PLM “Horror” Stories
PLM Blog - Aras Corporate Blog


Happy Halloween! In honor of the holiday, I have put together some haunted PLM horror stories for your enjoyment. It’s fun to be spooked on days like today but remember, these are based on true events. So enjoy the tales today, but tomorrow take a look at your own processes to see if you have a fairy tale or indeed, a horror story.

The Soulless ECO
“A company that produced washing machines had a wretched paper based change process.  Each change was an evil, soulless plastic folder containing the form and the annotated drawings; they had minds of their own. They moved around by internal mail, lurking from place to place, desk to desk, in-box to in-box. But sometimes things got out of control and the folders disappeared. People started to randomly call out: ‘Where’s change CO-000666?’ To which they would hear ‘It’s not on my desk. I gave it to Paul.’ ‘Are you sure? Didn’t you send it to the shop floor?’ And it went on and on, day after day. Most of the time the folders were found…sometimes next to a greasy machine…sometimes with one or two drawings missing… and sometimes they mysteriously turned up in other departments, but these were the lucky ones for eventually they were found. And the not so lucky? They never returned …”

The Ghost of PLM Past
“It was a dark stormy night when terror struck! A consumer goods company was told by their PLM vendor that their highly customized, very expensive PLM solution would no longer be supported due to their outdated platform. And the situation grew even more grim as they realized the cost to upgrade the platform along with their customizations and data migration simply was not feasible. For the same cost, the company would start from scratch with a different, more advanced PLM vendor, but it would be forever haunted by the ghost of their outrageously expensive and customized system…”

Frankenstein in the Warehouse
“Not long ago, people at an electronics component supplier were fooled by their Frankenstein Excel Number Generator. Before creating a part in ECAD, they had to make a number reservation for the product number. This number generator truly was a Frankenstein monster; made up of several different Excel sheets. People frequently reserved the wrong number. Luckily, it was possible to renumber the parts you created. Not so lucky, this also allowed the evil Marketing department to renumber the parts. They had the habit of toying with product numbers to make them look nicer. Every now and then, Frankenstein produced astray twins - two parts with the same number. The majority of twins were caught before production. But a few made it past security where they wreaked havoc in the warehouse ever since …”

What are your PLM “horror” stories? Let me know @plmjen or

Posted Wed, Oct 31 2012 4:52 PM by Jennifer