Tuesday, December 10, 2013

PLM: data exchange with ERP and other systems through ESB data bus

PLM is a design software used by various departments who design a product:
  • Marketing
  • R&D
  • Quality
  • Production
  • etc. ...
If the PLM eliminates re-keying for a service to another and accelerates product design, it must also communicate with other enterprise systems. This raises the question: how to interface design software (PLM) with existing third-party tools?

Data exchange can be done with:
  • Internal systems:
    • ERP, CAPM, MES, ...
    • a web portal company
  • But also external systems to the company as product catalogs GDSN
There are different ways depending of the company constraints:
  • PLM exchanges data directly with third party systems
  • A data bus manages exchange with third party systems
We will take a look at the second solution in this post.

ESB data bus

Using a data bus ESB (Enterprise Service Bus) helps to ensure exchanges between applications, provides monitoring via a console and handles errors. In addition, it allows to decouple applications and facilitates the integration of a new application in the information system.

Data exchange with beCPG can be done in 2 ways:

  • XML via REST services
  • CSV files
SOA Architecture : PLM and data exchange

Real-time synchronization

The data bus can synchronize systems in real-time. A sample scenario is the validation of a product in the PLM:
  • The product is approved
  • A message is sent to third-party systems involved by this event to feed them
  • In return, the data bus feeds the PLM with data of third party systems (eg: identifiers of the product in third-party systems)
Data synchronization of the PLM in real time

Data exchange with catalogs

PLM can also feed external systems to the company such as GDSN catalogs with the GS1 standard. This allows to update several catalogs from the PLM data and avoid re-keying.

Publish PLM data to catalogs


There are several data bus in Open Source, some are :
For data transformations, there is Talend Studio.

Monday, December 2, 2013

NPD : idea generation and project scorecard

How many products should we launch to get a commercial success ? Many statistics exist on failures and successes related to the launch of new products.

According to Robert Cooper of the Product Development Institute (2001 data), 48% of new products fail due to an inadequate assessment of the market.

According to Deloitte Consulting (1998 data), some causes of project failure are due to:
  • Unrealistic objectives: 65%
  • Weaknesses in project management : 54%
  • Definition of project scope : 43%
  • Lack of cross vision : 41%

When you develop new products, it is important to select the best ideas and the best projects. For this, beCPG provides project management that drives the development of new products, from idea generation to product launch on the market.

Each phase of the project is validated by a review of project to eliminate non-strategic / risky projects with phase-gate.

Here are some phases we can have when developing new products:

Phase gate of new product development
Phase gate of new product development

Idea generation

Idea generation enables brainstorming. Ideas are grouped by lists (Change requests, product improvements, customer requests ...). Each member can add its ideas and votes.

Idea generation
Idea generation

Marketing analysis

Marketing analysis is often composed of several tasks, for example:
  • Requirements gathering
  • Market analysis
  • Evaluate concepts
  • Regulatory assessments

This phase evaluates the project and validates the launch of the product design.

At the end of this phase, the project has:
  • Screening completed with answers to questions
  • Deliverables to provide are defined
  • Planning proposal
Project screening
Project screening

Project planning
Project planning
Each project is evaluated so it's easy to compare them in order to select the best projects and cancel projects that don't fit the business strategy, that are unprofitable or too difficult to achieve.
Project comparison
Project comparison

We will see in a future post the next phases:
  • Project design
  • Prototype
  • Industrialization
  • Product Launch