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How PLM Leaves the Customer Behind

While Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) has helped make huge strides to streamline the product development process, it never quite looped in a crucial figure: the customer. Propel's VP of Product Marketing Tom Shoemaker explains how PLM fell short in this Converged Conversation.

Leading companies understand that in today's market the customer is king. But, when it comes to making the customer a focus while building, selling, and servicing products, traditional product lifecycle management (PLM) leaves a lot to be desired.

Why? PLM has had its proverbial hands full solving problems in the back office (engineering, quality, and manufacturing) that it never made its way to the front office. 

PLM’s strength is optimizing the “inside-out” processes that mean little to buyers. Instead, buyers care about the full product experience, which traditional PLM struggles to impact. Some typical customers for different types of product companies include:

Consumer Goods/Consumer Electronics:

  • Individual consumer
  • Distributor/Reseller
  • Retailer

Industrial Machinery/High-Tech

  • Distributor/Reseller
  • A business as represented by a corporate buyer (such as Purchasing, IT, or Engineering)

Contract Manufacturer

  • Supplier
  • OEM as represented by production, operations, or engineering personnel

Medical Device

  • Clinician
  • Health care provider
  • Distributor/reseller/Durable Medical Equipment provider

Just to name a few.

Each of these customers has their own wants and needs. Each with their own buying criteria.

When it comes to targeting for each of these customer types, how do you think PLM stands up? Tom dives into all these questions in his blog post Who (Traditional) PLM Left High & Dry, Part 2 in his ongoing series Where (Traditional) PLM Dropped the Ball.

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Tom Shoemaker
VP of Product Marketing, Propel

Tom Shoemaker is the VP of Product Marketing at Propel. In this role, he’s responsible for product messaging and positioning, sales enablement, and voice of customer programs. Prior to Propel, Shoemaker was Chief Marketing Officer of itslearning, a Scandinavian-based edtech provider, where he led the company’s marketing and business development efforts. Prior to itslearning, he held numerous leadership positions at PTC, including pre-sales, R&D, and marketing. Most recently, he was VP Enterprise Marketing. Over his 20-year+ tenure, Shoemaker was responsible for the go-to-market strategy and product launch of PTC’s primary solutions, including Windchill and Creo.

Fun Fact: In high school, Tom appeared on Brainstormers, a local station TV quiz show.

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Tom Shoemaker