Benefits of Product Lifecycle Management

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is defined as “an all-encompassing approach for innovation, new product development and introduction (NPDI) and product information management from ideation to end of life. PLM Systems as an enabling technology for PLM integrate people, data, processes, and business systems and provide a product information backbone for companies and their extended enterprise.” (Source: PLM Technology Guide) It refers to the entire life cycle management of a product from its conception to its disposal. The various stages in a product lifecycle are conception, design, manufacture, maintenance, and finally disposal. Hence, Product Lifecycle Management is divided into following stages.

· Beginning of Life (BOL) – It refers to the phases of new product development and design processes in the life of a product.
· Middle of Life (MOL) – It refers to those phases, which includes product data management, warranty management, and collaboration with suppliers.
· End of Life (EOL) – It refers to the final phase of the product when the product is discontinued, recycled, or disposed of.

PLM helps in accelerating the pace of launch of new and successful products by providing companies and organizations all the support and assistance in handling the increasing complexity and product engineering challenges encountered while developing new products for the global competitive markets. PLM being a corporate repository of valuable product related knowledge, data and processes, helps companies to achieve higher levels of benefits.

The following are some of the benefits of PLM.

· Faster time to market due to shorter lead times and product cycle
· Enhanced product quality due to tight integration of customer, product, quality and regulatory information
· Lower prototyping costs due to reuse of existing data
· Fewer design flaws due to increased collaboration among suppliers, customers and product development team
· Improved resource utilization
· Faster release cycles of products
· Savings through the complete integration of engineering workflows as PLM allows integrated information within engineering processes
· Improved quality and more innovative products and services as PLM encourages more genuine and trend setting ideas
· Improved relationships among customers, suppliers and business partners as PLM ensures synchronized information flows
· Ability to quickly identify potential sales opportunities and revenue contributions
· Greater profitability due to better product acceptance
· Faster deployment and rollout of new products since product development from ideation phase to manufacturing phase takes place in a highly controlled and automated atmosphere
· Reduced waste
· Simplify review and acceptance when subjected to external audit for certifications leading to reduced administrative overheads

Today the market demand is for products manufactured with less cost, less waste but with more functionality. As long as this demand exists, the need for PLM would continue to increase.

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