IDC Manufacturing Insights thinks it's time to evolve simple reporting and analytics on the product development process to a broader PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) analytics capability. Why? One word: complexity.
Manufacturers today need a wider view of an extended value chain and development process, changing customer demand, and multi-tiered supply chains, as well as associated quality and service information. As manufacturers connect PLM with other enterprise systems to establish a product innovation platform, analytics becomes necessary to make proactive decisions on all relevant data about customers, suppliers, partners, and manufacturing that impact the new product development and introduction process. In addition, connected products will generate an large stream of data that can be analyzed and applied to improve the quality of products and design new ones.
Quite interesting, according to our recent 2015 Product & Service Innovation survey, is that manufacturers are interested in applying analytics to the later stages of the product life cycle and less to up-front ideation, supply chain risk analysis, and supplier performance review. The need for analytics, according to our survey data, is really on the handoff after design and engineering: product performance, customer support, manufacturing execution, and most importantly, quality, are the top areas manufacturers will apply analytics to for PLM and SLM (Service Lifecycle Management) improvement.
This makes the acquisitions Dassault Systèmes and Siemens PLM have made in the past five years around manufacturing execution systems (MES) and manufacturing analytics quite prescient: Dassault Systèmes acquired Apriso and Intercim; and Siemens acquired Camstar and Omneo. More recently, PTC acquired ColdLight for predictive analytics. SAP and Oracle also have and are continuing to develop product life-cycle analytics offerings.
I recently attended PLM Connection, the Siemens user event, and the focus from customers was on taking a cross enterprise view of PLM, enabling reuse, and applying analytics to the lifecycle. General Motors stated, "the future of PLM is fast approaching", and "CAE [simulation] leads to better time to market and product quality; analytics enhances this"; Brunswick Corporation, maker of boats as well as fitness and billiard equipment, stated that there's a need to "get product data to manufacturing, service, & other areas for maximal value; even to marketing for product launch." Siemens touted its cloud based analytics platform, Omneo, which was one of the golden nuggets from the Camstar acquisition in October 2014, and Active Workspace, which is essentially evolving to become the web-client mission control for Siemens PLM's suite of products. With Omneo, the focus of Siemens is on delivering "product performance intelligence", which is consistent with what manufacturers are telling us they need. One of the primary opportunities around Active Workspace is to surface relevant, role based analytics to the global team during the product lifecycle to complement product development, manufacturing planning, manufacturing execution, and value chain collaboration.
It will be interesting to watch the PLM Analytics area evolve over the next 1-2 years, with the biggest PLM players expanding their offerings, and numerous other platform and specialist vendors focused on the space. The need is there from manufacturers that want to improve product performance, product quality, and manufacturing execution – their challenge lies in making sense of an enormous amount of data across the product lifecycle, and applying this as fuel for innovation.
For more on my view of PLM Analytics and where it's going, please see the Perspective, The Time for PLM Analytics is now.
As always, I welcome your thoughts: jhojloidc.com.