The uneven nature of the manufacturer’s digital transformation journey puts many manufacturers at risk of small – but potentially catastrophic – cracks in your engineering and manufacturing bills of materials (BOMs), as discussed in part one of this series.

Purpose-built product lifecycle management (PLM) platforms can effectively mitigate this risk and deliver a host of process and business benefits as well, particularly for manufacturers that display one or more of these five vulnerabilities as outlined in part two.

But PLM integrations can be daunting due to their complexity and the number of processes and stakeholders impacted. It’s tempting to shelve PLM integration plans… until it’s too late. Here are the four most common roadblocks to PLM integration success, and how partnering with a third-party industrial integrator can help your organization avoid them entirely.

ROADBLOCK #1: Overwhelming your internal IT team

The digital transformation of business has made the IT team a critical enabler of new capabilities across the organization, so every business unit and internal function is competing for their attention.

In many cases, your company leadership may be committed to integrating a PLM platform, but the existing IT team is simply stretched too thin to add a PLM implementation to their roadmap.

Industrial integration consultants and engineers can seamlessly augment your own internal IT resources, allowing them to focus on the rest of the most pressing needs on the IT roadmap.

A good industrial integration partner will work alongside your internal stakeholders to:

  • Map the current end-to-end processes
  • Identify the digital maturity of each team or function, including upstream vendors and downstream partners
  • Analyze gaps in maturity
  • Develop a roadmap to integrate PLM into each aspect of the process, in order to maximize its process and business metrics and outcomes
  • Seamlessly integrate the PLM alongside the ongoing business and IT operations

ROADBLOCK #2: Multi-CAD and complex enterprise environments

PLM platforms don’t exist in a vacuum: They must integrate fully with a variety of other enterprise platforms in order to eliminate data islands and ensure the digital transformation across the organization is executed to its fullest potential. Many manufacturers – particularly larger organizations with multi-national operations – often rely on several CAD tools across the enterprise, which can grind many integrations to a standstill due to the complexity.

Veteran industrial integrators specialize in complex integrations like this, ensuring that each CAD platform is supported and maximized to its fullest potential as part of the PLM platform. But the integration needs of many manufacturers extend well beyond CAD systems, to encompass:

  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Content Management Systems (CMS)
  • Supply Chain Management (SCM)
  • Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES)

When you choose an outside resource like an industrial integrator to help you fully and completely integrate your PLM platform, be sure to choose partners that offer both the experience and the expertise needed to maximize your chance for success.


Data is the lifeblood of today’s digital organization, and connectors are the circulatory system, Oftentimes, PLM integrations can require the creation of custom connectors to ensure data moves without friction across your IT ecosystem, including:

  • Application lifecycle management (ALM) to PLM providers and consumers
  • CAD to PLM connectors for legacy or multi-CAD environments
  • PLM to PLM connectors, for organizations where multiple PLM platforms are in use

The right industrial integrator can develop custom connectors specific to your environment, ensuring that data providers and consumers can ingest and deliver clean data seamlessly, securely, and at the speed of your operations.

ROADBLOCK #4: PLM Implementation & Customization

Out of the box, PLM platforms like ENOVIA™ by Dassault Systèmes are built around the industry’s leading best practices using a variety of templates. But to maximize the return on the PLM investment, the platform should reflect the people and processes it supports, not the other way around.

If your PLM instance simply isn’t delivering the process and business benefits you expected once your integration is complete, hope isn’t lost! An institutional integrator can work with your business post-integration to develop solutions designed around your specific needs, not your PLM’s default capabilities. They can also develop new features specific to your business if the existing limits of the platform are leaving your organization frustrated.

For manufacturers looking to eliminate BOM-related product defects and accelerate their digital transformation, an institutional integrator can help chart the quickest course to success, then execute accordingly without disrupting the organization’s ongoing operations.

Why Persistent Systems
Persistent Systems is a master integrator for industrial IoT, as well as a Dassault Systèmes certified partner for ENOVIA V5 and V6 along with the full 3DEXPERIENCE® suite of Dassault product development and marketing solutions.

Persistent blends decades of deep experience in industrial systems with our proven track record of success deploying IoT platforms, multi-cloud solutions and AI/ML implementations and infusions to deliver value-driven results for our clients.

With more than 9,000 technical professionals globally, Persistent’s engineers, developers and consulting teams can scale quickly to meet your PLM integration needs, whether you have one factory floor or dozens around the world.

During more than 29 years in business, Persistent has grown to more than $480 million in annual revenue, cultivating strong partnerships with the most innovative and trusted brands in technology along the way, including IBM, Amazon, Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, and more. 14 of the top 20 technology companies in the world trust us to help them get ahead and stay ahead of their competition.

Click HERE to find out how Persistent Systems can help you eliminate BOM-related produce defect risk and integrate and maximize a PLM platform like ENOVIA within your current IT environment.

Lewis Breeding is a Senior Applications Engineer at Persistent Systems, Ltd. He has more than 25 years of design engineering experience ranging from automation and tooling to Class A surface development. Lewis is a Dassault Systèmes® Certified CATIA™ Expert and is the Data Management and Collaboration Division Manager for the Community of Experts (COE) of Dassault Systèmes solutions.

Lewis has been heavily involved in a variety of successful implementation of CATIA V5 and (PLM deployments for customers in the automotive and aerospace industries, and has authored a number of methodologies and best practices for these industries based on that experience.