- 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.
- Line-Level Communication and Collaboration:
Foster effective communication and collaboration at every line level, ensuring seamless workflows.
- Data Integration with Controlled Access:
Integrate data effortlessly while maintaining control over access permissions, ensuring data security.
- Cross-Module Linkage:
Connect Items and SKUs seamlessly with other modules, creating a seamless and holistic view of supply chain.
- File Upload and Approval:
Streamline document management with file uploads at each line level, and ensure accuracy with a robust approval process.
- Seasonal Collection Management:
Stay ahead of trends by efficiently managing collections for each season within the Items Module.
Why Choose The GRID's PIM Module?
Design and pre-production teams enjoy quick time to value through operational improvements, reducing Operating Expenses by up to 25% and improving time to market by 30% -
- Item Details: Organise and track your items' specific details such as name, description, category, attributes, variants, and more to optimise efficiency and accuracy. Users can create custom fields and filters to suit business needs and preferences.
- File Management: Manage all your item-related files such as images, videos, documents, etc. at one destination. You can upload, download, preview, edit, and share files with ease and security. You can also link files to items, collections, or other files to create associations and references.
- SKU Management: Keep track of comprehensive information about your items such as inventory, price, availability, location, etc. Users can generate and assign unique SKUs to your items based on predefined rules and criteria. Users can also update and sync SKU information across channels and systems in real time.
- Collections: Systematically curate and organize your collections based on designs or seasons. Users can create, edit, and manage collections using drag-and-drop functionality. Users can also add items, files, or other collections to collections to create hierarchies and sub-collections.
Business Benefits That Process Owners Witness
- Efficiency Redefined: Streamline your inventory management processes, saving time and resources.
- Tailored Classification: Benefit from a sophisticated four-layer merchandising hierarchy for precise item classification.
- Communication Hub: Facilitate effective communication and collaboration at every stage of your supply chain.
- Secure Data Handling: Ensure the integrity of your data with controlled access and seamless integration.
- Holistic Approach: Connect your items and SKUs effortlessly with other modules for a complete supply chain overview.
- Seasonal Agility: Manage collections efficiently, staying adaptive to the demands of each season.
Business Benefits For Executive and C-level Users
- Faster time to market: Companies reduce the time and effort required to create and update product information and content. User groups automate and streamline workflows and approvals to speed up the product launch process. For executives, this means the ability to demonstrate and quantity a faster time to market, and thereby an increase in sales.
- Increased brand loyalty: Companies deliver consistent, accurate, and engaging product information and content across channels and touchpoints. User groups can personalise and customize your product experience to meet the expectations and preferences of customers. For executives,this means the ability to demonstrate and quantity higher sell-through and category stickiness, and thereby an increase in sales.
- Ability to sell more products faster, including cross-sell and upsell opportunities: Companies enjoy increased product visibility and exposure by distributing consistent product information and content across multiple channels and platforms. Users create and display relevant and compelling product recommendations and promotions to customers.
- Improved operational efficiencies by streamlining critical workflows and cross-functional collaborative data enrichment: Companies improve collaboration and communication across internal and external teams, such as suppliers, partners, agencies, etc. Users eliminate data silos, errors, and redundancies by using a single source of truth for product information and content. For executives,this means the ability to demonstrate and quantity lowered operating expenses through automation, reduced errors and redundancies.
- Conclusion: Suuchi's PIM solution is a proven, quick time to value, high RoI solution for managing and enriching product information and content. Companies create and deliver an engaging, omni-channel product experience that drives sales and customer satisfaction.
- Four-Layer Merchandising Hierarchy: