April 9, 2019 Written by Rachel Casciato

Transforming to a Model-Based Enterprise—Tips and Barriers

The last 30 years have shown rapid scale of change in the manufacturing industry. Digitalization promises to simplify collaboration across the extended enterprise. There are many ways an organization can implement digital strategies, but perhaps the most impactful is to transform into a model-based enterprise (MBE).

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to interview Jim Zwica and Professor Nathan Hartman about how the rapid changes in collaboration have impacted product development. We discussed how today’s digital opportunities can significantly impact an organization’s competitive edge. I’ve invited Jim and Nathan to return for another panel discussion about an OEM’s transformation to an MBE, a company that collaborates with a fully digital 3D model across the extended enterprise.

During this 60-minute interview, Jim and Nathan dive into:

  • What constitutes a model-based enterprise
  • Common barriers to implementing this fully digital approach
  • 5 steps to transform into a model-based enterprise

Transforming into an MBE comes with plenty of roadblocks beyond the standard collaboration challenges. Whether your company is in the midst of transforming or just starting the conversation, I invite you to attend this virtual panel discussion to learn from the experts.


Nathan Hartman is the Dauch Family Professor of Advanced Manufacturing and Department Head of the Department of Computer Graphics Technology at Purdue University, and Director of the Purdue University Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Center. Dr. Hartman is also Co-Executive Director of the Indiana Next-Generation Manufacturing Competitiveness Center (IN-MaC). Professor Hartman’s research areas include the process and methodology for creating model-based definitions; examining the use of the model-based definition in the product lifecycle; and developing the model-based enterprise. Professor Hartman’s industry research partners include Rolls Royce, Cummins, Boeing, GM, Rockwell Collins, Textron, Gulfstream, Procter and Gamble, GM, Honda, and others.


Jim Zwica’s expertise with PLM resides in his strategic and consultative approach. Throughout his roles with Engineering Animations Incorporated, Siemens, and Caterpillar, Jim has served as a consultant in understanding how OEMs collaborate with their manufacturers. Jim has led teams that developed the back-end of an innovative tool enabling virtual design reviews in the PLM software; served as a liaison between the engineering tool and the end users to provide recommendations for technology upgrades, and; consulted OEMs and manufacturers on how to best leverage PLM. During Jim’s time with Caterpillar, he also supported multiple teams to best leverage their PLM business strategy. In his current role at Vertex Software, Jim supports product development and provides insight into the business challenges with heavy manufacturing product teams.


Rachel has been a content marketer in the technology space for her entire professional career. Whether she writes about game-changing hardware or software technology, her top priority is creating value for her readers. At Vertex Software, she is consistently putting herself in someone else’s shoes—asking tough questions and finding ways to teach the most challenging of concepts in a simple way.