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Summary: Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) refers to the management of processes and data used in the engineering, design, manufacturing, service, and sales of products throughout its entire lifecycle and supply chain. It has played a pivotal role in the manufacturing sector, but PLM is quickly gaining attention in the software solution market.
Manufacturing companies face myriad challenges apart from designing and engineering products. PLM provides viable solutions to those challenges by distributing resources and making business-critical information freely accessible to all relevant stakeholders.
PLM was originally designed to enable engineers to securely share information and collaborate on the latest product designs across a product’s lifecycle. But earlier, companies usually used On-premise systems that focused solely on the company’s internal employees. Today, PLM solutions cover a more significant portion of the organization — marketing, supply chain partners, customer service, and sales executives.
Legacy PLM systems were built to help engineers enhance productivity, reduce time to market, and decrease final product costs. On the other hand, today’s PLM solutions are primarily made for:
Cloud-based PLM systems provide a single source of truth that allows relevant stakeholders to access, share, and track crucial processes and information at a moment’s notice. Moreover, it also allows different departments to update product changes in real-time and keep a tab on any new revisions in industry compliance norms and regulations.
Employees require a more collaborative work environment in today’s business landscape. PLM systems have adjusted to this need by offering multi-layered communication and process management solutions that enable employees and third-party vendors to collaborate efficiently from anywhere in the world.
PLM organizes and integrates data across various touchpoints, providing a 360-degree view of each manufactured product and forecasting their market performance. This feature helps enhance profitability and maximize efficiency in the following areas:
Conceptualization & ideation is the first stage of the PLM process. The following stages include designing, manufacturing, and supplying the product to the final customer. But other non-core activities such as service, purchase, repair, and disposal also play an essential role in enhancing the company’s reputation.
There are primarily four stages in a product’s lifecycle:
PLM is essentially the collaboration, alignment, and management of resources, employees, third-party vendors, business systems, data, and processes that help make the entire product portfolio a success.
Now, let’s dive deep into the lifecycle stages one by one.
PLM allows manufacturing companies to control, monitor, and run multiple processes together, including design, simulation, engineering, marketing, and manufacturing. As a result, you can also make changes in the product during the design and engineering phase that significantly reduces the time taken to complete a final product. This feature helps to quicken time-to-market and eventually enhances the overall profit.
Do you know that the manufacturing industry has changed its business model?
Research shows that the manufacturing industry spends 5% of its total expenses on R&D. The following two graphs show a dramatic divergence between R&D and advertising spending since the 1970s’.
The best part about PLM software is that it allows companies to deliver high-tech innovation, track customer feedback, and provide solutions to customer queries in real-time.
Managing Bill of Materials (BOM) is undoubtedly an essential function of PLM. It integrates BOMs with the following important data points:
BOM management is a collective process that involves sourcing and procurement, engineering design, go-to-market strategy, and design collaboration. Moreover, companies need to ensure that BOM management includes fruitful partnerships with third-party vendors, such as suppliers, partners, and sales channels. Change management is also an essential feature of BOM management. It helps different departments — manufacturing, engineering, and marketing — collaborate and exchange real-time updates for the product to become sales-ready.
Computer-Aided Design (CAD) systems allow synchronization between engineers and the non-technical staff during the product designing stage. Companies attain enhanced accuracy, better collaboration, and faster time-to-market when CAD systems exchange information through PLM software.
Companies need an efficient way to ensure that their sales channels receive and display the correct product information that eventually helps market and sell their products. Product Information Management (PIM) plays an essential role over here. It allows companies to share critical product data with various sales channels, including direct sales, e-Commerce, and distributors. The best part is that modern PLM systems have an in-built PLM module that provides a single data repository accessible by engineering, manufacturing, sales, and marketing departments. Let’s understand this with the help of a few examples.
The PIM module allows the sales team to collect product information from the engineering department and extract data — pricing, product attributes, and SKUs — that helps sell the product.
Similarly, the marketing department can gather real-time information throughout the product lifecycle that helps create marketing collaterals, such as statistics, infographics, ebooks, guidebooks, whitepapers, case studies, solution briefs, and product manuals that help market products on e-Commerce and distributor portals.
Customer satisfaction plays an essential role once the product is available for sale. It helps understand what customers feel about the product and create new product versions that are better than the initial prototypes.
The two most crucial outcomes of implementing PLM systems are decreasing time-to-market and reducing product development costs. And these are achieved by cost management, change management, and supplier qualifications.
Change management deals with the systems and processes that enable a company to keep track of different product versions, perform cancellations and revisions, and stick to a workflow pattern.
Similarly, cost management allows companies to monitor and control the cost of components and tools used while developing the finished product. Modern PLM software provides cost transparency, allowing manufacturers to solve cost- and delivery-related challenges and eliminate product launch problems.
Sage X3 is the best ERP software for production management. It enables planning, controlling, and scheduling quality control, thereby helping you get your products to the market quickly and efficiently.
The following features explain in greater detail how Sage X3 is the most preferred PLM software in the market.
Sage X3 ensures the highest levels of product quality, consistency, and collaboration by delivering a world-class single and multi-level Bill of Materials (BOM).
Sage X3 excels in tracking, prioritizing, and managing each aspect of your production — scheduling, planning, and costing.
Sage X3 has all the tools and workflow capabilities that ensure top-notch quality standards by monitoring and performing complete product traceability.
At Sage Software Solutions (P) Ltd., we are home to world-class ERP software and CRM software that will solidify your business tech support fundamentals and enable you to build a customer-centric organization. You can also write to us at email@example.com.
Disclaimer: All the information, views, and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and their respective web sources and in no way reflect the principles, views, or objectives of Sage Software Solutions (P) Ltd.