Learning about PLM – Who Should We Listen To?

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What I learned this week … is that it is time for me to update the sources where I learn about product innovation, product development, engineering, and manufacturing – and the software that supports it (PLM, etc.). So I thought I would look for suggestions. I have always believed that everybody should have more than one source for information, and so I try to make sure to learn from others and share my thoughts. That is why I chose to focus one-third of my blog posts on “What I Learned,” because if I am not learning then I will just regurgitate the same old stuff. I know blogs like that, they get tiring. My approach? “Two ears and one mouth.”

Places to Learn

Given my role as an analyst and researcher, I get a lot of opportunities to learn:

  • Manufacturers – obviously I like to hear about the way technology is working in the field, and how it is helping improve a real manufacturing business. I also like to hear about future strategies that manufacturers are putting in place.
  • Bloggers – I find that blogs are a great feed of information with opinions. Different bloggers have different levels of credibility, so I take what I read in light of who I hear it from.
  • Print Magazines – I have to admit, I like the feel of the paper, but there are fewer of these around. I typically get news feeds from their web sites or blogs.
  • Conferences – I love to hear what people have to say in public, and then ask them some questions offline. Very interesting to hear how the “party line” and the “real story” meet up.
  • Other Analysts – I like to share ideas and discuss with other analyst firms. I don’t see them as competitors as much as colleagues. This is why I try to include others’ research in my “Research Rap” posts as well as my own. I should probably read more of their printed works, but I am always concerned that they would feel I am stealing their ideas. I don’t think most really feel that way, and I know many that read my work. I should rethink this one.
  • Vendors – I believe that most vendors I speak to have deep knowledge and passion about the industries they serve. I love to hear their views on the market, where they think the future of PLM and manufacturing software will be, and how they plan to support it. I respect vendors’ opinions, although of course I realize that they have multiple motives when talking to an analyst.

Your Turn

OK, that is where I turn to you. What I would love to hear from you (via comment here or direct message) is:

  • What other sources should I be paying attention to?
  • Which people/companies in the above categories should I be listening to?

So those are my thoughts on getting educated on PLM, I hope you found it interesting. I welcome your help.