The customer changes everything
Over the last 4 decades there has been a lot of change in enterprise software. In the early 90s, I helped disrupt the PDM market by ushering in a new category called Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) with Agile Software. While at the same time, Jon Hirschtick was founding SolidWorks with ground-breaking CAD software.
Witnessing only incremental changes to the CAD and PLM space over the last 10 years, both Jon Hirschtick and I realized that trends in engineering and manufacturing created a gap between what was available in the market and what the customer wanted. That’s why we founded Onshape and Propel, modern CAD and PLM companies.
Onshape published an insightful blog post yesterday titled “Five Major Trends That Are Disrupting the Manufacturing Industry”. I highly recommend that you read Jon’s thoughts on the topic. The last trend cited is the expectations of the Millennials as they enter the workforce and move into management positions.
Millennial workforce expectations = Customer demands
As the largest demographic in the workforce today, the Millennial generation grew up with mobile and cloud technologies and stays connected 24/7. This impatient generation expects instant access to information and the ability to collaborate with peers and colleagues. When they are confronted with legacy systems and painfully dated UI, it frustrates them. They expect more.
Millennials are changing the workforce as they bring their life experiences and demands to the product development and manufacturing industry. What constitutes a product has changed, too. Now hardware products come with software and mobile apps and IoT. Mechanical engineers must coordinate their design cycles with software engineers. And these people must work with marketing and channel sales to make sure that the product information is accurate on omni-channel selling platforms. People must collaborate in real-time. They need CAD, PLM, and PIM in the cloud to bring the best product designs to market. That’s just one of the reasons I had to reinvent PLM and start Propel.