Key elements of PLM (Product Life-cycle Management)

What is happening where, why is it happening there, when will it actually be made, and who are the best vendors for your business needs and what is really happening when you are not with your vendors and factories?

PLM (product life-cycle management) is a complex process, I would recommend having a proactive leader and expert to see the real meaning of what is being said.

Vendor selection

The complexities of vendor selection, understanding that if you pick the busiest, best, and most popular vendor, with their current infrastructure, tight deliveries and production timelines. How will they meet your needs for your products at the quantities you desire to meet your quality assurance and crucial deliver calendar timelines?

It’s a fact that an overcapacity factory will outsource your products to stay on schedule. Only if you have a regular presence in the factory can this be avoided and even then they will try to deceive you with what is really going on and when you catch them in the act they laugh.   I had to let our vendors know that this is a serious offense and it is illegal to outsource any of our products without prior approval and could result in immediate termination of our business relationship.

Communication

What does it mean when your vendor/factor tells you everything is okay? There are cultural and language barriers to consider when communicating, that make it very difficult to explain so many vendors tell you what you want to hear, not actually what is happening. What if they told you the truth, about a problem or issue?

There is the challenge of properly explaining the issue, as your language is there 2nd or 3rd spoken language, they may not know how to properly explain the problem or issue. What if they told you about the problem and you stopped all production on their floor or you cancelled the order. Then they would have a bigger problem, as they would have to continue to pay staff and have no production in their factory for the period they allocated to your production and possible they would have to absorb all costs for your production.   Or they would have to scramble to fill the production on their floor for your on-hold or cancelled production. Then when you fix the issue/problem how will the factory get your products back on the production floor?

I have managed my products from a distance and have witnessed the horror stories of quality, late deliveries, and higher pricing. I have also managed products well residing in Mainland China and understand the importance of having someone from your country or outside of the manufacturing country who is an expert and oversees all your production in the country of manufacturing.

Management

Who is there to build, implement, and manage the transparency by training and educating your suppliers on company standards, policies, processes, systems, and manuals?

Selecting the right suppliers by focusing on their organizational structure, creation, implementation, and management of budgets, planning, workflow efficiency’s, and quality assurance, that is critical for the program(s) success.

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