Holiday season is almost done and now is the time to get back and focus on business. And as we come back to business, the most important question to ask is how not to miss that big thing that can make or break your business in 2019. Internet is full of predictions, forecasts and speculations. I’ve been skimming tons of information, articles and publications to make my own conclusion what is the most important thing for PLM or engineering and manufacturing software business.
It is a strange time in CAD and PLM business in 2018. On one side, one of the youngest PLM company (Aras) is almost 20 years old company got the status of the hottest startup in Massachusetts emphasizing maturity needed to deliver PLM technologies. On the other side, one of the youngest CAD companies is predicting that in the coming years, all product design companies will be migrating from legacy, on-premise CAD to Onshape or to an alternative secure CAD service.
So, what technological trend will be the most important for engineering and manufacturing business. Technology is central for every industry. And manufacturing will have to find key technology to become more competitive in the environment of growing complexity, cost and globalization. Manufacturing is highly diversified. These days, it is absolutely obvious that one size doesn’t fit. It is not only true for industries and size segments. It is also happens that each individual manufacturing company and business is special as well.
With such high level of diversity, what struck me as the most important technological trend is “personalization”. Here are my favorite two examples of personalization around us.
1. Amazon and Apple patents envision autonomous vehicles that identify passengers and adjust to their preferences. Amazon is focusing on how vehicle should behave based on the person, age, child presence and many other factors. It can prevent you to drive to a location where you are prohibited to stay. Apple is focusing on car features, infotainment and comfort offering personal car configuration profile.
2. Spotify partnered with Ancestry. com to use DNA data to create unique individual playlists. Playlists reflect music linked to different nationalities and countries. “It’s so much more than the stats and the data and the records,” Ancestry’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer Vineet Mehra told Quartzy. “How do we help people experience their culture and not just read about it? Music seemed like an obvious way to do that.”
What happen is that companies are collecting more data about individuals, businesses and they believe they can better understand consumers and how to market their products. We can see extremely personalized business focusing on how to satisfy needs of every specific individual.
What can be similar to personalized behavior of consumer software when it comes to manufacturing business. My hunch it is about hyper-specific product lifecycle. Future of PLM tech and products is highly connected to company specific lifecycle. Hyper-specific product lifecycle which starts from detailed understand of product data, structure, bill of materials, relationships, contractors and suppliers can create an environment for manufacturing company to become more competitive.
Data management technologies capable to capture this information will drive lot of interest from both sides of the table – also from manufacturing companies and also from vendors looking how to escape “best practice” world and embark into future of digital transformation and new ways to organize design, engineering and manufacturing.
What is my conclusion? Hyper-specific product lifecycle is the future trend in PLM that will enable engineering and manufacturing software “to tune” itself to specific needs of manufacturing business. It is new type of business that will all PLM software to extract more business value from data and establish new business processes. Just my thoughts…
Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of OpenBOM developing cloud based bill of materials and inventory management tool for manufacturing companies, hardware startups and supply chain. My opinion can be unintentionally biased