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Joining up the dots can spark innovation

Lindsay Clarke

The Times

27 January 2014


James Wright, PA manufacturing expert, is quoted in a special report on product lifecycle management (PLM), in The Times.

The article addresses product lifecycle management and how, as the economic recovery is sustaining a strong pace in UK manufacturing, it is helping companies benefit from ideas across the whole organisation and encourage innovation.

James explains that as companies emerge from the recession, they are investing in PLM software to meet demand for innovation in products and services. He goes on to say, “Post-recession, an awful lot of large organisations are looking to use new products and innovation as a source of competitive advantage and growth. Company annual reports show this is one of two key things they’re focusing on.”

PLM tools can boost innovation by creating better design, bringing new products to market more rapidly and improving service offerings, explains James. He adds: “Many larger firms have been updating and upgrading their PLM software because they see it as a way of accelerating new product development and demonstrating shareholder value. Companies are doubling R&D and product launches, but do not want the headcount to match. PLM can help them to be more efficient.”

James explains how collaboration in design is one of the major benefits of PLM: “PLM helps break down functional boundaries in and outside the organisation. That is key to innovation. Individual or cross-functional teams can work more effectively.”

James concludes by commenting on how PLM can help boost the innovation necessary to compete by supporting collaboration, cutting administration and helping businesses focus on customer needs. He warns that while software can provide the tools, firms must manage the necessary change in processes to exploit the opportunities offered by PLM.

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