CIMdata | Global Leaders in PLM Consulting

7 May 2010

CIMdata PLM Industry Summary

News and Information on Product Lifecycle Management

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This Week from CIMdata

CIMdata Releases its 2010 China PLM Report

Management consulting and research firm CIMdata announces the availability of its first China Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Report. This report provides detailed information and in-depth analysis on the People’s Republic of China’s (“China”) rapidly-evolving Mainstream PLM market. The report discusses the major China PLM trends and issues, PLM purchase investments in software and services, PLM adoption in various industry sectors, and market growth forecasts that pertain to this important and quickly expanding economic region....

CIMdata Polls: Listening to the PLM Community - How have these stressful economic times impacted your PLM program?

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CIMdata Online Polls

CIMdata is now featuring online polls with real time reporting on our web site at Each week the results of the previous poll will be included in the CIMdata PLM Industry Summary to help you stay on top of trends in the PLM industry.

Take a moment to visit the site and vote on our current poll.

The results for the last opinion poll are:

In CIMdata’s latest opinion poll, participants were asked to indicate how PLM can best help them cope with economic downturns. Just over one-third (36%) of the poll participants indicated that PLM can be used to help enable fewer resources to do more, and just under one-third (30%) indicated that PLM can help reduce the cost of development. In many ways, these two choices go hand-in-hand. During recessions, companies often downsize to cut costs, but still expect the same work to be accomplished. As a result, they often require those who are left to do more. In reality, for many companies this is usually difficult to accomplish (i.e., to produce the same work product with less people). This is especially the case when many of the people let go in a recession are those that are close to retirement and hold a significant amount of corporate, product, and process knowledge.

The economic downturn that much of the world is currently experiencing has caused many companies to thin their resources across the board. Often, the first to go are their support staff, e.g., information technology (IT), administrative assistance, etc. Typically, companies then look to thin staff numbers by offering early retirement packages. Unfortunately, this usually results in a significant loss of knowledge. CIMdata’s experience actually indicates that this often results in the loss of domain expertise that can take years to learn and recapture into the organization. Unfortunately, cutting staff can only do so much—product and process innovation and the knowledge associated with it will still be critical in the years to come. Fundamentally, the short-term gain in the reduction of costs can be far outweighed by the long-term loss in productivity and perhaps even an increase in product issues that result from the loss of key knowledge.

It is clear from this opinion poll that the participants understand that PLM can be used as a way to help reduce costs as well as increase productivity. For those that understand how PLM can be used as a process-enabler and as a knowledge management solution, this should be of no surprise. What is surprising is that 10% of those who responded to the opinion poll indicated that they felt that PLM could not help them cope with economic downturns. This is somewhat disappointing given all the documented PLM benefit examples and implementation case studies that can be found on vendor websites, in conference presentations, and even on CIMdata’s site. Clearly, this indicates that more PLM awareness is required in the market.

NOTE: The results of these polls are anecdotal, not scientific.
If you have a suggestion for a poll you'd like to see contact us at

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