PLM Definition

Product lifecycle management software centralizes all of your product information into one location. This helps facilitate effective communication and collaboration between teams and individuals. Everyone can easily connect, organize, manage, control, track, and consolidate all of the required information. This makes it possible to have accurate and informed decisions made throughout the product lifecycle.

PLM Definition: Software to enable the centralization of all product information, data, and processes to increase collaboration and help users make better products through access to accurate information.

Why PLM?

Many enterprises struggle to keep product data accessible and organized between teams and employees. Organizations must have this information available and up to date to ensure that development stays on schedule. Important product decisions should be made based on exact documentation. Data needs to be accurate from the initial product ideation all the way through development and production. The solution to dealing with this organizational challenge is to use product lifestyle management (PLM).

Product lifecycle management helps your organization create better products by scaling information across all teams.

What is the Product Lifecycle?

Many people think the product lifecycle begins with an idea and ends once that product is in the hands of the consumer. In reality, it begins with an idea and continues until the product is discarded. Centralizing product information with a product lifecycle management solution is important to facilitating collaboration through all of the following stages:

  • Beginning of Life (BOL): Many engineers focus on this stage as the most important part of the product lifecycle, but it only includes idea conception and initial development.
  • Middle of Life (MOL): This is the stage where collaborating effectively is crucial and product lifecycle management really comes into play. All teams involved in a product need to easily be able to collaborate and have access to accurate product information so they can make informed decisions.
  • End of Life (EOL): Many designers forget about this stage because the product is out of their hands by this point. However, eventually, every product will become obsolete and need to be discarded. Policies must be put in place to understand how to deal with products once they are no longer in use, either through discontinuation, disposal, or recycling.

Centralized product information includes everything from all stages of the lifecycle including:

Beginning of Life

  • Notes
  • Sketches
  • Models

Middle of Life

  • Written processes
  • Manufacturing instructions
  • Final development notes

End of Life

  • Disposal strategies
  • Recycling options

Why Do You Need Product Lifecycle Management?

Without a robust product lifecycle management system in place, your organization could be making misinformed decisions that significantly impact your business. PLM allows your teams to streamline processes and increase productivity all while effectively deploying and implementing new products. Time is no longer wasted searching for product information, instead, teams effectively collaborate throughout the entire development process to produce higher-quality products and increase profits.


Product lifecycle management can help your enterprise:

  • Increased productivity – users no longer have to waste time waiting to get files from someone, they can easily access the information they need immediately
  • Improve development times – and get products to market faster
  • Increase profits – improved efficiency reduces costs during the introduction and production development stages
  • Create higher quality products – by having access to accurate product information throughout the development process
  • Avoid late design reworks – since accurate decisions are made from the beginning you don’t have to worry about costly late-stage changes
  • Improved enterprise resource planning (ERP) – centralized information makes it easy to export the relevant data downstream for ERP
  • Insight into critical processes – easily look into your organization’s processes and assess how they can be improved or changed
  • Meet compliance standards – all the information you need to create compliance reports is instantly at your fingertips
  • Improved communication – finally, your teams are on the same page throughout projects, speeding up review and approval processes

PTC Windchill – Our Preferred Product Lifecycle Management Solution

PTC Windchill is the smart, connected, and flexible PLM solution endorsed by NxRev. It easily integrates with all other PTC software, and all major CAD tools; connects to other enterprise systems and core applications, and enables real-time collaboration.

Choosing and implementing a PLM solution is a complex process. We’ve successfully designed and executed on many Windchill implementations. Our experience can save you money and time.

Want to learn more about PTC Windchill or our 3D CAD solutions? Contact us today!