Adobe a PLM Company?

Is Adobe a PLM company?  Product Lifecycle Management or PLM is an area I have been around for the majority of my career.  I decided to name this blog “Doug at Adobe PLM”, but I must say I have been asked several times about changing the name. 

Let’s start with a definition of PLM.  Dr Michael Grieves in his book Product Lifecycle Management defines PLM this way:

“Product Lifecycle management (PLM) is an integrated, information-driven approach comprised of people, processes/practices, and technology to all aspects of a product’s life, from its design through manufacture, deployment and maintenance – culminating in the product’s removal from service and final disposal.  By trading product information for wasted time, energy, and material across the entire organization and into the supply chain, PLM drives the next generation of lean thinking.”

Well, by that definition, Adobe is certainly not a PLM company.  So why would someone like me, at Adobe blog about PLM?  To understand, please read on.

Is Adobe a PLM company?  No, of course… never will be. We don’t come close to meeting Dr. Grieves definition of PLM and therefore what a PLM company is.  Is Adobe is a CAD authoring company?  No.  Is Adobe a product data management company? No.  We do not do BOM management.  Do we do engineering change management?  Nope.  ERP?  No.  So if Adobe is not in the PLM business, why did I name my blog “Doug at Adobe PLM”?  Well here is why:

 

Adobe’s mission is to revolutionize the way people engage with ideas and information.  A huge part of what Adobe does is vastly extending the reach of customer processes and systems.  I understand what it is like to have to enable global operations.  To share data with suppliers and JV partners.  Here is a picture I created recently to explain what I mean:

 

Adobe’s mission is to revolutionize the way people engage with ideas and information.  A huge part of what Adobe does is vastly extending the reach of customer processes and systems.  I understand what it is like to have to enable global operations. 

So, despite the fact that Adobe is not a PLM company, what Adobe does absolutely makes PLM solutions more effective.  Almost every entry on this site deals with sharing information and interoperability (almost every data format!) in ways that are difficult and expensive without almost complete ubiquity, and of course, the functionality to make access easy.  My focus at Adobe is manufacturing, and product information is the life blood of the industry. So yes, just like we help extend and solidify such things as legal, HR and purchasing processes, Adobe supports and enhances PLM.  

So the name will remain the same, but there is something I must confess.  The majority of manufacturing business processes are still 2D and many are paper based.  I think I have emphasized 3D data a bit too much, so my next entry will deal with what I see as the current balance of 2D and 3D processes and perhaps and making better use of all product data.