Original thinking from our SMEs and curated ‘recommended reads’ from industry commentators

The home of QR_'s Industry Reflections column, the PLM Essentials series, and topically pertinent thoughts from across the QR_ business and wider industry.

QR_ Insights

A founding principle of QR_ is to approach PDM from a people rather than systems centric worldview. With this in mind, we publish a series of Quality Reads aimed at offering up insight and real-world examples.

‘Industry Reflections' covers the key challenges faced by both start-ups and established manufacturers, as we navigate a world of increasingly disruptive technology.

'PLM Essentials' touches upon the aspects of PLM any business must get right to accelerate their complex engineering product development, including how to create processes and systems that will help your organisation deliver the innovation it requires to thrive in an ever more competitive marketplace.

'Recommended Reads' explores recently or frequently encountered questions and conundrums through a data lens, with insight on how to best address them.

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Latest Publications

AI and your Bill of Materials: why token limits are nothing new

Traditionally BoM validation is conducted either manually by engineers that understand the product (e.g. BoM Audits, Build Matrices, Commodity Quantity Checks etc.) or through simply building the product (either virtually or physically) and finding the errors that result. Both methods are highly costly in time and material waste. These experiments aim to find a third way, by using the recent advances in Foundation Models to create a smart and repeatable method of performing fast and accurate AI powered BoM Validation at scale. These some early reflections on working with LLMs in this context. | Image: “a large language model in the style of the earliest computing 1950s”, generated by Midjourney.

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Filling the System Integrator gap to drive effective enterprise transformation

When referring to business capabilities, from PDM to PLM, Industry 4.0, manufacturing execution, etc., driving change requires a combination of strategic and operational leadership. As Lionel Grealou, business advisor and founder of Xlifecycle Ltd, put it in one of his Industry Reflections: “Implementing new capabilities involves continuous levels of business alignment and change management to ensure effective adoption. A key challenge in appraising capabilities is maintaining objectivity—considering relevance against the business plan, and/or the product development plan (NPD), as well as the ability of the organization to change.”

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Securing PLM investment: preparing and pitching board-level business cases

Like road-cycling grand tours, PLM strategies and roadmaps require timely cross-functional teamwork, ongoing expectation management, and adjustments in anticipation of and in reaction to changing requirement landscapes and technical factors.

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The Why, How, and What of PLM: Key messages for business leaders and influencers

What do you and your organization call “product lifecycle management”, a.k.a. PLM, and how does it resonate with your employees, management board, partners, customers, and suppliers? In 2009, Simon Sinek introduced the Golden Circle idea in his book ‘Start With Why’ as he explained that “organizations need to move past knowing what they do to how they do it, and then to ask the more important question: why?”

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Industry Reflections - 14. Value stream mapping

For the 14th instalment of 'Industry Reflections', Lionel Grealou examines value stream mapping, and how it can empower stakeholders at all levels to implement improvements and changes that add measurable value to their organization.

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The universal language

“Communication works for those who work at it.” It’s easy to focus on engineering and variant complexity, but a lot of fog and friction within NPD programmes comes from communication complexity. Here QR_ founding director Rob Ferrone draws on orchestras and elephants to illustrate the fundamental but often overlooked importance of effective communication in the context of complex engineering programmes, offering four top criteria for getting it right. As is often the case, a lot comes down to focusing more on people than systems, and getting the right data in front of the right people at the right time.

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