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Purpose-Built Platforms Perform Better

Purpose-Built Platforms Perform Better-Feature ImageWhether you’re purchasing a big-ticket item like a car or house, or you’re purchasing a product lifecycle management (PLM) solution for your company, the same consumer-like mindset applies. It’s important to—pay attention to features, functionality, requirements, and conduct thorough research before making a purchase decision.

If you purchase a PLM solution without fully understanding the software’s capabilities, the decision can lead to issues like not meeting your product development needs, the inability to integrate your new PLM with existing systems or not being able to scale, and paying for features you don’t need. Plus, onboarding the wrong PLM solution can mean a financial loss for your company.

Most importantly, when you look for an enterprise PLM solution, take a close look at the platform. Don’t risk your company’s success on repurposed CAD, ERP, or CRM platforms. Choose a solution that was designed from the ground up for product development and commercialization.

Finding the right solutions for the job

With so many technology capabilities, features, and expenditures to consider, you need to know what solution will solve your issues and meet the challenges ahead. That’s why purpose-built platforms are ideal for companies that need an end-to-end solution designed specifically to support the PLM needs of the business. A purpose-built platform promotes flexibility, resiliency, and speed to market. These capabilities give teams an optimized, frictionless experience while enabling a more cross-functional operation rather than a collection of disparate components cobbled together to work like a system.

It’s not a one-size-fits-all

Currently, many products are created for one purpose and then end up being used for another. Consider handheld devices, music players, and cell phones in the early to mid-2000s. Several companies tried to build handheld personal digital assistants (PDAs) with music player and cell phone capabilities; however, some products performed well as a PDA, but poorly as a digital music player or cell phone.

On the other hand, Apple designed an iPhone from the ground up to address music, phone features, and other capabilities found in PDA devices. Apple created a purpose-built solution and delivered a truly superior customer experience.

The limitations of traditional PLM solutions on CAD and PDM platforms

Enterprise software vendors have taken a similar approach to the early PDA companies and have tried to build solutions on platforms that were intended for very different use cases. When it comes to delivering PLM, some vendors offer applications that leverage computer-aided design (CAD) or product data management (PDM) platforms. These solutions fall short because they don’t factor in the product development use cases for collaborating beyond the engineering team to quality, operations, and external supply chain partners.

Challenges of ERP-based PLM solutions in NPD and NPI collaboration

Some enterprise solution vendors have designed PLM solutions on top of enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms. The problem with ERP-based solutions is they are built to facilitate transactional types of use cases surrounding inventory management, production planning, and financials. They were not designed for internal and external team collaboration throughout the product lifecycle for new product development (NPD) and new product introduction (NPI) processes.

Limitations of CRM platforms in handling complex product lifecycle management

Other vendors have tried to build solutions on customer relationship management (CRM) platforms only to experience similar challenges. CRM systems are intended to manage the customer record from prospecting through customer support. They can manage customer records, sales opportunities, and related processes—but they are customer-based platforms, not product-centric platforms.

While these platforms are efficient at performing their designated tasks, they are not designed to manage complex product designs comprised of bill of materials (BOMs), components, manufacturer and supplier information, environmental compliance, and engineering change information.

Your company is unique, your solution should match

It’s important to leverage a solution for its intended use. If you need to manage financial information, invest in ERP. If you want to manage the customer record, get CRM. If you only need to manage engineering work in process, you can turn to PDM. But if you want to manage NPD and NPI processes, get a PLM solution that was specifically built for product development.

Arena PLM helps modern manufacturers transform innovative concepts into physical products with a platform specifically tailored for complex NPD and NPI processes. The NPI process provides a structured framework to guide your product development journey, from idea generation to market launch.

Streamlining product lifecycle management with Arena’s cloud-native PLM and QMS solutions

PLM streamlines information management and collaboration throughout the product’s lifecycle. The Arena product development platform provides connected PLM and quality management system (QMS) processes in the Cloud. Remote teams, manufacturing contractors, and supply chain partners can easily collaborate by having access to the latest product and quality information anytime and anywhere they need.

After nearly two decades of continual research and improvement, over 1,400 customers around the world have chosen Arena to help them design, produce, and deliver innovative products quickly.

The next time you set out to purchase a product or solution, do your research. Understand your company’s business requirements and ensure your purchase will meet the needs of your company. Don’t just settle for a hybrid of subsystems and components and hope the platform will function as you need.

Learn how Arena PLM can help you deliver high-quality products with our purpose-built platform designed for today’s complex product development challenges.