CHAPTER1Introduction—The Path to PLM

PRODUCTIVITY IS driven in waves. We create new ways of doing things or new things to do that drive a new wave of productivity. Some waves of productivity are driven by a seminal invention such as the steam engine, the automobile, or the computer. Other waves are driven by our approach to the way we do things, such as the assembly line, the multidivisional or M-form corporation, or lean manufacturing.

As the newest wave in productivity, Product Lifecycle Management—popularly referred to as PLM—emerged in the last few years fully formed, or so it seemed. PLM was first piloted in the automotive and aerospace industries: two sectors with complex, manufactured products. The electronics industry, which has product ...

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