PLM THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

8 Ways PLM Software Helps to Optimize Product Lifecycles

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When used and integrated effectively, the right PLM software quickly becomes an extremely powerful tool for driving the entire design, engineering, and release cycle.

Its impact can be truly profound, affecting each phase of product development. But, to save you some research time, we’ve identified eight specific advantages that make PLM software practically indispensable for competitive manufacturers.

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Reduce Development Times

Streamlined data-sharing and updating procedures, particularly during transitions, dramatically lower the risk of error and delay. It also makes any detected error much easier to correct and recover from with minimal disruption.

User-generated input at all development stages highlights any opportunity to automate, eliminate or streamline waste, particularly in the form of duplicate tasks.

Reduce Costs

Use of integrated PLM platforms drives up efficiency across the board, in everything from data and asset-sharing to line planning and long-term performance comparison. All of which serves to boost efficiency by saving time, minimizing waste, maximizing flexibility in workflow transitions, and ultimately increasing profit margins.

Increase Productivity

Reduced time to market, enhanced workflow overview, consistent data-sharing from a central Cloud hub, and reliable automation (or removal) of duplicate tasks all result in a more flexible and responsive business. This allows teams to focus more directly on output, rather than the time-consuming minutiae of step-by-step process management during multiple hand-offs.

Improve Product Quality

Because everyone involved in the development and release cycle has some degree of access to the PLM software and database, it’s far easier for departments to share useful knowledge and insight ahead of time.

Input from sales and marketing can be used directly by design teams, while suppliers can feed back on engineering samples without needing to wait for prototypes to be shipped around. More often than not, taking a collaborative organizational approach to product innovation yields better results.

Environmental Sustainability and Social Engagement

Cloud-based PLM helps meet present needs around short-term sustainability goals, while also laying a robust foundation for future generations of both products and employees. It also provides a platform for shared social responsibility throughout the entire supply chain.

Built-in Cloud collaboration tools enable deeper and wider engagement with ethical issues, consumer relations, and social or community initiatives across an entire workforce. In doing so, PLM platforms can create a more broadly aligned and unified sense of shared values running through the organization. This in turn helps convey a clear sense of brand position to the wider company community, including to shareholders and end-users alike.

Easier BOM Management

Accurate Bill of Materials (BOM) handling can be a very tricky thing to pin down in a fast-moving production environment. It’s especially complicated when multiple teams are working with home-grown tools and systems across numerous international borders.

PLM software provides more effective BOM management from a central hub, with easily edited and updated documents for key processes such as visualization, CAD comparison, part classification, and replacement/variant options.

Centralize Requirements, Compliance and Testing Oversight

Effective monitoring of requirements, testing and validation processes is a vital part of both risk reduction and customer relationship management. PLM software allows companies to avoid updates and change requests being made across multiple documents, spreadsheets and emails, and thus reduces the risk of teams falling out of sync.

Instead, compliance and validation are handled through a central hub configured for multiple author/editor access, offering instant updates via a single source and vastly improving end-to-end traceability.

Better Scalability

PLM software provides a framework for improved all-round efficiency and process management, and each individual company will make specific changes in response to any issues or limitations that a PLM-based approach brings to light.

Over the course of successive development cycles, your PLM software therefore molds itself into an ever-more reliable and effective blueprint for successful delivery of your own new products to market. This can prove invaluable when scaling up operations, taking a huge amount of the guesswork and risk out of ambitious strides towards faster growth.

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