PLM or PDM?

Product Lifecycle Management [PLM] affects many departments while Product Data Management [PDM] affects mainly engineering.

PDM and PLM are acronyms.  For the sake of simplicity, PDM software manages CAD files and bills of materials while PLM software manages all that and more.

PDM

If your objective is to just manage CAD files, then a PDM solution will do the job.

Typically, PDM software is cheaper than PLM software.  PDM implementations will also be cheaper than PLM because it usually stays within engineering and less people are involved with the software implementation.

PLM

If your objective is to manage all of the information about your product or service throughout their lifecycle then a PLM solution is more suitable.

Since PLM affects multiple departments, it involves cross-functional teams working together to determine how the software will function.  The complexity goes up dramatically.  A PLM solution will force some changes on the user community.

End users in the various departments tend to be less knowledgeable to process, structures, roles and decisions required for a successful PLM implementation.  They will need to learn about the software so that they understand what it can and can’t do.  They will need to learn about processes.

Most people are not good with ‘change’.  Managing change is a skill set that is rare.  It is very helpful to find an internal champion that can lead your user community through the benefits of this kind of solution and get them positively engaged in the project.  They should be able to help with managing change.

This blog just touches on some highlights; implementing PLM is a very complex project.  If you would like to learn more, drop me a line…

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