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The Right PLM Solution Advances Cabela’s

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D. Sherman
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Gold
Undefined acronyms
D. Sherman   12/6/2012 12:36:11 PM
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What does PLM stand for? What does PTC stand for? I've been an engineer for 30 years, and I'm not insulted by a writer defining acronyms the first time he uses them in a story. Since the whole article is about how great "PLM" is it would be nice to start out by explaining WHAT PLM is.

Once I get into the article, I find more jargon. It's jargon I can parse, because I've read enough business-speak to know what "cross-functional team collaboration" reduces to in plain Engiish, but why put the reader to all that work? Why not just write an article in plain English, define acronyms the first time they're used, and if necessary include the jargon-filled press release as an appendix?

After reading the entire article I still have no idea what "PLM" and "PTC" are. I have a hunch that PTC is a vendor of PLM, but that's about it. I'm told that PLM is a great system that has worked wonders for Cabela's, but I have no idea if it's an email system, an MIS system, or some combination. if I had to guess, I would say it's probably software, although it could be a philosophy like JIT or TQC (I hate the alphabet soup, but I at least know what JIT and TQC are by now).

Please, can we have an editor who cuts through the press-release jargon and translates articles into someting useful, or at least comprehensible, to an ordinary engineer? Thank you.

M. Distler
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Iron
Re: Undefined acronyms
M. Distler   12/6/2012 5:45:24 PM
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Hi

PLM stands for Product Lifecycle Management. It's both a process and a type of software that focuses on managing product content (such as color management, design files, requirement documents and Bills of Materials) throughout the entire "life" of a product. You are correct that PTC is the name of the company and we sell PLM software. Cabela's is using our product, FlexPLM, to help them better manage all of their apparel and footwear designs.

We were, of course, excited to see Gabe talk about how FlexPLM helped Cabela's be more productive and get products to market more quickly. As Gabe mentions, "Speed and the ability to change quickly is everything."

Hope this helps.

 

Michael Distler, PTC

D. Sherman
User Rank
Gold
Re: Undefined acronyms
D. Sherman   12/6/2012 6:09:48 PM
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Thank you, but if you're trying to promote your product in new markets, you'd be wise to not assume that everyone is familiar with all the acronyms. As a simple-minded engineer, even with your explanation, it's not altogether clear to me how "PLM" software really does anything that comptent old-fashioned human management can't do. If a company can't maintain, for example, standard corporate industrial design standards (shapes, colors, fonts, etc) without software, they have bigger problems. But maybe PLM software really does tie a bunch of previously-loose ends together.

Maybe an example, rather than just a bunch of jargon-laden praise, would make the function more clear. When I started reading the article, since it was dealing with a specific company (Cabela's), I expect to read a clear example of what it does and how it works. This is how articles for engineering magazines are usually written. What you have here is what the marketeers tell me is know as a "concept sell". You have to show customers why they need a product that they never thought they needed before (toilet paper is the classic example). Even with your explanation, I'm left thinking, "Well, of course, any good management team will do all that. Why buy and maintain yet another elaborate software package?"

Anyway, thanks for the reply. At least now I know what PTC and PLM stand for.

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