"Product Lifecycle Management is an integrating concept for the IT-supported organization and management of all information about products, their creation processes and throughout the entire product lifecycle so that the right information is available at the right time in the right form at the right place. Arnold et al. 2011.
Typical problems that occur within the company: Product data is handled differently by different departments. In addition, there is no uniform administration along the product life cycle. This leads to information silos, overlapping processes, loss of knowledge, redundant copies of data and thus to quality problems. It is, therefore, all the more important to define an integrated, holistic concept: Product Lifecycle Management (PLM).
Successful implementation of a holistic PLM strategy has a lasting effect on business areas:
PLM brings many long term benefits such as the reducing time-to-market, cost reduction, standardization, quality improvement, synergies, modularization, and flexibility.
Industrial companies differentiate themselves sustainably with well-structured data - in the sense of PLM, because digital services, which are becoming increasingly important, can be mapped more easily and quickly on this basis.
One of the most important aspects of PLM is the meaningful digital representation of real products in order to generate added value from this data and ultimately differentiate oneself in the market.
It should be noted that PLM is not primarily an IT topic, but rather a conceptual task - see concept "digital product".
"By implementing Product Lifecycle Management, we are not introducing a new IT system in our company, but a way of thinking about product development", says the technical manager of a medium-sized company.
For the implementation and realisation of certain tasks and aspects of PLM, different IT systems are required depending on the complexity of the product, which brings with them different solution modules (xCAD, PDM, ERP, etc.). Often companies have suitable IT solutions, but information breaks between the individual systems occur, which can be traced back to a missing, integrated, holistic PLM concept.
PLM encompasses all areas of a company: From innovation and development to production and logistics, after-sales and "phase out". The goal is to create a continuous integration of all data, processes and applications along the entire product life cycle.