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What is PLM (Product Lifecycle Management)?

PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) means ensuring that all functions in the product chain have the information they need to carry out their job as efficiently as possible. Product Lifecycle Management is about managing the complete lifecycle of a product, from idea to finished product and connects people, processes, data and systems. Simply put, PLM is the core point when it comes to information needs between companies and their partners. It is also an effective tool in connection with product development to ensure quality, correct information and functionality.

With PLM you can track information about your product and determine why, how and by whom the process has been run which, for example, has led to decisions to change existing product (Change Order Management) or to develop a new product (NPI – New Product Introduction).


Why would you invest in Product Lifecycle Management?

PLM is the only solution that has the whole lifecycle of a product in a scope. Not only engineering, manufacturing or service. It is all of this. As such, it enables companies for the first time to eliminate all the inefficiencies, delays and error that happen today. From the very beginning of the product lifecycle to its end.

Today, the problems in collaboration and process execution sum up during the whole product creation process. In the end, they will be fixed by manufacturing and result in high cost during production. Parts are being produced against wrong specs and need to be scrapped, suppliers deliver wrong parts and cause delays in final delivery, warranty costs are caused by lack of quality processes, etc.

PLM improves collaboration of all stakeholders in the product lifecycle to significantly impact time, quality and cost.

Complexity and inefficiencies

Increasing product and process complexity

The increasing product and process complexity is driven by a couple of reasons like:

  • Increasing market demands
  • Shortened time to market
  • Growing product portfolios
  • New competitors
  • Increasing legal requirements
  • And new challenges like the sustainability of products

Companies fail in handling the data which got more complex as well in a timely manner.

Eliminate established inefficiencies

What are the inefficiencies that you deal with in your company?

There’s not only different file formats, but there are also different paradigms of file sharing and getting data to someone else without having to re-key it, re-type it, resend it or tell somebody about it.
You need to identify process bottlenecks and ways around it. Perhaps this starts in design or in concept – all the way through to supply chain and supplier collaboration.
Overcoming the lack of collaboration and making sure everybody is on the same page is important, making sure that everyone is working with the same set of data and not doing manual efforts.

Get back in control

So, how to get back into the driver’s seat?

With the right PLM solution and consulting you can:

  • Get control of your business processes
  • Gain insights in your processes
  • Make use of these insights and remove bottlenecks in your daily work by establishing standardised, efficient business processes

A common platform

Let PLM be your common platform for data, processes and deliverables across all business units. It is accessible to everyone, easy to use to meet various stakeholders needs and flexible to be adopted to customer needs.

It becomes the single source of data, enabling anyone to work on the same data in latest version, providing automatic validation to ensure data quality and role based access permission control. It manages processes online and reveals responsibilities, it has relevant information attached and notifies process stakeholders upon relevant events automatically. It derives personal task lists, reminds people about pending actions and provides real time status reporting without the need to manually manage Excel tables and charts.

Gone are the days of sharing information secretly in calls or mails. Gone are the days of long information research. Gone are the delays in processes as status and information that is not being forwarded. Gone are the days of outdated information.

PLM not only connects people, data and processes. It also interacts with existing systems, replacing manual data copies, prevents fault, increases quality and saves time. PLM may embed information from external systems, but also push information. Customer information of CRM can be used to populate given library information in PLM and then pass the approved BOM to an ERP system upon completion of a Change Order.


Benefits with PLM

See how you can gain real time access to data and project status and automate your processes.

Rich and smart online data

Make product data online for everyone on any platform. Configurable forms enabling concurrent changes, validations, formulas, highlighting, filtering, access control and full traceability.

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Workflows to guide and track

Automate and standardise process flows. Predefine responsibilities and automatic notifications to increase business process efficiency.

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Real time status and KPI’s

Identify and resolve delays in time by user defined dashboards and trigger corrective actions. Use roll ups and timelines to determine trends and implement business process updates if needed.

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Different solutions for different needs

We offer a number of different solutions from Autodesk for more efficient processes, where your needs and business goals lay the foundation for the chosen solution.

What business outcomes do you want and expect from a PLM tool?

As an example, many of our customers want to improve their performance in:

  • Change Management
  • Quality Management
  • BOM Management
  • NPI (new product introduction)
  • Supplier Collaboration
  • Project Management
  • etc.

Contact us at Cadcraft and find out more about how we can help you improve your performance!