Why would a fashion or consumer goods company want to change PLM vendor rather than upgrade with their current provider? After all, isn’t it easier – and cheaper – to stick with what you know?
Unfortunately, many PLM solutions are frozen in time. They do not evolve because they are customized, preventing easy and cheap upgrades and configuration evolutions. This is 2019! Business is changing at light speed. Companies do not know what their business model and product offering will be in 6 months. They need IT tools to change and adapt at the same speed or even faster than their requirements.
It always looks easier and cheaper not to do anything in life. But in business not progressing means regressing because the world around us is moving forward. Here are some things you need to consider if you’re thinking about switching PLM vendor.
What is it costing you right now?
On the running cost side, there may be cases when the existing customized system doesn’t require much attention and cost besides maintenance (if this is still being paid – companies often stop paying because there is no evolution). But there are also cases where the existing system requires huge effort and cost just to keep it afloat. This needs to be measured.
The real question relates to value and opportunity cost. What is the lost business value of not using the best possible system available? Companies that switch to a more suitable PLM solution for their needs are rewarded with better products, more revenues, higher margins and more control and predictability of their future business. Not changing simply makes these companies less competitive for longer.
Can you handle the change?
It can seem daunting for a company to switch vendors. All cases are different and it is important to recognize that sometimes, the timing is simply not right. Maybe a previous PLM project was so painful that users are not ready to start again so soon, or your company got the basics from PLM and doesn’t want anything else right now.
Time and discussion are needed to make a proper assessment of the risk of not making a change and communicate the potential value of a new solution to users. Change is hard to accept, and not changing will always be easier. But the world will be changing around you.
In our experience at Centric, once the decision has been made to change and the project is in progress, it usually goes very well. This is a chance to build a fantastic PLM solution for your company. A disappointing first experience with a PLM system is still very valuable to leverage. Users know exactly what they need and what does not work for them.
Will switching consume a lot of resources?
I speak just from a Centric point of view here, but our projects are nowhere near the complexity of other PLM or any enterprise system projects. In fact customers are often shocked to realize when going live how fast and cheap it was and how little effort was required from the business and IT team.
Yes, this will still be an enterprise system project that needs attention, governance and serious planning. But the typical ‘tunnel’ effect, the exhausting mobilization of business people and the discrepancy between expectations and results found in projects with a ‘waterfall’ methodology are not applicable in Centric projects, which have a well-defined agile methodology and out-of-the-box configurable approach.
Often, users are frustrated with the existing system, limited in their daily work and begging for something better. Adopting a new solution is a relief. This frustration is easy to transform into positive momentum for change using the best resource you already have – your people.