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Internal Training & Humanising PLM w/ Rob Ferrone

In this episode we will be talking with Rob Ferrone from Quick Release about internal training, and the importance of humanising PLM implementation projects.

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Rob Ferrone is the co-founder and director of Quick Release. QR is an innovative and dynamic company focused on helping OEMs and automotive companies get products to market faster, and at a lower cost. 

How? They release engineering and automotive professionals from the burden of product data management and the drain of underperforming programmes, freeing them to create, innovate, and get products to market faster.

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Key Takeaways

  • Change management is too underestimated in many PLM implementation projects. It is often considered an afterthought.
  • QR likes to hire people from a variety of backgrounds. They consider themselves a unique breed of professionals. They like to ‘’home-grow’’ their talents. They source smart people from top universities, who have the right kind of attitude. A great part of the job is the communication, it’s not just about data.
  • As they hire people that might not have a PLM/PDM background, their challenge is to see how they can quickly and efficiently train their new recruits on systems as well as complex products processes (e.g. how cars, ships, and planes are made).
  • They put in place a complete onboarding bootcamp. It’s a 4-week residential training in which their people have to delve deep into the PLM world, as well as experience an introduction to the QR culture. Generally, after this intense training, people are ready to be placed on a project team.
  • QR employees’ training carries on throughout their whole career. After the bootcamp, they have another educational programme: the PDM professional framework.
  • The PDM professional framework is composed of a variety of modules for different levels and roles. It is a blended learning, with a great deal of it being online.
  • Rob believes that people that will be successful with technology implementation are the ones that understand that the emotional brain is bigger than the logical one.
  • Rob believes that what is still missing in most PLM integration is the work that goes before starting the project. Taking the time to sit and analyze the processes, to identify what the real needs are. Putting a new tool in a broken process will not fix anything.
  • He also thinks that change management should be an integral part of the project. Then from the get-go actual users should be involved in the process, and given all the needed support to learn how to use the tool.
  • His advice to anyone deploying a PLM system: see your users as customers. The project will only be successful if users realize that the new system will help them make their jobs easier and better.


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