implementing standards and using CAD functionality to enforce them is nice sound advice, but it's a far cry from PLM. In addition, there are two MAJOR warnings that need to go here.
1) Bottom-up change is a nice idea, a grass roots campaign to change the world, but in the vast majority of cases it can't work. There are two main reasons why large initiatives like PLM fail., leadership and leadership. Leadership because any severe change, like implementing PLM, has to be seen as the most important thing that the company is doing, or it's just going to be the fad of the week and nobody will bother. It has to be backed up by incentives (if PLM is to reduce errors and people get payed by the number of parts they produce, why would they work more carefully?), and the company vision and all decisions need to back that up. And Leadership because people inherently resist change. If the leader is not there showing how important this is, and backing it up with actions to show the consequences of standing in the way, again, people will see it as a fad and not bother.
2) The improvements that you've made here are significant, certainly, but they are NOT systemic process changes, they are localized task improvements in the engineering square of the flowchart. PLM is a radical departure from the way that you are working now. You're focused on what Engineering can do to make Engineering's life easier and make Engineering's output more accurate. If your part of the process takes four days, and you cut that in HALF, that's a 50% improvement, right? Wrong, if the process takes four months and you shaved two days off of that, from a process view, that's a 2% improvement. Looking at it in dollar amounts helps, but again, some perspective is needed. Don't get me wrong, every dollar counts and these are pretty significant numbers. There are many examples where localized optimizations have actually DECREASED overall system performance. Imagine if you will an engineering group that switches to 3D models, creating new, more beautiful and efficient drawings or does away with 2D drawings already.They saved plenty of time in drafting/detailing, maybe even reassigned some engineers, but now Manufacturing has to redraw the part from scratch, or has to spend hours fixing each converted drawing so that it works in their CAM system where it worked flawlessly before. Unless a good, high-level view of the process is fully understood, you can't know what effects your localized changes are going to have.
Again, corporate standards are great, and using your existing tools are a great idea to enforce them, but as they used to say on Hill Street Blues, "Hey!...Let's be careful out there."