. The research provides recommendations to companies based on the approaches taken by the Top Performers, those that are able to outperform their competitors in revenue growth, margin expansion, and delivering innovative products to market. Please enjoy the summary below. For the full report, please visit our sponsor Autodesk (free … [ read more ]

    7 Ways to Outperform Your Competitors in NPD (eBook, survey results)
  • Medical Device companies have the opportunity to leverage digitalization and the digital enterprise to develop innovative products and bring them to market quickly. Watch this edition of Tech-Clarity TV to learn about the digitalization opportunity and stay tuned for the rest of the series detailing specific business improvement opportunities including: Digital design Digital design transfer Paperless manufacturing The video shares how medical device manufacturers are embracing digitalization and gaining significant benefits including faster time to market, increased quality, and improved … [ read more ]

    The Digitalization Opportunity for Medical Device Companies (video)

Research Rap: Complementary Roles of ERP and PLM in Innovation

Share

A quick peek into some research on … the respective roles that ERP and PLM play in product innovation. This is not brand new research, but I believe it is just as relevant today as when I initially wrote this almost 5 years ago. Why? Not much has changed – with a couple of notable exceptions (SAP and Oracle). I find myself coming back to this topic on a regular basis, and I am starting to do some research in this area again so I thought I would bring this one back to the surface. It also offers some insight that might be helpful for a recent discussion on PLMTwine that touches on the importance of integrating PLM with ERP.

Complementary Roles of ERP and PLM

The Research
The research identified two clear and distinct sets of business processes that companies use to drive product
profitability. These two sets of processes include:

  • The Innovation Cycle – characterized by rapid iteration
  • The Execution Cycle – characterize by a more linear, repeatable process

These cycles are different, and require different solutions. PLM and ERP were developed – and have since evolved – to meet the needs of each of these cycles. Is there overlap? You bet. Processes like engineering change are consistent challenges to coordinate between these two meta-processes. But for most companies, there is
a clear hand-off point where a design is released to manufacturing
(and external suppliers, for that matter)
where ERP takes over.

Below is a table extracted from the research that helps to show the differences between ERP and PLM. These differences are what make each the best solution for their respective set of processes – execution or innovation.

Comparing Characteristics of ERP and PLM

 

Updating the Viewpoint
So what would I change now that five years have passed? Not much. One other interesting fact from the research (and confirmed by a later benchmark I conducted at Aberdeen Group) is that most companies would really rather have one enterprise solution that covers all of their innovation and execution needs. Unfortunately, at the time none existed. I would love to say that five years later that had changed drastically, but it has not. What has changed? The desire for an integrated solution clearly has not changed, but:

  • PLM vendors such as Dassault Systemes, PTC and in particular Siemens PLM have progressed their integration to ERP, focusing mainly on SAP due to it’s market prominence in ERP
  • Oracle acquired Agile, giving them a PLM solution (two actually, including Prodika) that will be further integrated with Oracle ERP over time, but is also being sold into other ERP environments (again, including SAP)
  • SAP has announced and is progressing on their own SAP PLM roadmap (Update: Look for a One to One on SAP PLM in the near future, we have just had a good conversation with the SAP PLM team about their progress)

Having said that, none of the above are clearly differentiated enough to serve as the “one integrated
answer”
that many companies are looking for. So for now, the best solution is likely a hybrid of ERP, potentially some PLM from you ERP vendor, some best of breed PLM suite solutions, and some best of breed point PLM solutions. Sorry, I wish there were a cleaner answer than this.

So that was a quick peek into some recent research on the roles of ERP and PLM. I hope you found it interesting. Does the research reflect reality? Do you see it differently? Let us know what it looks like from your perspective.