PLM [product lifecycle management] has been around for more than 25 years and companies are still trying to determine if it has been worth their efforts. PLM [product lifecycle management] is a very complex topic that requires a lot of education. The entire process of choosing and implementing PLM software is very complex – the more you know, the better decisions you can make.
What is PLM?
Product Lifecycle Management begins by managing the documentation of an idea for a product or service and follows through all of the documentation supporting design, product [service] development, sales, support until your company decides to end of life the product [or service].
Some of the Major Components of PLM
Document Management – You need a way to securely store all of the documentation that is created and consumed throughout your product/service lifecycle. It is important to implement version controls and to make sure that 2 people can’t change the same document at the same time.
Process Management – All documents go through some kind of process. Documents are written, edited and released even if all of these steps are performed by the same person. For compliance reasons, you need to make sure that processes are followed. The most expensive process in any manufacturing company is engineering change control – this is a good place to start.
Configuration Management – Many of your documents have parent child relationships with other documents. You need to be able to navigate those relationships. A good example is a bill of materials.
PLM Expansion – PLM isn’t just about engineering information; it can manage all of the information related to a product or service that is created or consume in any department in your company.
Ultimately, PLM is about Control and Visibility of all the information supporting your product or service through its lifecycle.
I intended this blog as an overview, but as I write this I see that I have likely raised more questions than I have answered. I will write much more on this topic in the future, in the meantime contact me to learn more…