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It is time for roller-coaster emotions. I feel like I’m toggling all the time between several states of mind – as a father in my early 50s, I’m concerned about my children if I will get sick, as a startup founder (openbom.com), I’m concerned how to take our team and business through this stormy time, as a blogger and industry observer, I’m fascinated and curious about the magnitude of the shakeout, Coronavirus pandemic will bring to PLM industry. Let me focus on the last one for today’s blog.

While, economists and stock market analysts are talking about V, U, W, and L-shapes of market recovery, it is clear to me that life won’t be the same after we get out of this pandemic. The change already happened and we will be discovering new realities every day. And this is the best time for new business opportunities. Some businesses will not survive and some others will become stronger. So, here are some of my thoughts about new and old PLM opportunities and how to spotlights to find them in post-corona time.

1- Remote First

The social distancing created an ultimate remote shock, which will not be over for a long time. The business will be pushed to work remotely and even after quarantine and lockdowns will be lifted, the new normal will be “remote first”. In such an environment, businesses will be trying to figure out 2 things – video and cloud. The first is the way to work in the most natural way and I can say based on my 5 years experience of running remote teams at openbom.com, the video is a big deal. The second is the way to run everything regardless of the location and dependencies on specific local, office, site infrastructure.

2- Customer and product development process

This one is big in my view. To understand customer and product development processes is essential to provide a feasible solution. And these processes will be changing due to organizational and regional realities. Watch carefully what industrial companies will be doing because many surprises will be coming out of these processes very soon. It will include both internal engineering and manufacturing as well as supply chain processes.

3- Real-time connected services and contactless operation

Connected service is the outcome of the remote-first approach. In a new normal, we will demand to have everything connected will be increased. Monitoring remote teams, facilities, suppliers and contractors will be impossible without a connected services approach. And connected services will be the biggest silo killer in a new normal. It will be the reaction on hypersensitive and intense time with unexpected changes and the need to make decisions in real-time. It is a huge opportunity for product innovation.

4- New product opportunities and improved NPD support

The new environment will bring new services. New processes and services will become available online and they will lead new product development and demand for existing products. Here are few examples. Remote medicine will bring the need for individual set of devices to allow doctors to get information about patients. People might be looking at how to live in more remote locations to protect themselves from the crowds. It will drive the demand for new communication devices and infrastructure.

What is my conclusion?

There is no way to return back. A new normal is here and we will need to embrace it. The opportunity for the PLM industry is to escape the legacy. It will the time when PLM vendors can find new customers and change the processes for existing ones. Companies will be negotiating as never before on how to get better, faster and cheaper. In the past, pandemic changed the social, economical and political upheavals which had profound effects in people life. Coronavirus has a  chance to become a major event in 21 century and for sure will change many of the habits and trajectories of the last two decades of business and economic development. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

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.

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