The Impact of Product Lifecycle Management on Time to Market and Product Innovation

Have you ever wondered why certain products reach the shelves quicker than others? Or why some businesses always appear to be at the forefront of innovation? Product lifecycle management (PLM) may be the key ingredient. Before we dig deeper, let’s define a few terms.

Defining Product Lifecycle Management

PLM, at its core, is the process of managing a product from its inception through design, production, and service life. PLM also enables manufacturers, and their supply chain partners, to streamline product development and drive continuous improvement.

Defining Time to Market and Product Innovation

Time to market refers to the period between the conception of a product idea and its availability for sale. Companies use time-to-market metrics during new product development (NPD) and new product introduction (NPI) as they strive to gain first-mover advantages (e.g., market share, sales revenue).

Product innovation is the introduction of new or enhanced products or services that offer the consumer greater value.

Product Lifecycle Management Impact - Time to Market


History and Evolution of PLM:

  • 1931: Otto Kleppner conceptualizes a precursor to PLM. Products go through three stages: pioneering, competitive, and retentive.
  • 1970: U.S. military issues standards on how government contractors should use configuration management. With a focus on management, quality, and interoperability, these standards become one of the key drivers for PLM.
  • 1980s: Unigraphics, a division of McDonnell Douglas, merges CAD and PDM systems to develop a computer-based PLM solution. American Motors Corp. first uses PLM to accelerate production of their vehicles, notably Jeep Grand Cherokee.
  • 2000: The first multi-tenant Cloud PLM solution introduced by (now Arena, a PTC Business).

Components of PLM:

Design integration, information management, and product data management are just a few of the components that make up product lifecycle management. In addition, several enterprise systems can integrate with PLM such as:

  • Enterprise Relationship Planning (ERP): Used to manage the day-to-day business activities.
  • Supply Chain Management (SCM): Controls the movement of materials, information, and finances involved in a product or service, from the procurement of raw materials to the product at its destination.
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Helps teams in communication, connects with social media, provides actionable information, and assists sales management.


Importance of Speedy Product Releases:
Being the first to market, a product can be the difference between success and being discarded in today’s competitive marketplace. Getting your products to market on time is crucial for several reasons:

  • Competitive Advantage: Being first to market can provide a significant competitive edge, especially in industries where products are rapidly evolving. It allows a company to set the market standard and capture market share before competitors.
  • Customer Satisfaction: Meeting launch dates ensures that customers receive products when they expect them, which can enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Market Dynamics: With today’s fast-paced market, delays can mean missing critical sales windows such as holiday seasons or industry events, which can have a significant impact on sales performance.
  • Brand Reputation: Consistently delivering products on time can strengthen a company’s reputation for reliability while delays can damage a brand’s image.
  • Resource Allocation: Efficient processes allow for better allocation of resources, avoiding the need for last-minute rushes that can increase costs, reduce quality, and delay time to market.
  • Supply Chain Management: Timely product launches require a well-coordinated supply chain, which can reduce the risk of disruptions and ensure smooth operations.

PLM’s Contribution to Reducing Time to Market

PLM drastically reduces the time products spend in the development phase by streamlining processes, assuring team collaboration, reducing errors and rework, and accelerating decision-making through centralized information workflows. The better control you have over your product development processes, the better you’ll be able to control and predict your time to market and get new technology out while it’s still new.

PLM Reduces Time to Market


Defining Product Innovation

Product innovation is the process by which a business or organization develops new or enhanced goods, services, or procedures.

PLM’s Role in Enhancing Innovation

PLM provides a framework for efficiently testing, refining, and implementing creative ideas.
Product designers can devote more of their time to creative product design and less time to paperwork thanks to PLM’s automation of administrative procedures. This change adds more value to the company while also streamlining procedures.


Balancing Speed With Quality

Although quickness is essential, it must not be at the expense of quality. PLM ensures innovative and high-quality market-ready products in record time.

Challenges and Limitations of PLM

Like other systems, PLM is not devoid of obstacles. Integration issues, change resistance, and initial setup expenses can be obstacles. With the proper training, a commitment to adaptation, and the selection of the appropriate PLM software, these obstacles can be overcome successfully.

When Properly Implemented, PLM Can Be a Game-Changer

Getting products to market on time is important for maintaining a competitive position, ensuring customer satisfaction, optimizing revenue, and managing the supply chain effectively. It’s a complex process that requires coordination across various departments and alignment with the company’s strategic goals. By improving product innovation and reducing time to market, PLM ensures that businesses remain competitive and pertinent in a market that is constantly evolving.

PLM streamlines and automates product development processes and workflows from product management to production processes. PLM makes it possible for operational efficiency to increase so your company can be at the forefront of innovation and bring products to market on time and on budget.

Arena PLM can help impact your company when it comes to product innovation and time to market.





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