Product Lifecycle Management Software: Benefits, Features, and Examples
Overview: Product Lifecycle Management Software (PLM) is a comprehensive tool that streamlines and automates product development. With its advanced data management capabilities, this software helps teams to collaborate from conception to market launch. In this article, we will discuss who uses the software, its benefits, features, and provide five examples of relevant software products.
Who Uses the Software:
Manufacturers: The software is primarily used by manufacturers who deal with complex product designs. It manages product development data throughout the entire process, from research to distribution. The software creates central repositories for data that can be accessed by various stakeholders, including engineers, designers, and marketers. The repository also ensures the accuracy of data and eliminates errors caused by discrepancies in information.
Engineers: PLM software improves the efficiency and quality of the outcomes in Engineering projects. It reduces the risks of costly errors by combining data from different departments to provide an accurate view of project product stages. The software enables engineers to plan, implement, and modify designs iteratively, and it also manages Bill of Materials (BOM) to ensure the product manufactured accurately aligns with the planned design.
Supply Chain Professionals: For supply chain professionals managing a product launch, PLM software is a relevant tool as it offers visibility into the whole supply chain, including product sourcing, order management, and delivery. It provides complete documentation for each step made to bring the product to market.
Benefits of Product Lifecycle Management Software:
Reduced Costs: By eliminating inefficiencies in product development, the software effectively reduces costs. Automation significantly reduces manual labor, reducing effort and decreasing lead time while increasing accuracy.
Improved Collaboration: Collaboration is greatly improved when using PLM software. It enables remote teams to work collaboratively and provide input to the product development process. The real-time availability of the data has made it easier for stakeholders to engage in the product development process.
Efficient Project Management: With PLM software, project management is substantially streamlined, with all data for a particular project collated in a single instance. Efficient project management increases productivity, eliminates redundancies, and ultimately helps launch products in a timely, cost-efficient manner.
Features of the Software:
Data Management: PLM software offers sophisticated data management capabilities. It maintains a central repository that enables different stakeholders to access precise and updated project data.
BOM Management: Bill of Materials, commonly referred to as BOM, is the core of PLM software. This feature enables the creation, modification, and accurate sharing of BOMs throughout the design and manufacturing process.
Product Data: PLM software has a product data management feature that is designed to streamline the input, transfer, and management of product data to ensure accuracy and reduce duplicate records.
Examples of Relevant Software Products:
1. Fusion Lifecycle (autodesk.com)
Fusion Lifecycle offers a comprehensive solution for managing product development data. It provides centralized data management and automation of product development processes. Fusion Lifecycle allows for collaboration across different departments with its simple user interface and improved communication tools. One unique feature is that it can be used on mobile devices, making project management more effortless and approachable. However, it may be costly for start-ups.
2. Arena (arenasolutions.com)
Arena aids in managing product development right from the prototype phase to product launch. It offers real-time data insight, version control, and automatic updates of all pertinent project data. Its user-friendly interface makes it a choice for small and medium businesses. Arena is, however, cost-prohibitive for most start-ups.
3. Siemens Teamcenter PLM (siemens.com)
Siemens Teamcenter PLM provides a complete product development management suite, which includes workflow management functionalities, BOM management, and analytics. The software provides full support for every stage of the product development environment. Another outstanding feature is that it offers visibility for all stakeholders at each stage of the product lifecycle. However, this PLM software is non-trivial—an expensive investment.
4. Omnify Empower PLM (omnifysoft.com)
Omnify Empower PLM is specifically designed to meet small and medium business’s (SMBs) product development needs. It delivers powerful functionalities such as workflow management, document control, approvals routing, among others. Given its affordable pricing, it offers the most popular features used by small and medium businesses. One drawback is that it lacks certain high-end functionalities of more expensive platforms.
5. Autodesk Vault (autodesk.com/vault)
Autodesk Vault is an easy-to-use platform that focuses on product data management. It offers capabilities like revision control, document management, and metadata management. It delivers standard PLM features such as document control and metadata control, but many more advanced features are lacking.
Product Lifecycle Management Software enables collaboration among remote teams, better data management, and efficient project management reducing costs. The selection of PLM software is a crucial decision for the successful launching of a product. Each PLM software solution offers its unique advantages and drawbacks d. Ensure you research various PLM software solutions in-depth to ensure it aligns with your business’s product development lifecycle stage.