As I discussed in my first article, Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is a practice and a predefined discipline followed in an organization to effectively manage all kinds of information that affects a product. This information can be as small as a length and thickness of a screw part used to fix an assembly or can be as big as maintaining a data-lake of all the changes that the product underwent over its decades of service. To maintain this amount of data we need an information management system. We need a PLM software tool that helps to integrate the design data, business decisions, change requests and all the individuals responsible in an enterprise architecture. A PLM software supports to efficiently accomplish PLM practice carried out by an organization. It allows to effectively manage the associated information throughout a product lifecycle right from dawn till dusk in a cost efficient manner.
Importance of PLM Software in an organization:
Whatever strategy an organization follows in its PLM practice, it is evidently seen a PLM software tool will be a major constituent. A PLM system helps to get a product data under control. When the product data is under control, it is easy to bring the product under control. A PLM software facilitates successful PLM practice, by supporting various activities such as design, sign-off, product data sharing, easy tracking of Engineering Change Management, maintain additional product data such as substitutes etc.
At ﬁrst sight, it may seem that the need for PLM software tool results from the urge to support huge volume of product data that are generated by other supporting computer based applications. However, the driving force behind a PLM system is actually for business reasons, to increase productivity and offer better customer response. A PLM system helps to surge output from an organization by enabling better use of resources, reduces development cost and facilitates better control of engineering changes. It also empowers a manufacturing company to offer better support to the product consumer and reduces lead time. A PLM software can provide exactly the right information in exactly the right time.
Apart from PLM software systems, there are many other associated software tools such as ERP applications, testing applications, warehouse management, asset management etc that maintains organization data. However, the primary goal of these systems isn’t to manage product lifecycle data. A PLM software is designed specifically to handle product data throughout its lifecycle and acts as a mandatory ingredient of an effective PLM practice in an organization.