What is Product Lifecycle Management?
Product lifecycle management (PLM) refers to the handling of a product as it moves through the typical stages of development, growth, maturity and decline. Effective product life cycle management brings together the many companies, departments and employees involved with the product’s production to streamline their activities, with the ultimate goal of producing a product that outperforms its competitors and is highly profitable.
BREAKING DOWN Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)
Sound product lifecycle management has many benefits, such as getting the product to market faster, putting a higher quality product on the market, improving product safety, increasing sales opportunities and reducing errors and waste. Specialized computer software is available to assist with PLM through functions such as document management, design integration and process management.
PLM systems help organizations cope with increasing complexity and engineering challenges of developing new products. They can be considered one of the four cornerstones of a manufacturing corporation’s information technology structure. All companies need to manage communications and information with their customers (customer relationship management or CRM), their suppliers and fulfillment (SCM-supply chain), their resources within the enterprise (enterprise resource planning or ERP) and their product planning and development (PLM).
Other Benefits of Product Lifecycle Management
- Improved product quality and reliability
- Reduced prototyping costs
- More accurate and timely RFQs
- Quick identification of sales opportunities and revenue contributions
- Savings through the re-use of original data
- A framework for product optimization
- Reduced waste
- Improved ability to better manage seasonal fluctuation management
- Improved forecasting to reduce material costs
- Maximize supply chain collaboration