In many instances, selecting a PLM system is done at too low a level, with less than adequate consideration of strategic corporate issues, little understanding of the product development environment and of proposed improvements to that environment, and poorly conceived ideas of ROI or evaluation metrics.
Selection should start with business objectives in mind, and manufacturers should develop a business case that carefully ties the software strategy to the strategy of the business as a whole. Without this alignment, the selection process may be skewed to the technical merits of the software system, avoiding evaluation criteria that are critical to successful implementation and realization of ROI.
A number of logical steps are essential to the vendor evaluation and implementation process:
It is important that vendors be evaluated based on requirements and product demonstrations. Vendors responses to questions will help eliminate them or strengthen their cases. Minutes of meetings should be prepared, and vendors should be required to sign them. This will prevent false claims and make them accountable in case of failure to deliver promised results.
Check for successful PLM implementations by the vendor. Before making the final call, visit and consult companies where the selected PLM package has already been implemented. If the solution is working as expected in those companies, it will reinforce confidence in the selection. However, if issues are identified during this review, the purchase decision should be reconsidered.
Throughout the vendor evaluation and implementation process, conclude each step with the consensus of all members of the selection committee, including end-users, to gather enterprise-wide acceptance for the PLM package.
Use this template from Research and Markets to gather your PLM requirements, build RFIs and RFPs, and track the progress of your software implementation.
Comprehensive RFI/RFP Template lists and describes 1775 features and functions found in Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Comprehensive software solutions. Save time, control costs and communicate clearly with vendors at nearly every stage of your PLM software selection projects.