- What is a PLM?
A Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software enables an organization to manage the value chain of a product's lifecycle, beginning from the introduction of the product to consumers, to its potential discontinuation. Throughout this lifecycle, a PLM software tool enables organizations to track and share vital product data.
PLM software is pivotal to organizational success, as it allows users to innovate and devise business strategies. This helps in progressively reducing the cost and time-to-market for products with the release of every new version. Marketers and management teams leverage PLM tools to identify the appropriate time to increase advertising expenditure, update designs, introduce new packaging, and expand market presence.
As part of the product development lifecycle, a company typically incurs increased marketing costs as it introduces the product. As product adoption improves, these expenses tend to stabilize. Managed access provided through a PLM software, access to product definitions, and the maintenance of business processes allows sales and marketing teams to streamline the product's lifecycle.
A PLM software tool provides real-time data and insights into the product's development, performance, and centralizes the following features into a single source of truth:
- Storing and linking computer-aided design(CADs) to products and materials
- Consolidating and linking bill of materials (BOMs) across finished products, products in development, and raw materials
- Integration with third-party technologies
- Customer feedback at essential stages
- Supply chain analysis
- Visibility of the product's development process for all stakeholders
- What are the stages of the Product Development lifecycle?
The product development lifecycle begins with the discovery process, including research, testing, and validation of assumptions before it is finally launched. Further product development stages are listed below, and explained individually:
1. Ideation and Product Validation:
The development life cycle begins with the brainstorming of product concepts. The target market is identified, competitor products are evaluated, and the value proposition for the consumer is formulated into a business case. Once the utility of the product for solving the business use case is validated, prototyping can begin.
2. Developing a Prototype:
Prototyping emerges from a highly detailed development of a business plan, weighed in terms of associated risks and feasibility to produce a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) with features necessary for the product to fulfil its functions.
3. Initial Design
At this stage, the development stakeholders pool their resources and innovative strategies to produce a mockup of the prototype. Multiple revisions often occur at this stage until a final design is approved.
4. Product Testing
Using the initial design of the product or the MVP, focus-group feedback is generated to compare actual market research with the company's initial research results. This stage evaluates how actual users interact with the product and rules out any consumer-facing errors so that the product is fit to be launched, ensuring the highest quality.
After finalizing the product design, and carrying out sufficient testing, products are introduced within a marketplace. Following product approval for launch, and the right specifications are implemented, a product is made live over the appropriate platform or greenlit to be made available at a physical store.
- How Does a PLM System Function?
PLM software and systems provide marketing and management teams with the tools to reduce production costs, time-to-market, and to continually enhance product quality. The software includes an assortment of modules related to various aspects of a product's lifecycle.
Modules that help decrease redundant work, provide access to real-time data and increase collaboration between teams are all brought together into one ecosystem through a PLM software tool. The following are the predominant PLM functions which serve to improve product outcomes:
- Process mapping: While planning for a new product's development, the requisite skill sets are identified, and the appropriate teams and vendors are mapped.
- Breaking down silos: PLM systems ensure open communication at all times regarding product design and development, with no siloed implementation of product design, supply chain planning, or marketing and sales.
- Production methods: Production methods are formulated to ensure that the costs, quality, and compliance are balanced.
- Idea pipeline: Product innovation is constantly improved upon by building a pipeline that is more inclusive of ideas that add value.
- Expediting go-to-market: processes or steps which slow product development are weeded out. These processes are then standardized, and relationships with third-party vendors are strengthened as strategies for enabling faster time-to-market.
- What are the differences between a PLM and an ERP?
Organizations of all sizes rely on effective PLM and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software to maximize successful outcomes. Both these types of enterprise data management software facilitate cross-team collaboration, enhanced product deployment, real-time updates, and multi-user data sharing.
There is continuous innovation occurring today to implement the integration of PLM with ERP software, since many of their functions tend to coincide. The primary differences between the two types of software include:
- PLM software is designed to manage a product from initial design to its release and eventual discontinuation, while ERP leverages business data to help an organization better manage production resources and associated finances.
- PLMs are primarily implemented for the development of a product, while ERPs are predominantly used to manage the day-to-day functions of the overall organization across disparate departments, business concerns, and product verticals.
- PLM software tools manage product data such as design, documentation, collaborative data exchanges, and test results. ERP systems manage business data such as customer details, inventory, finances, and supplier information.
ERP and PLM software are systems that are meant to work in tandem to fully optimize business processes and profits. Industry experts have stressed that these systems must be implemented sequentially; ERPs can help manage the resources required for production, followed by PLM, which manages the entire product lifecycle.
- How can PLM software benefit business operations?
PLM software provides enterprises with a full-spectrum view of the product lifecycle. It also manages several aspects of the product's development as it is worked upon by cross-functional teams spread across geographical locations.
Other major benefits that PLM software brings to business operations include:
- Optimized Product Lifecycle: PLM software helps reduce the time-to-market, costs, and optimizes resource allocation for a product's deployment.
- Plug-and-Play Frameworks: PLM software helps large organizations fix operational challenges by providing duplicable process frameworks that eliminate bottlenecks.
- Compliance: PLM software facilitates regulatory compliance for products, eliminating the risk of penalties, associated delays, and business loss due to non-compliance.
- Customer-centricity: The closed feedback loops incorporated within PLM platforms ensure that all teams are able to continuously make improvements based on customer feedback.
- Revenue Growth: PLM software offers organizations a comprehensive view and control over costs, and provides avenues for revenue growth and cost reduction.
- Scaling: Cloud PLM software allows organizations to add new products or product lines, providing agility and flexibility in expanding operations.
Employee Onboarding: Bringing a new employee on board an enterprise team or new department is made smoother with PLM.
- What is PIM?
At Suuchi Inc.,we understand the complexities of supply chain management. Our comprehensive suite of modules is designed to simplify user efforts, and this includes the functionality and workflows across GRID’s dynamic Items Module.
GRID’s PIM solution is a master-data-fueled, process-driven application for collaborating on product content. It serves as a single, central platform to collect, manage, govern, and enrich product information and content and connect and distribute it to other organizations in marketing, sales, operations, and eCommerce channels.
Key Features and Workflows of The PIM Module:
- Four-Layer Merchandising Hierarchy:
Experience a robust classification system for all items, ensuring a structured and organized catalog.
- Detailed Item Information:
Add specific details to each item, providing a comprehensive overview for effective management.
- SKU Management:
Take control by breaking down items into Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) based on customizable rules and criteria.
Manage SKUs for each item, providing required levels of granularity for inventory management.
- Four-Layer Merchandising Hierarchy: