clip_image002Two months ago I wrote a post named PLM statistics. Here I shared some of the complexity of PLM projects in my work environment. I added a small survey to this post to get a “statistical” overview of my readers and promised to publish the results in July.

Well, it is July and 64 people took the time to respond. I am sitting now on a sunny balcony somewhere in Athens, enjoying my birthday. Still some work to do, so let’s go through the questions and answers, and I will interpret the results. (And this is one of my fastest posts ever written)

Are you a PLM consultant?

clip_image00465 % of the respondents were PLM consultants, the rest 35 % did not have PLM as their core job objective. For this result there are two possible interpretations. The negative one: “It is a pity that a little more than one third of the respondents, my original target audience, participated”. My aim with this blog is to share experiences and insight specially for those who are not involved in PLM on a day by day base.  But there is also a positive interpretation possible: “This blog is a place where PLM consultants participate!”


What type of PLM consultant are you?

clip_image006From the consultants answering the first question, the majority works for a software vendor (43 %) or for a service company implementing multiple PLM solutions (30 %). Interesting there is still a relative high number of consultants with a focus on business strategy (20 %) combined with change management (8 %).

Only 1 % of the respondents have a focus on PLM and IT. I must say, I like this answer, as it demonstrates PLM is not considered as an IT-solution anymore. Still the majority of PLM consultants are working related to PLM software, generic PLM consultancy is still rare (within the population of respondents)

How would you characterize PLM?

clip_image008There were some blog posts in the past related to PLM as a vision (bollocks), but apparently the majority of the readers considers PLM is a vision (70 %), followed by PLM is a collection of best practices (33 %).

Much lower rated was PLM is a collection of software applications (26 %) or PLM is an IT-infrastructure (15 %).

As you might notice, the sum of all the answers is above 100 % as people were allowed to choose more than one answer.

I liked the answer as I have been preaching PLM is a vision; however you must consider all the other answers are also correct. This makes PLM difficult to explain and position inside a company as people might have a different perspective.

The fact that the majority choose PLM is a Vision might also be caused by the fact that you liked my opinion. People who do not like my opinion will stop reading this blog and not answer. Another example where statistics can be interpreted in many ways.

How do you believe PLM should be implemented?

clip_image010This was an answer that I liked. The majority said PLM is a journey (86 %) and a few others (3 %) mentioned it should be considered as a program.

Which means for me – almost everyone agreed (90 %) that PLM is not a single project you do once (6 %) or that it is only an installation of an IT-solutions (2 %).

An approach I have always been promoting, so either the followers of this blog agree and keep on reading, or it is indeed a representative number taken from the PLM experts. From the result, I cannot differentiate if the PLM consultants have a different opinion compared to the people working in companies and implementing PLM. As I assume a company implementing PLM is not immediately looking forward to a journey and want fast results.

How many PLM implementations have you been involved?

clip_image012Here, I can conclude that the people who responded are experienced people. 32 % has been involved in more than 10 implementations, another 30 % has been involved in 3 till 10 implementations, and 16 % has been involved in their company’s implementation. The rest was not involved in an implementation yet.

These are also expected numbers I believe. Based on what I learned through the years, it is so critical to be involved in several implementations as you will be able to learn from each project.

Being involved in only one or two PLM projects brings the risk that you do not address the risky areas correctly because you have never seen them before in other situations.

Of course there are a few generic PLM blogs that could help you to get experienced. However the typical human behavior is to fail first and then read (who reads the manual?)

And next the final question

How many years you have been involved in PLM?

clip_image014Here, it was interesting to see that more than 60 % of the respondents have over 8 years of experience.

As mentioned related to the previous questions it is necessary to have a long term experience. Sometimes I meet a “Senior” PLM Consultant  (business card) with two or three years of experience. I believe we should reserve the word “senior” for PLM with a minimum amount of 5 years experience. And it is also depending on the amount of projects you were involved in.

Interesting thought came into my mind. Some vendors claim the provide extreme rapid implementations for PLM ( 2 weeks / 30 days / 3 months)

If this is real PLM you could do 25, 12 or 4 PLM projects per year full time Smile

Only 14 % of the respondents have less than 3 year experience with PLM which makes me feel we are in a respected community when it comes to PLM experience.


And here comes the tricky part – any conclusion will do when it comes to statistics. The conclusion I draw from this inquiry is that the majority of the respondents are experienced PLM consultants who believe that PLM is a journey or stepped approach to implement a future vision.

If you do not agree – I am looking forward to your comments

Shortly, July 15/16 I will participate at Product Innovation Apparel in London and have a session related to the lessons learned from PLM and the potential future of PLM in the context of the Apparel industry.

Sharing the experience. Will you be there?