Increasing PLM User Adoption by 60% Through a Well-Planned PLM Upgrade

A deep dive on how to utilize the full potential of your PLM system.

Industry decision-makers consistently express concern about user adoption within Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems. A primary complaint centres on the system’s instability, inconsistency, and performance issues. Unpredictable crashes, glitches, and varied interfaces disrupt workflows, leading to frustration and decreased productivity.

These challenges in usability and inconsistency severely hinder user engagement and adoption. Interfaces are excessively complex, causing confusion. Complicated workflows obstruct efficient task completion, compounding the problem. Cumbersome navigation and unintuitive layouts exacerbate the issue, creating an inconsistent user experience. Addressing these issues comprehensively is vital for enhancing user experience and maximizing PLM system potential.

The challenges of user adoption within Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems, including instability, inconsistency, and performance issues, have significant consequences that extend far beyond mere inconvenience. These issues lead to underutilization of the system’s features and capabilities, resulting in a low Return on Investment (ROI). However, the impact goes deeper than financial losses.

When users do not fully engage with the PLM system due to its usability challenges, organizations miss out on the potential productivity gains, streamlined processes, and enhanced collaboration that PLM solutions are designed to offer. Ineffectively managed PLM systems not only hinder efficiency but also pose risks to data integrity and overall project quality. The lack of consistent system usage often leads to miscommunications and errors, causing delays in product development and market launches. Addressing these usability concerns comprehensively is crucial for optimizing user engagement, maximizing PLM system potential, and ensuring a successful return on investment for organizations.

Increasing the user adoption rate for a PLM software demands a comprehensive and systematic approach that addresses usability challenges and ensures data consistency and system stability.

Appropriate Process Mapping

  • Understand user interactions with the system and align PLM workflows with their tasks.
  • Ensure the PLM software complements their work, enhancing intuition and efficiency.
  • Address data consistency issues by integrating accurate data throughout the mapped processes.

Streamlined User Interfaces

  • Implement clean designs, logical navigation, and context-sensitive menus.
  • Tailor the UI for specific roles, displaying only relevant tasks to reduce clutter and confusion.
  • Enhance system stability by optimizing the interface for seamless user experiences.

Personalization Options

  • Allow users to personalize interfaces and workflows according to their preferences.
  • Empower users to organize their workspace, promoting user comfort and task efficiency.
  • Ensure consistent data presentation across personalized interfaces to maintain reliability.

Comprehensive Training and Support

  • Provide tutorials, documentation, and responsive help desks to enhance user navigation skills.
  • Address stability issues through robust support, ensuring users have reliable access to assistance when needed

Diving into the Strategic Problems

Recently, BrainWave upgraded an outdated ENOVIA system for an automobile components manufacturer. While working on the 3DEXPERIENCE system our experts realized that the manufacturer’s previous attempt at upgrading their system was plagued with issues, resulting in a messy and unstable situation.

We conducted a thorough analysis of the client’s existing PLM system and identified gaps that primarily revolved around compliance with industry standards and user-friendliness. It was discovered that the client’s system was primarily being used as a data dump for engineering information, severely underutilizing its potential. For instance, even simple tasks like creating a part number required the selection of an excessive number of attributes, making the process unnecessarily complicated and time-consuming.

The outdated system proved to be a constant source of frustration, leading to performance issues, crashes, and difficulties in user adoption. This meant that employees were frequently encountering barriers and delays while trying to carry out their tasks and collaborate effectively.

Furthermore, the system’s extensive customizations and non-standard security controls were causing additional bottlenecks that hindered its overall performance. For instance, employees experienced limited access to crucial data, impeding their ability to work efficiently. Such limitations were not only time-consuming but also had a direct impact on the quality and timeliness of their deliverables.

Another significant problem they faced was the high reliance on email-based communication between teams, resulting in confusion and miscommunication.

Adding to the list of challenges were the older access models for data security. These models were overly restrictive, making it difficult for users to access the specific data they required.

Embracing a Practical and Tactical Approach

We streamlined and realigned customizations to enhance system stability while executing technical (database) and functional (application) upgrades. The security model underwent a complete metamorphosis, transitioning from a cumbersome custom API-based approach to an out-of-the-box, standardized model that unlocked newfound efficiency.

To increase overall system usage, BrainWave revolutionized change management, design approval, and part numbering, making them seamless and adaptable.

Throughout the process, our team worked tirelessly to overcome technical obstacles and ensure a smooth transition. Outdated and unnecessary code was purged, and certain features were rebuilt to align with the new data modelling. Users were diligently trained during the User Acceptance Testing (UAT) phase, empowering them to embrace the upgraded system with open arms.

Outcomes of the Solution

The upgrade process marked a milestone in the client’s journey, resulting in a transformational PLM system that exceeded all expectations.

One of the most remarkable outcomes of the upgrade was the optimization of system downtime, which was slashed to half of the previously estimated time. This meant that the client experienced significantly less disruption and downtime during the transition, allowing them to resume operations swiftly and minimize any potential business interruptions.

It also led to a remarkable surge in user adoption. The number of users skyrocketed by an astonishing 60%, with a staggering 200+ individuals now benefiting from the wonders of the revamped system. This substantial increase in user engagement and participation highlighted the system’s newfound accessibility and user-friendly interface, making it easier than ever for employees to leverage its capabilities and collaborate seamlessly.

The transformation was felt across various departments as end-to-end processes, such as NPD (New Product Development), project management, and program management, experienced a profound increase in efficiency. Tasks that were previously time-consuming and burdensome became streamlined, resulting in a cascade of valuable insights and improved decision-making. The upgraded system empowered employees to work more effectively, enabling them to execute projects with greater precision and achieve tangible outcomes.

The client’s investment in upgrading their ENOVIA to 3DEXPERIENCE system rapidly bore fruit as they witnessed first-hand the untapped potential that lay within. The stable, reliable, and high-performing system provided a robust foundation for growth and innovation, setting them on a path of continuous improvement and heightened competitiveness in their industry.

The Conclusion of the Success Story

BrainWave Consulting's solution tackled the intricate layers of complexity in the client's inbound logistics. Seamlessly integrating GPS tracking, live cargo updates, and consolidated shipment monitoring, it granted unparalleled control and transparency. As a result, the client's production line flowed seamlessly, disruptions minimized, on-time deliveries became standard, and their reputation for reliability soared.