PLM User Accounts

PLM is enterprise tool and eventually a major part of employees will have a task to do in PLM Tool. Normally PLM Tools provide User account management modules where organizations broadly call it as People and Organization.

User Roles and Responsibilities are well defined in most of the organization and PLM implementation starts with configuring Access for users. But my experience with PLM Implementation project is something confusing.

PLM Tools are deployed as a independent tool. Then administrators start creating user accounts and then roles and then assigning them to on demand basis in some cases organization go for single sign-on or LDAP integration which is another project in itself.

Though this feature has complexities involved, should PLM Vendors not provide a handy way to integrate organization users with ease of operation? Following are thoughts on the way it should be.

  1. After installing PLM Tool in production environment, PLM Tools should have a wizard to integrate available network users directly into PLM Tool.
  2. It should just have a list of users available in Organization which can be seen from PLM Tool.
  3. PLM Tools should provide creation account button/command against each user, which should take administrator to user creation and configuration wizard.
  4. This wizard should be configuration so that it can fetch data related regarding his reporting and department structure so that account approval processes can be integrated within PLM itself.
  5. Like we get task for approvals in PLM, it should be another task to approve user account and assign role by his manager.

If PLM Tools have this type of feature they will provide following benefits.

  1. Adding a user friendly feature to PLM for user accounts.
  2. Complete tracking of user accounts.
  3. Automation of workflows with available information within other tools in organization.
  4. Quality time to invest on other PLM admin activities.
  5. Managers being informed and aware of subordinate’s access and roles.
  6. Reduction in gap of understanding of a functional user of tool and administrator of a tool.

I hope that I see such future in coming days.

thanks and regards
Ashish Kulkarni

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PLM and Social Network Features

These days we always talk about Social Network, its features and related stuff in PLM. In past few days, while working with PLM End Users I faced user frustrations about multiple emails sent by PLM systems. These emails are many times non value addition items. These are not only flooding inboxes but make user confuse to prioritize their activities.

Intension for sending email notifications is really good. But now it is old fashioned and more important is not work it by making your smaller inbox full of System Generated auto mails. Specially when today’s user use Facebook, LinkedIn in and twitter on their mobile phones, then sending emails for notification is really old fashioned.

What I think is to give a twitter like service in PLM so that user can see notifications, tasks on his/her will by just clicking on “25 new notification ” or “12 New Tasks”. It should also give an ability to tag these updates by Project Name or Part Number or anything else that user is interested in. So that user can ignore unwanted notification without leaning up mail box and also enjoy social network features in PLM.

This will not only reduce load on mail servers and inboxes but also improve PLM Application performance. I would love to see such features for tasks, notification and lifecycle changes and anything that an end user can think of. I think this is not impossible. May be a plugin can help.

thanks and regards
Ashish Kulkarni

Alternate and Substitute Parts

When somebody asks, what is the difference between Alternate Part and Substitute Part? We always get confused. Hence I am putting definitions for each.

Alternate Part:

An Alternate Part is a component that is a suitable replacement for another part in every assembly in which the original part occurs. Companies use alternate parts when multiple vendors can supply parts that serve the identical function and fit.

 

Substitute Part:

A substitute part is a component that is a suitable replacement for another part in only one assembly in which the original part occurs.