Managing manufacturing operations is complex. The latest industrial revolution requires organizations to be armed with platforms that measure critical data points and connect devices to support multifaceted operations. When running these organizations, many people view Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) as a “nice-to-have” solution, rather than the essential foundational tool that it truly is.

While there are many other seemingly similar manufacturing solutions available like MES, ERP, and QMS – none of them offer the same tools as PLM. For a quick review:

  • ERP: manages short- and long-term inventory planning
  • MES: optimizes shop floor resources by minimizing bottlenecks
  • QMS: ensures regulatory compliance is met and audits are completed as needed

Although these solutions have their place, none of them help optimize profitability and manage new products like PLM. PLM helps organizations optimize manufacturing processes and keep costs low to maximize profitability.

PLM is the ideal enterprise solution for optimizing manufacturing processes maximizing profitability.

Benefits of Using PLM for Manufacturing

Maximize Margins and Profitability

PLM allows you to set cost targets for new products and determine if you will meet goals based on current operations. Additional tools help reduce and manage costs at all stages of the product lifecycle, even when it’s time to retire a product or introduce a new generation.

PLM can determine the most cost-effective time to phase in the new and phase out the old. It takes into consideration the remaining inventory and then calculates whether more components should be ordered to complete current sets and continue building and at what point to stop. Using these tools helps you sell the most units at the highest possible prices.

ERP does include accounting features but doesn’t track costs during the design development like PLM.

Streamline Costs and Maintain Quality Standards

Once you determine the target for new products, using PLM for manufacturing helps you stick to those standards both in terms of budget and quality. Before you start you will know whether margins are in line with your expectations and see how you can manage warranty and service costs while complying with industry standards.

MES and QMS systems may include some of these features, but neither focus on maximizing margins like PLM.

Easily Introduce New Products

PLM provides tools to foster your engineers’ creativity and support collaboration so you can create the best products. It includes project management capabilities to help you keep development on schedule – especially crucial when your time-to-market has a huge impact on profits. You have the tools you need to target budgets and can verify that you have the right components available. The leading PLM solutions integrate with your other systems like your ERP and 3D CAD systems to support multifaceted manufacturing operations.

PLM supports your engineering team’s creativity with improved collaboration and integration into various design solutions.

Increase Customer Satisfaction

Using PLM for manufacturing makes it easy to capture customer requirements and feedback so you can meet market needs. Engineers can ensure that manufacturing processes are predictable and reliable. This reliability means that you can make delivery promises to customers within your ERP or CRM and know that they are accurate based on optimized processes.

PLM allows you to capture customer requirements and stay on schedule to meet and exceed customer expectations.

Implement PLM for Manufacturing in Your Organization

PLM is more than just a “nice-to-have” solution in manufacturing. It provides you and your team with the tools needed to improve products, optimize processes, and increase profitability. If you are looking for a PLM solution to implement, we highly recommend PTC Windchill. If you’re curious as to why, check out our blog comparisons:

Or, if you are ready to implement Windchill PLM, contact us for pricing and purchasing information.