PLM | What is Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)?

In many enterprises, organizing and maintaining information across a project can be a challenge. Information needs to be accessible and updated from a variety of sources, and by a variety of people. Important decisions are made based on this information, so it is essential that it is accurate and up-to-date from a project’s conception to completion. The only way to ensure this flow of information remains reliable is through product lifecycle management.

Product Lifecycle Management Definition

Product lifecycle management, or PLM, is the management of all product data in a central location. This centralization facilitates collaboration and communication between everyone involved in a project. Centralized data includes everything related to the process and production of a product. Teams can connect, organize, update, manage, control, track, and consolidate all of the required information. By storing and accessing information in this way, everyone in the lifecycle process can make informed decisions.

Product lifecycle management is the centralization of all product process and production data, to allow users to make accurate and informed decisions.

The Product Lifecycle

PLM does not end once the products have been designed and developed. The central management of information occurs throughout the entire product lifecycle. This cycle is typically broken down into the following stages:

  • Beginning of Life (BOL) or Design Stage: The first stage of the product lifecycle is often considered the most critical part of the process. However, this stage is just a small part of the entire series. In this initial stage, new products are designed and developed.
  • Middle of Life (MOL) or Sell Stage: The second stage is where the importance of using PLM really comes into play. Designers and developers need to be able to collaborate. Without access to accurate product information bad decisions can be made. PLM helps ensure that everyone has access to the same up-to-date information all the time.
  • End of Life (EOL) or Support/Maintain Stage: This final stage is often forgotten in the cycle. A product’s life doesn’t simply end once it is sold. Eventually, the product will become obsolete or unusable. Strategies need to be put in place to determine how to discontinue, dispose, or recycle products once they have reached the end of their life.

PLM Benefits

Utilizing product lifecycle management can improve development time, reduce costs, and improve product quality. Some other benefits of PLM include:

  • Faster time to market through improved development cycles
  • Increased design efficiency with fewer errors and reworks during the development process
  • Increased productivity and insight into critical processes by having access to all available product information
  • Improved communication between teams resulting in improved review and approval processes for product changes
  • A clear source of information for all standard and regulatory compliance
  • The ability to export useful data for downstream enterprise resource planning (ERP)
  • Increased profitability through the reduction of costs both in the introduction and production of new products

You Need Product Lifecycle Management

Without a PLM system in place, your enterprise could be making misinformed decisions that greatly affect your products and company. Through increased productivity and streamlined processes, you can have more effective deployment and implementation of your new products. PLM is essential for enhanced collaboration throughout your entire organization. Plus, with an opportunity for increased profitability why wouldn’t you want to use a PLM system?

ENOVIA from Dassalt Systèmes is the PLM solution endorsed by 3DSMAN. In a future blog post we will dive into the benefits and advanced capabilities of this amazing product.

Do you want to learn more about the available software solutions from 3DSMAN? Contact us today!

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