How To Build Your PLM & Smart Manufacturing Solution Capabilities

Each week I talk about the need to innovate or become irrelevant:

“Most of us understand that innovation is enormously important. It’s the only insurance against irrelevance…” — Gary Hamel, Management Consultant

Arguably, out in front of the Product Lifecycle — Innovation Platform & Smart Manufacturing solution race are the Dassault Systemes’ and Siemens’ Solutions.

Rather than dive this week into the unquestionable demand to innovate and create new products and services, or to engage a collaborative innovation platform through extended PLM and deliver better products to market through an integrated MOM/MES, I wanted to enter the Dassault Systemes and Siemens consultant and integration world of delivery and the deployment of resources, to ensure we enter these projects with eyes wide open.

As of today, the availability of resources versus forecasted projects shows a significant shortfall in capabilities available to deliver. But, this should come as no surprise.

Large enterprise-wide projects at both a complex industrial, sophisticated engineering design and consumer experience design level are underway and more are arriving fast, but where are the skills to deliver?

Resource Shortfall

As I look across the two main providers right now, I break the skills into:

  • Product Innovation Platforms / PLM (3DS: 3DEXPERIENCE & Enovia & Siemens Digital Innovation Platform and Teamcenter),
  • CAD (Catia, NX)
  • Digital Manufacturing of Delmia & Tecnomatix and finally
  • Manufacturing Operations Management including the MES & Line/Resource Scheduling Delmia Apriso/Ortems/Quintiq and OPCenter.

It was not so long ago when 3DS were stating there were just 50% of available resources to deliver on Product Innovation Platform/3DEXPERIENCE implementation projects . Since then, we’ve seen some large projects announcements, together with increasing take-up in Digital Manufacturing & Manufacturing Operations Management and so it’s hard to see the shortfall has closed too much.

Customers choosing the 3DExperience or Digital Innovation Platforms as “best of breed” deserve the best skills to deliver, don’t they?

They deserve people who understand their business, its processes, culture and the chosen application technology/implementation challenges/solutions and the new Digital Culture 4.0 of Agility, Fail-Fast Learn-Quicker and collaboration.

For a couple of years now I have been gradually talking to the skills in the market across North America, Europe and India, understanding their personal goals and strategies. It’s really exciting to hear the passion for the solutions, but many are unaware of the rapid emergence in demand for the platform and the future that lies ahead for their new found skills.

It continues to remind me of my time in SAP-ERP back in the 90s when being in the right place at the right time meant new found wealth for many. However, it was those with the passion, the determination to excel at what they did and to focus on the prize of making a difference within the organisation that prospered over the long-term.

The resource shortfalls lie not only with the solutions knowledge and skills, but in the respective roles the individuals must play in an implementation….

So, Where do we want to be?

Before we jump into fixing potential resource challenges, let’s first understand where we want to be. In putting together the project team, we need to be clear about what the needs are across your team, to steer the project through the maze of obstacles that lie in wait to bring you in late and over budget!

The Big 4 Roles

We start at the top and work our way down with the main resources required to deliver a good PIP/PLM/MOM project:

#1 The Program Director

Being an ex-Program Director personally, I am particularly passionate about what’s needed. The more senior you are, the higher up the mountain and therefore with supposed greater visibility of what’s coming around the corner. You should see before anyone the issues and have the experience to overcome them. A Program Director without experience of implementing a PIP/PLM/MOM is the wrong PD and you should demand that wisdom before embarking on another project. The ship is about to leave port and you sure need the right captain onboard!

#2 Project Manager

For me this is the next big-one, the #2 critical person for the project. Show me a project without a PM with the specific solution experience and I’ll show you a failing project.

Of course a project without a PM who can drive best practice, drive schedule, people and budget, will also fail, but again without the 3DEXPERIENCE / Enovia / Siemens-DIP / TC / Apriso / Tecnomatix / Apriso etc experience is set-up for an even quicker failure. I want the guy on my team who knows what it really takes to deliver that specific solution

#3 Solution Architect

To me, this is your overall Design Manager, the one who keeps watch on all the design details, reviews everything proposed to ensure the design can deliver what’s expected and is in fact deliverable. The bond and communication between the PD & PM is critical for project success.

#4 Business Consultant

As more and more grasp the need to innovate and use PLM/MOM/MES applications to aid this delivery, the faster best practices by industry verticals will be established. The Business Consultant/Architect designs and delivers and overall process architecture the creates best practice and delivers best-fit.

