Der PLM-Talk – heute mit Leon Lauritsen, Minerva Group A/S


Mein Blick über den Tellerrand schaut heute Richtung Norden, genau gesagt nach Dänemark. Leon Lauritsen, VP und Partner der Minerva Group A/S gibt diesem Blog ein gewisses internationales Flair und blickt aus Skandinavien auf das Thema PLM.

Mr. Lauritsen, I am very happy to welcome you. Some of the readers of this blog will know you from conferences or projects. Could you say a few words to introduce yourself and how you came into contact with PLM?

Leon Lauritsen: I have had a long experience with optimizing manufacturing companies primarily through implementing ERP solutions. In dealing with many of those companies over the years I found that one areas that hadn’t really been optimized and still was very fragmented and operating in silos was all the processes and data for getting the product ready to be manufactured, which was the start of looking into optimizing this area as well.

You look back on a long and successful PLM history. What milestones in your personal PLM history are particularly worth mentioning? Which experiences and encounters with PLM protagonists has remained in your memory?

Leon Lauritsen: It is hard single them out, but of course winning the first project in a new domain since we had no history or reputation in PLM was an important step. As was the major global rollout we did at Phillips Healthcare. Most significant was properly when we more than 8 years ago we decided to shift out a good and safe business with one of the existing PLM software vendors, putting all our focus on  a new software vendor (“Aras”) and a very different business model. This has then been followed by many new customers both very large and small and expanding geographically very considerably.

PLM is continually changing. From your perspective, which developments and innovations push PLM the most today? In current projects, what are the most challenging issues for your customers?

Leon Lauritsen: The complexity in products. They are in many cases not products but systems with so many elements so the good “old” way of managing an eBOM structure is not at all enough. On top of that many companies have already invested in PLM which means that for many parts of the business they have PLM. The issue is that they have a PLM system – Yes, but this doesn’t mean that they do PLM and understand that there is a huge difference from where they are and where they need to go. That their investments most times cannot support that journey is very difficult for companies to comprehend. In implementation for handling systems companies are playing catch-up and are just starting to look into MBSE, so they are not certain of how they will work in the future.

The term “Industry 4.0” has been flavor of the month for some time. As you can read on the website of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Industry 4.0 stands for the 4th revolution in the industry history and is a synonym for the digitalisation of industrial processes. In your opinion what are the main PLM challenges in the next 10 years? Is Industry 4.0 the new PLM? What problems will be solved in that time frame?

Leon Lauritsen: I have a hard time predicting the future for the next 10 years, if I look back just 5 years and what was the belief then. What I though can state is the old belief that everything should be centralized in one PLM system that can handle everything will not be possible and as both Gartner Group and Cimdata are stating PLM must become more an innovation platform. This will require a certain software architecture to be able to support that and several of the existing large players don’t have the solutions that really can support this, which will be one of the interesting developments to follow what is happening here.

From your point of view what are the differences between PLM projects in Scandinavia and the rest of the world (i.e. Germany)? Does a regional culture influence the technical focus of a PLM project? And since I ask for the technical and not that is the cultural focus, is that question typically “German”? I am an engineer and a leopard can’t change his spots. 

Leon Lauritsen: I believe a lot of research is being done into how business and decisions are being done in Scandinavia which differs from many other places throughout the world and this general cultural difference then also is reflected in a PLM project. In general, it is much accepted to challenge authorities, getting to challenge decisions and wanting to get everyone on board instead of forcing a top-down decision. This on one hand results in good adoptions of the solutions, but decision making in the project can also be a challenge.

And if we are already in the context of corporate culture. Is there a Scandinavian way of doing PLM projects? What is the difference between Minerva’s PLM methodology and others?

Leon Lauritsen: I believe that we have a well proven implementation methodology where we have adopted the good things we have learned over the more than 75 PLM implementations we have done over the years. Explaining the exact differences would require a lengthy description, but key is that experience from our many successful implementations has been built into the methodology and very importantly we have an exceptional team of people which we can see as customer from other parts of the world or customers of other consulting companies are contacting us to get access to our expertise and people.

Many thanks for your time and good luck with Minerva.

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