PLM: Not just for wings and wheels anymore!

Huw Evans from Unilver gave the first live customer presentation (Index presented via video) and it was a great start for a couple reasons.  For one, Unilever is not a discrete manufacturing company, the traditional users of PLM.  For another, Huw did a great job of starting with business environment and the pressures it places on Unilever and tied it all the way down to specific PLM projects they have under way.  If you are not familiar with Unilever they are a 40B Euro company that owns brands such as Dove, Hellmann’s and Lipton.

The key challenges Unliver is facing as outlined by Huw include Growth, margin and brand reputation.  These pressures are driving Unilver to look for ways to have “joined up” product information organizationally, geographically and across the product lifecycle.  Unilever is implementing PLM to address this need.  But implementing PLM is not like other enterprise systems, according to HuwSmiley TongueLM is not an IT project, it is a business change program. 

It’s also not a big bang like ERP, it’s a multi-year, multi-wave project.

So Unilever started by building on existing capabilities like specification management (a capability they already had from Siemens in the form of the Interspec product) and build a process around it that included a single product design toolset including NX CAD as the standard of choice.  At this point Unilever is looking at Teamcenter as a potential socultion for CAD data management as a next step.  The main benefits they have seen so far are in the areas of workflow, design rules and knowledge re-use.  To wrap up, I think Huw said it best:

Knowledge of innovation management and supply chain expertise make Siemens PLM Software the choice for Unilever.

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