Product Lifecycle Management Promises to Streamline Development, Boost Innovation

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Procter & Gamble has also leveraged its connection with a vendor to get the PLM customizations it requires. Robert Dixon, vice president of IT for P&G’s Baby, Feminine and Family Care division, was one of the initial sponsors of the company’s early PLM efforts. He talked up EDS’s PLM group to other P&G divisional CIOs and top management. As a result of its work with P&G, EDS PLM Solutions recently came out with a version of its PLM suite tailored specifically to consumer-packaged goods makers. "We wouldn’t have the relationship with EDS today without [Dixon’s advocacy]," says Tom Massung, P&G’s associate director for IT business solutions PLM. "And we’d still be hunting and pecking, buying 2,000 to 3,000 licenses at a time and spending more money." As a result of the partnership with EDS, P&G plans to increase its current installed base of more than 8,000 licenses of EDS’s TeamCenter PLM offering to a potential 20,000 users during the next five years, Massung says.

At GE Industrial Systems, the concerted campaign by CIO Scott to promote PLM has led to a multistage implementation based on MatrixOne’s product. After the PDM foundation was put in place, Scott, with guidance from a PLM steering committee, began work on a document management system for coordinating more than 18 million purchase orders, intellectual property licenses, contracts, correspondence and the like. Next up is integrating sourcing applications and project management capabilities. There are numerous other possibilities to explore, he says.

Scott’s enthusiasm for PLM derives not from the technology but from the implications for the business. He’s now the official promoter of PLM to GE’s divisional CIOs. Says Scott: "There’s opportunity there if CIOs can open their eyes and look at PLM as a change management issue, not an engineering drawing control issue."

Copyright © 2003 IDG Communications, Inc.

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