SofTech, Inc. (OTCBB: SOFT), a proven provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions, and John Stark Associates concluded the companies' three-part live PLM Web Series, entitled PLM: Understanding, Justifying and Realizing. The event was very successful, with over 500 registrants representing manufacturers of all sizes, industries, and from around the globe. On-demand playback of the PLM Web Series is now available for those who missed the live sessions. Visit http://www.softech.com/webseries/ to view one or all of the sessions.
This highly attended PLM Web Seminar series featured Dr. John Stark, president of John Stark Associates, and additional guest speakers from companies who shared their experiences with PLM. It was sponsored and hosted by SofTech, with additional sponsorship provided by SolidWorks Corporation. The number of registrants the Web seminars drew points to the rapid increase in interest in PLM, as PLM and product innovation gain significance from an engineering department centric activity to a key corporate strategic initiative.
"There is still some confusion surrounding PLM but the emerging consensus is that PLM is about enabling better management of products throughout the product lifecycle from innovation through end of life and disposal," stated John Stark. "When pondering the broad reach of what PLM encompasses (data, people, processes, applications, methods, and organizational structures) and how important it is (driving revenue, improving profitability, reducing product risks/liability, etc.), a PLM initiative can seem very daunting for companies. Yet it needn't be, if approached in the right way. That's where more education is needed."
During the PLM Web series, a number of on-line polls were conducted, with interesting results:
When asked what the attendees thought was the single biggest barrier to PLM in their companies, the three top answers were:
1. Lack of understanding of PLM at the VP/CXO level
2. Lack of appropriate people to work on the project
3. Lack of a PLM champion
When asked what issues were driving the need for PLM in their company, the three top answers were:
1. Business process improvements
2. Quality improvement
3. Cost reduction
Additionally, a final survey conducted at the conclusion of the series indicated that 100 percent of the survey respondants would attend additional and expanded Web seminars on the topic of PLM if offered, a testament to the quality of the Web series but also an indication of the need for more information and guidance.
Dr. Stark and Softech offer a number of resources and tools to help manufacturers prepare and ensure the success of their PLM initiatives. Stark for example has developed a comprehensive manual called Making Progress with PLM designed to help companies move forward with their PLM initiatives, developing their PLM visions and strategies, and implementing PLM plans. It gives slide-by-slide recommendations, for example, for preparing that all important first presentation to the CXO or VP to educate them on the benefits and necessity of PLM; a help in overcoming one of the top barriers to PLM that was pointed out in the Web seminar polls. The companies have also jointly produced a white paper summary entitled Top Ten PLM Pitfalls to Avoid, which can be downloaded at http://www.softech.com/whitepapers/plm-pitfalls-to-avoid.php to assist companies with their PLM planning.
SofTech, in turn, offers a PLM Pilot Program for their ProductCenter(TM) PLM solution that allows companies to try elements of PLM, such as data management, automated workflow, and integrations to unify enterprise systems, on site in their own environment, with minimal financial outlay. This allows companies to see how best to organize their product information and to model and test business process improvements; business process improvements being the top item driving their need for PLM identified in the Web seminar poll.
About Dr. John Stark
Dr. John Stark, president of John Stark Associates ( www.johnstark.com), is an internationally recognized thought-leader and writer on the topic of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM). In 2004, he published Product Lifecycle Management: Paradigm for 21st Century Product Realisation. This book is first to describe a new 'cradle to grave' holistic paradigm of PLM, with the primary objective being to increase product revenues and the value of the product portfolio. Previous thinking had been departmental, atomistic and unconnected, with efforts to develop new products and to increase innovation even being seen in some companies as waste, a profit-reducing cost to be cut or eliminated. In this new PLM paradigm described by John Stark, PLM is seen as an essential value-adding investment. Without it, there would soon be no products to offer customers, and no products for which to provide services.
John Stark is an independent management and technology consultant. Prior to launching John Stark Associates in 1991, he worked with developers and providers of systems and consulting services for product development, engineering management, CAD, PDM, process definition, JIT and process control. In his consulting career, he has worked with many companies including ABB, BMW, Braun, Coca-Cola, Eaton, Ford Motor Company, HP, IBM, Kodak, Legrand, Nestle, PSA, Renault, Saab, Schindler, Sikorsky, Valeo and Xerox. He currently works with manufacturing companies on the practical implementation of the PLM paradigm and its further development.
About SofTech, Inc.
SofTech, Inc. (OTCBB: SOFT) is a proven provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions with its flagship ProductCenter(TM) PLM solution, and its computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) products, including CADRA(TM) and Prospector(TM).
SofTech's solutions accelerate products and profitability by fostering innovation, extended enterprise collaboration, product quality improvements, and compressed time-to-market cycles. SofTech excels in its sensible approach to delivering enterprise PLM solutions, with comprehensive out-of-the-box capabilities, to meet the needs of manufacturers of all sizes quickly and cost-effectively.
Over 100,000 users benefit from SofTech solutions, including General Electric Company, Goodrich, Honeywell, Siemens, Sikorsky Aircraft, U.S. Army, and Whirlpool Corporation. Headquartered in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, SofTech ( www.softech.com) has locations and distribution partners throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.
SofTech, CADRA, ProductCenter and Prospector are trademarks of SofTech, Inc. All other products or company references are the property of their respective holders.
SofTech, Inc. Crissy Bardani, 978-640-6222 Ext. 265 Director of Marketing Email Contact