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  - PLM Handbook for SMEs
    - The Power of SMEs
    - Integrated Economy
    - The Classic Mistake
  - SME Methodology
    - Handbook Structure
    - How Do I Get One?
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PLM Handbook for SMEs


The Power of SMEs


Whether you think of them as SMBs (in the USA), SMEs (UK), PMIs or PMEs (Italy or France), small to medium-sized businesses are a massive part of the world economy.

The US Census Bureau reported that, as far back as 2007, over 1 million companies (19% of the total) that ran a payroll had between 20 and 100 employees, and made a contribution of over $5 trillion to the North American economy.

Small and medium-sized businesses generate at least 25%-30% of private sector output in most industrial countries.  In Italy, almost 95% of industrial companies have less than 150 employees...

...and yet there has been no easy way for this massive industrial base to get into PLM effectively.


Integrated Economy


This is a problem for major corporations too.  Small companies trade with large companies, as part of the larger companies' supply infrastructure, and large companies often try to broaden their supply base for technical or commercial reasons.

It is very frustrating for them to find that a new supplier does not have the foundation or internal infrastructure that they need, and helpful to no-one if an SME rejects their way of working as too onerous.


The Classic Mistake


Until now, the response of the PLM industry to the SME sector has been to try to sell 'PLM Lite' - a kind of "stripped down" version of what large companies implement, as if it is simply a matter of buying cheaper software and making it work.

This is a mistaken idea.  Many SMEs are striving to make the same kind of improvements in performance and delivery that large companies are aiming for.  Their problem is that a conventional PLM approach just does not match the world they inhabit.

Applying an SME-oriented PLM methodology enables small and medium-sized businesses to become more effective in all areas of product development, and to offer the kind of knowledgeable engagement that large Customer companies need.  It also positions the SME to take on board many of the most advanced developments of the new technical and digital age.

SME Methodology

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is a very difficult subject for SMEs to address effectively.  It looks very expensive, it seems very technical, and it requires an investment of time and energy that draws people away from "real work".

And yet you are told that somehow it is really important, enabling you to produce products or deliver services effectively.  If you don't have it, you will waste money and lose out to your more advanced competitors.

It would be nice to be able to go to a vendor and buy just the right amount of PLM that your company needs - as you might walk into several shops in the high street and buy the best item that you are looking for.  PLM is not like that.  The advice you get when you are looking to buy is proprietary (suits their offerings); and generic (is aimed at "businesses in general").  But every company is unique in PLM terms, and yours is no exception. You have to adopt PLM in the way that is best for you.

To do that, you must be able to handle the subject for yourself.




The PLM Handbook for SMEs provides a detailed and accurate insight into PLM for small and medium-sized businesses, together with a methodology for adopting and applying it.

The Handbook encompasses the whole scope of PLM, because SMEs need to know how to move up the value chain; but is structured into a checklist format that makes it easy to set up and run PLM projects.

The Handbook applies equally well to owner-managed businesses and companies run by a board of directors.  It can be followed by companies with fewer than 50 employees, or as many as 500.


The Handbook explains PLM from an SME viewpoint, enabling any small or medium-sized business to connect effectively with the external world of PLM and become a part of it.  It is also useful for SMEs that have started on PLM, and want to cross-check to see if they are going in the right direction.

See the Table of Contents >>>


Handbook Structure


The Handbook is set out in 5 easy-to-read Sections:-



Part 1:  Preparation

Before plunging into the detail of PLM, step back and take a look at the overall picture. Why is PLM important for SMEs?



Part 2:  How SMEs Can Understand PLM

A concise briefing to explain where PLM comes from, what it actually is, and what are its benefits.



Part 3:  PLM Instruction Book

A list of things for an SME to do to investigate and adopt PLM.



Part 4:  How to Apply PLM

From Status Check to Adoption Methodology, this shows how to apply the Instructions.



Part 5:  Advanced PLM Subjects

A small business can be as advanced as a multinational.  If you want to get there, these are the things you should be looking at.


PLM is not a theoretical subject dreamed up by management consultants.  It offers real benefits to any company that implements it.

Despite the costs and the problems in understanding PLM, there are powerful motivations for SMEs to adopt it. The Handbook provides the answer to: "How?".


How Do I Get One?


The PLM Handbook for SMEs is provided with Q&A support to PLMIG Members, so you will receive a copy if you join with any class of Membership.

Alternatively, you may buy hard copies from Amazon.

For more information about PLM for SMEs, or the Handbook itself, contact .

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