Product driven, Program driven, Concept driven, and more.


Today’s post is about trying to find communality selecting/defining a PLM application. Or in other words, trying to define classes of enterprises which may benefit using the same software to build their PLM application. Vendors usually market their offers, defining them towards the industry domain, like automotive A&D, receipe, etc. This segregation is usually not good enough, while in the same industry, several type of businesses may exist, and conversaly same business can exist in different industry domains. On the other hand, a lot of litterature exists about company profile, mainly to determine if a company is engineering driven or manufacturing driven, meaning often to check if it needs an ERP or a PLM strategy. I never liked this second segregation, simply obviously a company usually need both. Nevertheless a company cannot do everything at the same time, so somewhere the question has to be answered.

This topic seems today trendy, as John Stark today try to address the lack of standard in the PLM industry.

So I would like today to look at that question, but into a different angle which is the product focus. Because a company may have a special concern about building a new product:

  • Product Driven. I call Product Driven a company which is building new product by assembly existing ones, ie having a large amount of reuse across programs.
  • Concept driven. I call Concept Driven a company which has no reuse of products, but reuse of concepts already developped. Concept can group assembly methods, architecture, or manufacturing process.
  • Program Driven. I call Program Driven a company which is building a new product for a given program, not necessarily reusing part of existing product, nor reusing specific concept existing on the shelf.

For sure, this classification is quite theorical, as a company may have several businesses, oriented differently, or businesses which are a mix of above categories. Those companies may need/wish at the end to select between one or several approaches, starting to homogeneize practices and applications, but this is another story.

That being said, today’s game is to try out to associate a PLM dedicated technology to each given above category.

Are those product categories forming a closed set? Are there existing PLM technologies for each product category?

What do you think?