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THE IDENTIFICATION OF CRITICAL BARRIERS TO PLM IMPLEMENTATION
Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is a well-known strategy used to improve business and manufacturing operations. Even with the attractive benefits it can provide, many companies struggle to successfully implement PLM solutions. This study proposes that this is due to a lack of knowledge on the critical barriers that affect the implementation of PLM solutions, and that reliance on the opinions of PLM professionals alone are not enough to create a successful implementation plan. This study addresses these issues with following research questions, what are the barriers to PLM implementation and is there a difference between those identified in literature and those confirmed by professionals, is there a difference between barrier impact rankings, based on professional opinion and those determined utilizing the DEMATEL method, and what are the critical barriers determined using the DEMATEL method supplemented by the MMDE algorithm? To answer these questions a series of two surveys were sent out to professionals in the PLM space with experience working on PLM implementation projects. The first of the two surveys was used to confirm the barriers that exist within the PLM implementation process. The second of the two surveys was used to gather information on the perceived impact of barriers and the causal relationships between barriers in the form of relationship matrices. To analyze these matrices the DEMATEL method supplemented by the MMDE algorithm was used.
This study did not intend to provide absolute solutions to the critical barriers identified in this study, rather it intended to increase the success rate of PLM implementations by, confirming the barriers identified in the literature, providing information on the relationships between the barriers to PLM solution implementation and determine which of the barriers can be considered critical. Following these results of this study, the DEMATEL analysis method may supplement existing PLM implementation frameworks allowing companies to identify the critical barriers to implementation, allowing for better allocation of resources and ultimately a more successful PLM implementation.