Before even discussing PDM or PLM, what problem or problems are you attempting to solve?

Are you talking about controlling engineering information like requirements, drawings, bills of materials [BoM’s]? Are you talking about managing change requests?

Are you talking about controlling information in other departments? Like in the case of the marketing department – marketing requirements, data sheets, presentations, videos, demonstrations, search engine optimization, etc.

The Right Solution…

If the problem has an engineering focus, the solution requirements can be provided by engineering. These engineering problems can be solved by PDM or PLM software.

PDM software tends to be less expensive than PLM software. The per seat price may be similar but the implementation costs are much higher for PLM software.

The 2 main problems with PLM software – there are many more features that must be configured and since it is enterprise software, more people will be involved in the purchase decision.

Often times, this is a political battle that many don’t want to deal with.


Many companies start with PDM and then grow into PLM. Taking this path leaves you with 2 alternatives – when you implement PLM, discard the PDM software or spend money to integrate the two.

Purchase PLM software and do the initial implementation in engineering only solving your engineering problems. After success there, you can roll out PLM into other departments.

Is the cost of being wrong is less than doing nothing at all?

This is a complex decision that would be easier with some help. I can provide that help…


2 thoughts on “PDM or PLM?

  1. Your post starts with a statement which is for me the most important “Before even discussing PDM or PLM, what problem or problems are you attempting to solve?”. That’s why, before jumping in a PDM or PLM acquisition, I like to be sure that a good process and a good product development methodology is in place at first. The methodology can be implemented without changing the existing tools (which could be MS-Office tools also) so you are not putting at risk your business by changing to many things at the same time. In parallel to the introduction of the methodology, a company could start the PDM/PLM evaluation on a pilot project and look how well these tools support the methodology.

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