OOTB PLM. Seriously?
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Aras PLM: Out of the Box PLM? Seriously?

I read the headline and couldn't believe my eyes: "PLM: Are You Ready for Out-of-the-Box?"

I couldn't believe that a fellow PLM provider was touting an "out of the box" solution in 2013. In the age of personalization and mass customization isn't that kind of, um, backwards?

It started out well enough and I agreed with the premise... "Keeping up with constantly changing trends is a significant challenge which requires retailers and brands to stay in touch with consumers' needs and interests. You're trying to accelerate innovation, margins, and speed while still maintaining a competitive advantage."

But it all fell apart right about here... "The concept of an 'out-of-the-box' solution is built on years of proven best practices and provides faster time to value and lower total cost of ownership."

Time out. Who's best practices is this solution built on? Unless it was built on my company's best practices, it's probably not going to work for me "out of the box". And even if it did, by the time it was installed and rolled out, my best practices would likely have changed.

As Aras CEO Peter Schroer recently said about one-size-fits-all change management solutions, "the 'best' really depends on the company, their customers, their product lines, their compliance mandates, etc."

Are the best practices of an aerospace company the same as a high tech electronics manufacturer? And are their best practices the same as a food and beverage company?

What about 2 companies in the same industry? Aren't their unique processes part of their competitive advantage? Is Louis Vuitton's process the same as Calvin Klein's and Armani's? What are companies giving up by adopting the same processes as their competitors?

And then the other shoe dropped... "Focus your team on making a difference for your customers, not on customizing your PLM solution."

How can you make a difference for your customers if you're trying to fit your business into someone else's preconceived idea of how it should work?

Full disclosure, Aras offers a lot - A LOT - of functionality right out of the box. But we don't expect you to use it - well, not without customizing it, which we've made as easy as drag and drop.

I believe out-of-the box PLM is simply bad business. And we at Aras aren't the only ones who think so. Read what Jos Voskuil, Chad Jackson and others had to say in a previous post, OOTB PLM is Hit or Miss.

I'm curious to hear what users think about this. Is OOTB PLM a blessing or a curse?


Posted Mon, Jun 17 2013 8:08 AM by Jennifer