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Friday, November 04, 2011

Johnny Bench(mark)

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Back in the 70s when I was much more of a baseball fan, the Cincinnati Reds were the Big Red Machine. Powerful. Efficient. Talented. Complete.

Why would I use this as a title for a blog post? Because in our role as strategic consultants to end user companies (60-70% of CIMdata’s revenues in most years), we often help them to define their PLM strategies, develop requirements, and select and implement PLM-enabling solutions. In this role, we have front row seats to solution benchmarks, where the leading PLM solution suppliers are asked to show how their solutions can meet a set of customer-defined scenarios.

And this is why I chose the Hall of Fame catcher for my title. All of these companies should be like the Big Red Machine. Efficient. Talented. Complete. They should hit these meatballs out of the park. Why do we believe this? Because in our analyst role, we work directly with the large solution suppliers and we KNOW that their solutions can kill most of these scenarios. Unfortunately, their performance is often like the 1962 Mets, one of the worst baseball teams in history. (Sorry to say I am a Met fan.)

Why is this? One of the biggest issues is that they just do not listen or read. The benchmark scenarios we help clients develop are very detailed, and we work hard with them to make them clear. But, in most cases the solution suppliers ignore certain aspects of the scenario. There can be good reasons for this. Some do not have the necessary functionality to do it. Or it may require customization, and we typically encourage benchmark development to use out-of-the-box (OOTB) functionality.

More often it is a corollary to the theorem that the “P” in PLM is not product, it is politics. Incumbent solution suppliers often do not take these processes seriously, thinking their existing position or “wallet share” will protect them. That may often be true. But is it worth the risk of upsetting your customer when you could actually do a very good job?

Future posts will highlight “News from the Front” on specific good and bad performances we witnessed with our industrial clients. The stories are true, the names will be changed to protect the guilty. Follow Stan on Twitter @smprezbo.

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Stan Przybylinski

For more information on Stan visit.

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