Sustainability From a Roles Perspective: Reflections from DSCC 2010 (Day 2)

  • Written By: Yu Chen
  • Published: November 11 2010

As Dassault Systèmes Customer Conference (DSCC) 2010 moved to day 2, use of the word “innovation” continued its popularity at various sessions. However, I’d like to refrain from using this hot keyword and move to “sustainability,” one of the outcomes of innovation, and discuss it from a role perspective.

This thought was triggered by today’s ENOVIA Brand Overview session by Michel Tellier, Chief Executive Officer, ENOVIA, Dassault Systèmes. During this session, ENOVIA V6 offerings were presented from a roles perspective by discussing what the solution was capable of for each of the following four roles: program manager, engineering manager, mid-market manager, and supply chain sourcing manager. Of course, there are more roles for PLM solutions, but these selected roles together provide a quick but quite representative look of what ENOVIA is about. Compared with ENOVIA V6's lengthy and hierarchical functionality list at this link, this roles approach is a more effective way of communication.

A while ago, I wrote about the relevance between PLM and sustainability taking the angle of a specific PLM vendor (which happened to be Dassault Systèmes) in the article In Search of Sustainability with Dassault Systèmes. As inspired by Tellier’s session, I’ll try to switch myself to the user side and see what sustainability, in the PLM setting, means to different roles.

Program Manager

A program manager takes care of a set of projects, often multi-disciplinary, and cross-functional. His/her main responsibility is to make sure that the entire program generates optimized benefits. Although there are many commonalities (e.g., a holistic view of objects in the management scope and the emphasis on continuous improvement) between the program management approach and the sustainable development concept, if program managers take sustainability into consideration, the connotation of program management is increased. A simple example is that environmental and societal metrics will be added in performance measurement and portfolio optimization.

Engineering Manager

Engineering is a subject with a variety of disciplines. However, alone or combined, these disciplines all serve the same purpose of designing and making things, whether tangible or not. As today’s things (as well as their environmental requirements) are getting more and more complicated, engineering managers are facing increasing complexity when it comes to making products in a sustainable way. As I discussed in my article mentioned above, modeling and simulation are key technologies that engineering managers can utilize to increase sustainability—the more accurately we can foresee the future, the higher sustainability we can expect.

Supply Chain Sourcing Manager

One thing currently happening in the PLM industry is that sourcing and product development functionalities are becoming an inseparable duo. Flattened multi-tier supply chain collaboration around a hub (as presented in the morning session Industry-Driven Innovation) rather than the traditional hierarchical structure, as well as streamlined data and process flow between sourcing and its adjacent functions, will lead supply chain collaboration to new heights of sustainability.

As for mid-market managers, I believe that roles in mid-sized (or even smaller) organizations deserve the same PLM capabilities to support sustainability as their peers in larger companies have. However, today’s big PLM solutions remain very expensive for SMBs. Dassault Systèmes’ V6 PLM Express (pre-packaged mid-market PLM solutions) is making PLM more approachable for SMBs. However, I'm willing to bet that an even better deal would be running PLM on the cloud, which is in Dassault Systèmes’ product development roadmap.

So, speaking of sustainability, different roles do have different requirements and priorities for PLM. But there is at least one thing in common: collaboration.
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