Highlights from a Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Conference

I took some notes at a conference I recently attended to showcase what industry leaders are doing with Siemens Product Lifecycle Management (SPLM or Siemens PLM) software. You can download the entire file of my notes here, but the highlights were:


  • Key industry trends are: "big data," increasing product complexity, integration of IT systems, computational expansion
  • Ford uses Teamcenter to manage in-vehicle software, $100M in warranty reductions in 3 years
  • IBM talked about the death of product design: how continuous connectivity, social networks and “big data” are killing product development
  • The most successful companies are not making mere products. They are now producing systems and service development (think iPods with iTunes). An airplane is a product, focused on speeds and feeds, a one time sale, and the supplier can be replaced because the product is commiditized. A transportation system (like FAA, radars, GPS, etc.) represents an  integrated approach and is much harder to copy/replicate.
  • The cost of complexity (in products and services, internal and external to companies) is the biggest underestimated cost in business today. You might have a great technology, but if your product and system are too hard to use, you will lose to someone with 80% of the features that are simpler to use (think iPhone).
  • There is an inexorable shift to Global Markets (characterized by the same competitors in each, customers driving requirements the same way). US does not understand the full impact of globalization on US companies because we still manage world markets as distinct markets.
  • “Innovation is a significant improvement along the main parameter of customer value.”
  • “North America business of US companies will be the ‘cash machine’ to fund emerging market focus”
  • Companies use PLM to create "one version of the truth” with everyone using the same data
  • Jason Jennings' presentation on “The Reinventors” had some familiar themes and some good reminders, like a Frugal leadership approach asks "What is the Good Business Reason For Doing This (WGBRFDT)? Can we do this without spending much money?" The best insight he provided was that double digit growth is an imperative because of the talent it attracts and retains, not because it is good for shareholders.


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