The Others

There are of course several others required throughout the project implementation lifecycle, not lease of which includes the Technical/Software Architect, Application Consultants, Infrastructure Consultants, Infrastructure Consultants, Organizational Change Management, Test Manager etc

How Do We Get There?

The vast majority of issues surrounding a shortage of skills for your project, started months back, when you delegated tasks to HR or Talent Acquisition (TA) or an RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing) firm.

Mobilizing a world-class team relies on long-term resource strategies that revolve around your brand promotion and targeted recruitment promotion strategies.

But first, let’s talk about the typical first delegation layer: HR, TA or the RPO and how the problem, not tasks, is delegated. Keep in mind “the best workers tend to love to solve problems — and they hate being micro-managed”.

Coach, don’t instruct

Delegating problems is only the first step. The next stage is even more important: to help the person(s) you’re delegating, to find their solution. Your job, as coach is to work through their problems and find their own solutions.

Establish the goal

Once you’ve delegated the problem, ask your employee to explain what a good result would look and feel like. Answer any questions they ask to help them understand what outcomes would resolve the problem.

Examine the current true situation

Before jumping into solutions, allow your employee to grasp the overall situation by asking them appropriate thought provoking questions: Where are we now in relation to the goal?What’s working and what isn’t working? Is anything stopping you from making progress?

Explore the options

Next, you want to help your employee examine different options that could address the problem: What are your options? What else could you do? Who do you know who has encountered a similar situation?

Establish the determination to complete the job

And lastly, given gaining the attention of, finding and persuading resources that yours is the right place for them, is a hard task to master, a determination in believing there is always someone out there, is critical for the HR/TA/RPO mindset. As a result, get a commitment from the team leader and help them map out their next steps.

What do you think you need to do right now?How will you know when you have done it?What resources can help you?

Always keep in mind the available resources versus demand is a relentless headhunting environment and TA, HR or an RPO are not made up of deeply networked sector specialists. As a result for urgent requirements the onboarding of a headhunter is the probable only solution, but for something a little more long-term a well orchestrated brand promotion recruitment strategy makes the fundamental difference.

Brand Promotion / Talent Pipelining

Building the best delivery capability across the Product Lifecycle Innovation Platforms and Smart Manufacturing is something to be proud of. Anything so rewarding comes with tremendous hard work and a strategy to attract the best, not just through chasing them.

Building your brand, your reputation comes from a carefully crafted attention and development of interest strategy.

The backbone to this awareness is the development of a Talent Pipeline, ready for when you need to scale a soon to be won project:

Headhunters: I wouldn’t waste time with recruiters that rely on Job Boards, Advertising or cold-approach LinkedIn tactics as this will never attract the best talent. Instead your sector/technology specific dedicated headhunters have the large networks capable of attracting the most suitable.

Advertising: Whilst unlikely to attract the best talent as a direct response, it can help to build awareness of your brand over time

Building a Community: Creating a community through sharing of content (news, best practice etc) builds awareness through value added entertainment or education and a sense of connection to your brand.

Creating a Center of Excellence: Establish your physical platform, namely your Centre of Expertise. Start-up your PIP/PLM/MOM CoE with a core team of staff and some contractors and start to build your industry platform models while employing new “rookies” for training.

Look after those you have: There are people with good experiences already and we owe it to them to invest in them to enhance their business, industry, technical and cultural skills on an ongoing basis. Treat them like family and invest in their future. No 3DXP Consultant should be left to merely get on with their job — they need investment and treating well for all our futures.

Inter-company optimization: we promote integration and collaboration in the solutions we all deliver to our customers, next-up you must do the same across your very own company capabilties. Sharing resources, country to country at reasonable rates, has to be customer-centric.

Transportable: Not only is there a shortage of skills, but it’s clear much of the talent is in the wrong place at the wrong time and we need to free up those borders to allow for the transportability of skills around the world to those high impact companies that need them…….open up those Work Permits and hire the best from around the world!

Re-train: There are some great people out there with the predecessors to the most current solutions. They’re bright, hungry, know industry, business and PLM/Manufacturing, but need someone to invest in them to bring them through as strong implementation Consultants.

Making A Difference

We’ve been through high-demand, low-supply resource markets before, but not ever one that can bring such a positive difference to the world we live in.

Product Innovation Platforms and the Platformization for enhanced Customer Experiences, delivered through Smart Manufacturing is the way of the future and its hard to imagine a more exciting place to be resourcing within.

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Engineering & Implementation Resources/Solutions in Product Lifecycle & Smart Manufacturing - Shows, Blogs, Vlogs, Podcasts for the Future World

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