Product lifecycle management promotes process optimization and enhances product value for businesses
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Product lifecycle management promotes process optimization and enhances product value for businesses

Businesses need to continuously improve their current products or launch new ones to increase competitiveness and capture the market so that they can keep up with trends in the booming era of digital technologies, and of changed awareness, approaches, as well as user behavior.

This requires businesses to have solutions to improve, shorten the production process, and bring products to the market before competitors while still ensuring quality as well as optimizing resources and the factory’s production capacity.

What is PLM? Which businesses will need to implement PLM?

Businesses need to skillfully combine many factors across the entire value chain to gain a competitive advantage with new products, beginning with developing product ideas, preparing necessary resources for production, manufacturing, launching the product, and deciding whether to keep or remove the product from the catalog over time. This combination requires the development and digitization of smooth processes throughout the value chain as well as the utilization of tools to keep track of all product-related data and make timely decisions. As a result, each company needs to develop systems for enterprise resource planning and management (ERP/ERM), customer relationship management (CRM), and product lifecycle management (PLM).

Businesses need to have clearly defined processes from ideation, product sketching, and building the production process to launch a product. These processes will generate data sources that need to be appropriately organized. PLM was designed to manage all aspects of development from product conception to product obsolescence by offering tools, digitizing procedures, and maintaining product data. PLM is in charge of providing tools and techniques for managing information throughout a product’s lifecycle. PLM integrates with ERP and CRM systems to interact with product information across the whole value chain, assisting decision-makers by comprehensively viewing product evolution in real-time.

PLM data is also created to manage the activity of interconnected teams, such as new product development (NPD) and new product introduction (NPI) teams, etc. PLM evolves into an approach to business strategy that assists NPD/NPI team members in sharing product information.

As such, product lifecycle management (PLM) integrates all aspects of a product, including getting that product from its conception through the product life cycle (PLC) to its disposal. PLM combines the overarching vision that gives an organization the ability to manage data, people, software, production, marketing, and the overall product plan. It can also clearly see that businesses with production, assembly, and processing capabilities, especially those whose value chains include product trading, need to be developed—exploiting product lifecycle management to optimize production and business advantages.

Why is PLM critical for businesses, particularly those that produce and trade?

If a business only has an ERP system, it will lack functions for production processes and new product development. In addition, the control of information around the product such as defect rate, failure rate, scrap level, recyclability, utilizing components from existing products to developing new products with a PLM system helps businesses manage product information wholly and accurately, supporting the promotion, and provides comprehensive information for other systems.

Typically, ERP systems are designed to manage BOMs, primarily for financial management, but most lack change management functionality, making cross-departmental collaboration ineffective. Engineering team also needs precise change history information to collect design changes and cooperate around product data.

Another critical point, an organization with only ERP systems without other PLM systems risks changing the product and conducting inaccurate and inconsistent financial planning.

Some businesses still use Excel to manage BOMs and changes that put the company at risk for errors. Handling them causes a lot of unnecessary costs. As a result, seamless integration of PLM and ERP will allow businesses to be more responsive in all business activities, including traceability, price, delivery, quality, innovation, etc. It eases the production process and creates a more transparent, cohesive environment.

The core and benefits of product lifecycle management

The basis of the PLM process is to create and manage product information data by offering procedures in the form of functions to standardize the data that the system wishes to control. This data is then shared with stakeholders to ensure that it is accessible and usable by all parties, which improves the final product and allows for practical in-depth product analysis. As a result, PLM’s core features are:

  • Processes and functions are thoroughly and rigorously built.
  • Access and manage product information quickly and securely.
  • Ensure data integrity throughout the product’s lifecycle.
  • Create, collect, and share business processes based on data

PLM is clearly showing its effectiveness in the context of outsourcing and new supply chain initiatives. Coupled with shorter lead times, companies have reliable and up-to-date information in real-time for the production process. PLM allows the technical specifications to be adjusted during the production process. This process often takes days or weeks for technical parts in production, especially with manufacturing facilities that are fragmented or have multiple locations, including in other countries. PLM also provides promising significant benefits to customers, including:

  • Product quality and reliability are improved.
  • Timely and accurate product quotation
  • Reduce the cost of production in the product manufacturing process.
  • Save time and effort when re-applying to existing original data
  • Determine sales opportunities and boost revenue by pushing new items based on market research and customer desires.
  • Simple forecasting to reduce the cost of production materials.

Some of the best PLM solutions for firms to consider applying and deploying

The PLM system needs to perform diverse capabilities depending on the nature of each business’s product or service. However, any organization that has decided to use PLM should create the following critical functional blocks to ensure that the system will provide the proper tools for managing your company’s products and service’s product data.

The PLM system’s functional blocks

There are several PLM solution providers on the market today. Most of them offer some level of customization to match the status quo and desires of business managers while still assuring the full range of tasks listed above. FPT Digital will present a few widely used solutions in the corporate world.

1. Teamcenter Siemens

Teamcenter is believed to be relatively comprehensive, making it appropriate for areas such as aerospace, defense, pharmaceuticals, and medicine. This solution can be implemented in organizations of any size.

Some of Teamcenter’s standout features include:

  • Change management
  • Integration with systems of suppliers
  • Management of BOM
  • Requirements and technical management
  • Document Management
  • Management of production data and production processes
  • Project management, work in product projects
  • And many more features
2. Oracle Agile PLM

The Oracle PLM solution focuses on reducing procedures and centralizing data to increase revenue.

Oracle Agile PLM has several noteworthy features:

  • Quality management
  • Portfolio management involves the resources that make up a product
  • Expense management, allowing quick quotations (RFQs)
  • Project management, project task management
  • And many other features
3. SAP PLM

As an outstanding solution in supporting all product-related processes, it is especially suitable if the enterprise has deployed an ERP solution also on the SAP platform.

Characteristic features:

  • Provide Centralized PPM
  • Manage processes in every stage of new product design
  • Document Management
  • Change management
  • Management of BOM
  • And many other features

Product lifecycle management is a fantastic choice since it provides a comprehensive solution for managing operations and growth for each organization. It also supports the digitization and optimization of product-related procedures. PLM may necessitate a significant time and financial investment, but the results will undoubtedly be well worth it. As a result, businesses should consider it as a critical and urgent task, enlisting the assistance of organizations with solid consulting capabilities, a thorough understanding of the business’s industry, a firm grasp of the enterprise’s capabilities, and the limits of each solution. From there, companies clearly define what to do, prepare for, and manage change effectively when implementing PLM.

Expanding regular monitoring of resources can help businesses start thinking sustainably, and make bigger and better changes. Document your efforts and be transparent about these efforts with employees and customers to build sustainable marketing programs.

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