PLM in equipment or device related services business has very different requirements than in any other business model. A very basic service PLM requirement is the capability to manage spare part and service kit definitions in relation to the original equipment BOM to which these spare parts or service kits are related to.
Also one of the key Service PLM fundaments is having a full control and mastership of each delivered product unit / instance i.e. asset separately so that a spare part, a service kit, service activity or any service product definition can be actually linked and mapped to the exact BOM configuration/instance of the delivered asset.
Service business has also two service specific characteristics that should be reflected in the PLM set-up.
- Services can be also continuous. The customer relationship and the service delivery are continuously ongoing. For service PLM, this sets a rather unique requirement. PLM should be able to manage the change dynamics of the relationship between evolving asset and evolving service product.
- Capability to itemize intangibles, such as software, service activities and activity related materials and manage them as integral parts of the service product BOM as well as part of the service product definition.
Service PLM needs to also cover the installed base management and form a link from the asset to new product development closing the lifecycle loop. This can be done though detailed BOM management of each asset so that PLM has accurate information what has been changed in the asset during its operation, while keeping the link to the original product version it was originated from. This is a must in order to manage the compatibility of the generic product design and individual assets to support the compatibility of the spare part, retrofit, upgrade and modernization offering.
It’s also good to keep in mind that the previously mentioned business model split applies also to service products. Service product can be also standard, configured or project based.