Congratulations, your idea has been funded! Now what?
These days the news is full of stories of tech start-ups giving their well-established competitors a run for their money. Changes in technology, in the way products are designed and manufactured, in the way consumers interact with products, and the way products interact with each other (what you may have heard the folks here at Autodesk refer to as "The Future of Making Things" #FOMT) are making this disruption possible.
With crowd-funding through sites like KickStarter and Indiegogo, individuals and small teams are able to find the financial backing they need to bring their ideas to life. So, congratulations – your product idea has been funded! Now what? How do you deliver your product to the hordes of eagerly awaiting fans? Successful startups face the daunting challenge of rapidly scaling from that initial prototype to full production.
Managing your new product development processes manually with emails and spreadsheets might sustain you for a while. But the last thing you want is to encounter operational roadblocks when the time comes to ramp up from prototype to production. Fortunately, the tools available for managing product development are evolving rapidly as well. One of the tools that was previously available only to big players with deep pockets was Product Lifecycle Management (PLM).
PLM software was traditionally very IT and hardware heavy, required too many expensive consultants, and took far too much time to deploy for it to be a viable solution for even medium-sized businesses, let alone start-ups. However, technology like the Cloud has changed all that. PLM is now affordable and accessible to anyone with an internet connection. Not surprisingly, we’re starting to see more hardware start-ups looking into PLM straight out of the gate. PLM can provide the foundation a start-up needs to get started right by establishing efficient and repeatable development processes. So when the time comes, you’re ready for rapid growth. Additionally, many small companies and most start-ups lack the manufacturing resources and capabilities of their larger competitors. This makes the need for collaboration with contract manufacturers and suppliers even more critical to their success. Because Cloud PLM just requires logging in through a web browser, collaboration across distributed teams is easier than ever.
By enabling you to be more agile in your product development, PLM can help companies react quickly to market changes, innovate rapidly, and get products into production and out to their customers on-time and on-budget. As factors like IoT, embedded software, and mass-personalization lead to ever-increasing product complexity, taking a systematic approach to managing product development is becoming more important than ever.
If you’d like to learn firsthand how cloud PLM can make your small business more competitive, I highly recommend coming out to our Accelerate PLM event in Boston this September 1-2. You’ll have a chance to connect with your industry peers and learn from PLM product specialists, and connect with the industry though leaders in the field of product development.
– Jamie Eckmier, PLM 360