What Is PLM?

What is PLM?

Product Lifecycle Management Helps You:

  • Visualize design changes
  • Adapt to altered product features
  • Ensure compliance with industry and regulatory standards
  • Standardize the production process
  • Manage and support ideation

Visualize design changes

PLM enables users across various departments access to design changes. When users alter a design, the new features are reflected across all aspects of a workflow, meaning that if red laces were changed to blue, the material ordering process would be adapted along with the relevant finances.

This also develops a chain of changes so that users can see who made alterations and in what order.

This functionality is especially beneficial because it reduces communication errors that can occur across different departments. Additionally, by reflecting the information in multiple locations, the program can emphasize the impact that a specific change will have on residual and existing workflows.

Adapt to altered product features

By having the ability to see changes as they occur, PLM can increase a company’s ability to adapt to new design iterations and for departments to alter their own processes to adhere to new developments. Here are some of the features that can help organizations improve their ability to adapt:

  • Change management
  • Document repository
  • CAD file management
  • Process documentation
  • Variant configuration
  • Product lifecycle analysis documentation
  • Engineering collaboration documentation

Ensure compliance with industry and regulatory standards

Ensuring that your products align with industry and regulatory standards is essential to operational success. Many software vendors offer PLM functionality that helps your organization confirm that products are compliant. Here are some of the standards that PLM solutions can help your company meet:

  • RoHS
  • Conflict Mineral Tracking
  • FDA Regulations
  • Environmental Standards
  • Medical Device Standards
  • Product Safety Standards
  • SEC Guidelines
  • SEC
  • FASB

Standardize the production process

By containing product data and designs in one centralized location, you can easily make sure that the production process is standardized so that you don’t produce faulty items under previous product iterations. Here are some of the capabilities that can help ensure that products are created effectively:

  • Bill of materials
  • Advanced display options
  • Alerts and notifications
  • Drill-down
  • Risk assessment

Manage and support ideation

Coming up with a new unique product or a tweak for an existing item isn’t possible without someone first generating an idea. PLM vendors recognize the importance of this first stage of the design process and often offer capabilities within their programs to support this endeavor. For example, many solutions provide real-time project visibility and collaboration tools so that users across different workflows can get together to come up with design ideas quickly and without having to go to stakeholders individually for input.

How Do I Select a PLM System?

There are dozens of PLM programs on the market right now, which is why it’s essential that the program that you go for meets all of your company’s needs. You’ll want to keep factors such as your budget, business size, and requirements in mind when looking at different vendors. However, the process of developing a requirements list and sorting through vendors to ensure that they meet your needs can be incredibly time-consuming. That’s why we at SelectHub created a requirements interface that’s easy to use and can help you find the vendors that align best with your business goals. Check out our PLM requirements checklist to get started on your brainstorming or read our article on the ins and outs of PLM to learn more about this technology.

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PLM articles are written and edited by:

Mariah Hansen

Lead Editor

As the lead editor at SelectHub, Mariah edits and manages content for more than 40 different software categories, as well as writing for a couple of them herself.

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Khaleel Hayes

Market Research Analyst

Khaleel Hayes is a market research analyst for SelectHub who crafts content for manufacturing, accounting, PLM, and PSA.

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Open-Source PLM Software: Top Solutions for 2020

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Selecting the best product lifecycle management (PLM) software is like going to the beach and selecting one beautiful seashell to take home with you – there are so many branches of PLM software that you don’t know which one to choose. We understand. But have you ever considered an open-source PLM ERP? Open-source options have features common to PLM solutions but is usually free. It allows you (or your IT team) to evaluate its coding to pinpoint bugs and add extensions to its interface to better align with your enterprise’s needs. Kudos to our top-notch research team for churning out our pics for the best solutions. Before getting down to our nitty-gritty list, let’s go over an open-source’s characteristics as well as the common benefits and features found within open-source PLM software.

Khaleel HayesOpen-Source PLM Software: Top Solutions for 2020
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PLM Requirements Evaluation of Features and Functionality

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Today’s product development has become more iterative and collaborative than ever before. In order to accommodate new design methods while maintaining quality, businesses are turning to PLM software (Product Lifecycle Management). These solutions can be a valuable addition to your business, but how can you know which one is right for your needs? By conducting a thorough PLM requirements evaluation, you can determine whether it’s a good solution for your needs, and if so, what key features you’ll want to prioritize.

Khaleel HayesPLM Requirements Evaluation of Features and Functionality
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The Best Cloud PLM Software Solutions


Making sure that your entire company is on the same page when it comes to product design is pretty tricky. Cloud PLM software is a great way to stop communication and process errors in their tracks. These solutions provide heightened visibility and workflow checklists to ensure everything is done right the first time. An example of how these programs can be used is by allowing different teams to approve product designs. This means that if the financial team doesn’t sign off on the cost of a design’s material, the production team would then move on to developing a list of substitutes that could be used instead.

Lindsey JenkinsThe Best Cloud PLM Software Solutions
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Top PLM Systems: The Ins and Outs

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A product lifecycle management system is a powerful solution that manages every aspect of a product’s digital life. PLM software can integrate data, workflows, business systems and people in an extended enterprise by facilitating the internal and external collaboration demanded by modern manufacturing environments.

PLM systems can help users gain greater visibility and control over the design process. With automated features that reflect changes throughout the product lifecycle, ensure legal compliance and develop statistical insights, PLM systems can streamline production operations.

Lindsey JenkinsTop PLM Systems: The Ins and Outs
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