PRODUCT LIFECYCLE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE ESSENTIALS
When evaluating different PLM software solutions, it is important to consider the impact to your IT resources throughout the initial implementation and as your business needs continue to evolve. Unlike traditional on-premises PLM software solutions which require costly IT expenditures for hardware, software, virtual private networks (VPNs), and other related items—cloud-based platforms include continuous enhancements from the PLM software vendor. This eliminates traditional upgrade and maintenance costs and ultimately reduces your total cost of ownership (TCO). Cloud PLM solutions sold under software-as-a-service (SaaS) models also eliminate upfront purchases with a pay-as-you-go subscription.
The ability to effectively manage bills of materials (BOMs) ensures that the latest designs are always accessed by the entire product team, including supply chain partners. It also ensures that teams have visibility into design and quality issues which may impact production and that costs are properly allocated.
Engineering Change Management
Engineering change management enables teams to process formal engineering change requests (ECRs) and engineering change orders (ECOs) more efficiently through automated approval routings and notices. It also provides teams a complete audit trail by documenting and tracking all changes to components, drawings, requirements, and other product information throughout the entire lifecycle.
A key function of PLM software is the ability to connect internal product teams and external supply chain partners in a centralized system. This facilitates real-time communication and allows for an efficient exchange of information to help accelerate NPDI.
Companies must be able to store, track, and manage all of the documentation associated with the product and quality record to meet the demands of today’s highly regulated environment. Document management allows for the centralization of documents such as product specifications, standard operating procedures (SOPs), quality policies, and training records. It also enables organizations to implement proper revision controls and audit trails.
Regulatory Compliance Management
If you are subject to export controls (e.g., ITAR, EAR), environmental regulations (e.g., RoHS, REACH, WEEE), and/or quality mandates (e.g., ISO), the PLM solution should make it easy to define, control, and track complaint processes and demonstrate adherence.
Project management enables teams to keep track of assigned tasks and key deliverables throughout the entire lifecycle to ensure that all product development milestones are met.
By linking requirements to the product record, manufacturers can better manage quality issues and customer needs throughout the product lifecycle and innovate rapidly.
The ability to track and analyze metrics provides organizations greater insight into their product and quality processes to drive continuous quality improvement and customer satisfaction.
By connecting PLM to upstream and downstream software solutions such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, engineering design solutions, and electronic component databases, companies can further streamline their product development processes and accelerate time to market (TTM).