PLM Software can do a lot. It can streamline product development processes, enhance productivity and create a more effective environment for deploying, implementing and achieving strategic business initiatives. Following are some key aspects of PLM, provided by Product Lifecycle Management.
Manage design and process documents
Construct and control bill of material (product structure) records
Provide an electronic file repository
Include built-in and custom part and document metadata ("attributes")
Identify materials content for environmental compliance
Permit item-focused task assignments
Enable workflow and process management for approving changes
Control multi-user secured access, including "electronic signature"
Export data for downstream ERP systems
Prodeos software offers a definition of PLM, what it can do and how it helps businesses in this short StopMotion video.
Putting PLM into Context
PLM should not be seen as a single software product, but as a collection of software tools and working methodologies integrated to address single stages of the product lifecycle, connect tasks, or manage the whole process.
PLM encompasses significant areas of process—not just program and project management processes, but also the processes required to manufacture the product or plant, operate it in the field, and dispose or decommission it at the end of its useful life. PLM solutions help define, execute, measure, and manage key product-related business processes. Manufacturing and operational process plans, once viewed discretely, are now seen as an inherent part of PLM. Processes and the workflow engines that control them help ensure complete digital feedback to both users and other business systems throughout each stage of the product lifecycle.
Today, the market developments driving PLM are manifold and growing. These include:
Outsourcing has led to long design and supply chains, dispersing product development, manufacturing, and support activities over different organizations, often on different continents. Managing this truly extended enterprise is difficult.
The functionality of products is increasing, making their development and support more complex. The advent of "total solutions" as opposed to discrete products exacerbates this situation.
The competitive landscape in a global marketplace is more intense, and is shrinking windows for product development.
Consumers are increasingly demanding customized products, which are more difficult to develop and support than standard products.
Both regulation and deregulation are adding pressure. New product and safety regulations (e.g., EU Directives) are increasing the need for oversight and compliance assurance, while corporate deregulation has led to the breakup of large organizations with well-defined responsibilities. These are now replaced by numerous companies, contractors, and subcontractors with blurred relationships.
A nice definition of PLM and how it differs from ERP and MES from CIMdata.