Manufacturing Executives Call for Improvements in Next-Generation PLM Tools

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—June 13, 2007— Global independent research and advisory firm Manufacturing Insights, an IDC company, known and respected for its market research offerings focused exclusively on the manufacturing industry, announced today a new product lifecycle management (PLM) report which identifies emerging challenges in product development and the role that the next generation of PLM tools will play in meeting them.

"There's an opportunity here for manufacturers to use PLM tools more effectively to make better, faster decisions that the global economy demands," said Joe Barkai, practice director for the Product Lifecycle Strategies practice at Manufacturing Insights. "In the next generation of PLM, we expect to see that PLM is as much about effective product lifecycle decision-making as it is about product engineering. PLM tools must be used not only to support engineering tasks, but, more importantly, to create and manage a comprehensive product management strategy, culture and processes."

In addition to spotlighting the current product management challenges in his report, Barkai also identifies some of the key requirements that product development stakeholders want to see in the next generation of PLM tools, including:

-- Facilitate better decision making by multiple product stakeholders

-- Faster time to value from stakeholders' investment

-- Innovation cultivation and intellectual property management

-- Effective collaboration among heterogeneous communities

In the report, Barkai also predicts the broadening of the communities that will experience the benefits from using PLM tools, and, with that, the emergence of a new type of knowledge worker, called the "wiki worker," who will significantly influence the design and workflow of the next generation of PLM tools. Adds Barkai, "Moving forward, we expect to see more and more stakeholders call for a new generation of analytic PLM tools that support innovation, optimize product portfolio management, accelerate time to market and promote product quality and regulatory compliance. We will see a movement to 'democratize' PLM, and, with that, new ways to use PLM tools."

The full report, Next-Generation Product Lifecycle Management (Doc #MI206274, June 2007), is available to qualified members of the media by contacting For more information on purchasing the report, contact

About Manufacturing Insights, an IDC company

Manufacturing Insights, an IDC company, provides business and information technology (IT) decision makers with fact-based research and analysis to inform and support critical business decisions. The global independent research and advisory firm closely follows processes associated with the design, development, and distribution of goods across markets, including discrete manufacturing, process manufacturing, high tech/electronics manufacturing, consumer packaged goods, and retail. Manufacturing Insights' research and analysis is critical for end users, as well as hardware and software vendors, service providers, and purveyors of IT outsourcing. Manufacturing Insights is headquartered in Framingham, MA. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. For more information, visit


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