CIMdata reviews PLM from Siemens, IFS
CIMdata, a global PLM consulting and research firm, announced availability of new program reviews for product lifecycle management (PLM) products and services. In separate announcements this month, CIMdata offers reviews of Teamcenter Express, a Siemens PLM Software collaborative Product Definition management (cPDm) solution, and an updated review of Industrial and Financial Systems’ (IFS) Project-Based PLM support program.
Mid-market solutions like Teamcenter Express focus on PLM issues that affect multiple industries including mechanical machinery and equipment, electromechanical, automotive products, consumer products, and others. Peter Bilello, Vice President of CIMdata explained, "The capabilities provided by these solutions best support small- to medium-sized manufacturing companies that design/engineer parts, components, and assemblies that are low to medium in complexity."
These solutions usually work with a wide variety of software applications, and with traditional paper-based systems that generate or use product-related data. Bilello added, "Typical users include managers, administrators, and end-users from a variety of departments including engineering, manufacturing, purchasing, marketing, sales, quality, and information technology who all need to access and manipulate product data. These solutions are intended to improve communication and cooperation among these diverse groups and form the basis for organizations to support their product definition lifecycle activities."
The key to success in this mid-market PLM space is "…the development and delivery of out-of-the-box applications and business solutions based on best practices that support an enterprise’s product definition information management requirements. Siemens’ Teamcenter Express and the rest of the Velocity Series’ components are intended to deliver to this model," Bilello said.
"With the release of Teamcenter Express Version 5, Siemens has further strengthened the solution’s productivity and scalability. The updated user interface takes advantage of the latest user interface developments in Teamcenter 8, including new the Structure Manager and Lifecycle Viewer modules that provide improved ease-of-use for daily tasks around structure management and visualization," Bilello said. The expanded Microsoft Office integration provides easy access to cPDm for users of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, and includes the ability to review and signoff on workflow tasks from within the desktop tool. CIMdata said it "continues to be impressed with the comprehensive approach Siemens PLM Software has taken, which illustrates their commitment to the mid-market."
IFS’ project-based PLM support capabilities : CIMdata’s updated review of Industrial and Financial Systems’ (IFS) Project-Based PLM support program. The research firm said the paper provides an independent and unbiased review of IFS’ PLM-related software solutions, with a specific focus on "Project-Based Solutions" capabilities. The IFS offering is described with a discussion of the key role that project management can play in an enterprise’s PLM strategy, especially for enterprises that demonstrate project-critical, project-centric, or project-enabled characteristics.
The review assesses IFS’ PLM solution offering for Project-Based enterprises and a describes how IFS supports its offering from a business perspective. Finally, the paper contains two user testimonials based on interviews CIMdata conducted with IFS clients. The review is not meant to describe IFS applications in total, CIMdata noted.
Bilello said, "The ability to execute projects effectively is important in all industries but none more so than in the construction and capital equipment industries, whether defense or engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) contractors, or for that matter, many discrete manufacturers that are project-driven." Both the construction and capital equipment industries are characterized by the need to engineer an asset or a piece of equipment to order, or to contract and manage the process by which the contract is agreed and the asset or product is developed and then supported throughout its lifecycle. "Either way, these companies must accomplish this in a manner that minimizes financial risk and achieves predicted profits. Doing this in an optimum manner is no simple task," said Bilello.
Bilello said, "the success of a project is built on the development of accurate cost estimates, in much the same way as in project-driven manufacturing companies, which in turn are based on a well-defined project scope and work schedule that are well managed and monitored, and are sensitive to changes and limitations of resources and other work items." Bilello emphasized the importance of treating cost estimating, project scheduling, and project cost control as an integrated process rather than a disjointed set of activities. "A key challenge when trying to develop this integrated process is the management of information and the association of that information to the tasks that create and use it," he said.
CIMdata said IFS has a broad and comprehensive family of business applications that meet many specific needs of today’s project-based companies in key functional areas of their operations, including contract management, project management, engineering and manufacturing, finance, and human resource (HR) management. IFS has an "impressive range of customers within the project-Based manufacturing and the construction, contracting, and engineering industries using its solutions," the report said.
About PLM : CIMdata defines PLM as a strategic business approach that applies a consistent set of business solutions in support of the collaborative creation, management, dissemination, and use of product definition information across the extended enterprise from concept to end of life-integrating people, processes, business systems, and information. PLM forms the product information backbone for a company and its extended enterprise.
– Edited by Mark T. Hoske, electronic products editor, MBT www.mbtmag.com