It can be challenging for businesses to manage the entire product lifecycle and develop it manually. This is where Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software becomes necessary for businesses.
PLM software gives a comprehensive solution to assist businesses in streamlining the entire product development process. It centralizes the process of designing, producing, marketing, and releasing the product. Therefore, it is ensured through the software that the product is introduced and developed successfully in the market.
Businesses need PLM software to enhance teamwork and communication throughout the lifespan of a product. Since it helps teams to collaborate quickly and easily, the product development speed will go up, and the errors will go down. Therefore, you should also use it to make wise choices with sightful information about your products.
This article will introduce what PLM software is, its uses & benefits. Also, we will present a compiled list of the finest product lifecycle management software. These solutions stand out because of their special features catering to various business needs.
Why Do Businesses Use a PLM Software?
PLM software comes with an all-encompassing solution and can benefit businesses in multiple ways. It enables businesses to efficiently maintain product data and processes throughout the product life cycle.
Let’s explore an example to understand how and why businesses use PLM software. Consider a business that manufactures modern and cutting-edge bikes as a fresh product. Here is the full span of the product lifecycle:
- The design team of the company develops the basic idea of the bike.
- The product design is created by the engineering team.
- The production team starts making the bike once the design is complete.
With PLM software, the bike company can manage all the processes mentioned above. It ensures all team members can access the most recent design specs and documentation. Additionally, the company can handle the change request and version control to ensure everyone is working on the latest product version.
The company’s supply chain can also be managed using PLM software. The following processes can be maintained by the supply chain department:
- Include details on the components utilized in the product.
- Enlist the vendors that supply the components.
- Get the price of the products that are required.
After getting all this information, the company can use it to
- Streamline the supply chain
- Save cost
- Guarantee that product is made effectively.
From the above example, you can see that, using one software, you can maintain all the departments at once. Each and every department are working with the same product but with its required data. As a result, it becomes easier to do the following tasks:
- Maintaining product data in one spot
- Collaborate between departments
- Automate the full product development process
- Optimize the supply chain
Benefits of Using PLM Software
Product management software minimizes the effort required in product development in different ways. Here are the benefits of using PLM software:
#1. Simplify Product Development
With PLM software, you can handle product design, development, and production in one spot. It aids organizations in streamlining their product development process. This eliminates the necessity of data segmentation and reduces the risks of delays and errors.
#2. Increase Collaboration
PLM software improves communication between various teams and departments of a company. Moreover, it guarantees that everyone in a team is working with the single and latest product information. As a result, the risk of miscommunication while developing a product gets reduced.
#3. Decreased Expenditure
With PLM software, businesses can get improved product insights through the product development process. Companies can identify the areas where they can minimize costs. Therefore, the costs can be optimized by facilitating production, reducing material waste, or enhancing the supply chain.
#4. Implement Compliance
PLM software assists companies in making sure that their products adhere to industry standards and legal regulations. Moreover, it ensures that the products follow the relevant safety, environmental, and other requirements.
#5. Reduced Marketing Time
One major benefit of having centralized management over product data is a reduced time to market. PLM solution allows the design team to operate more swiftly and transmit design data to production. As a result, it takes less time to produce and market the product, which maintains competitiveness.
#6. Increase Product Quality
PLM software gives companies the ability to collect and manage product data. For example, companies get design criteria, quality standards, and testing outcomes. Hence, companies can ensure that their products fulfill the relevant quality standards by offering a single repository for product data.
#7. Boost Productivity
PLM systems can remove time-consuming operations like duplicate data entry into a different system, data correctness verification, and search for missing data. Additionally, it can lessen processing mistakes and related rework brought on by utilizing obsolete data.
This can be especially helpful for product development or operations employees because teams can concentrate on activities of greater value and boost their total output.
#8. Maximize Revenue Growth
With PLM software, you can get a significant return on investment (ROI) by delivering two key advantages: increased revenue and decreased costs. Growth in revenue is extremely vital since it contributes to profits four times more than expense reduction does.
In contrast to ERP systems, PLM software can manage cost management, cost reduction, and revenue growth.
#9. Accelerate Innovation
By deploying a PLM system, companies can increase their capacity for innovation while retaining flexibility and agility. Product teams can collaborate to provide the best ideas and finish optimal product design. But it won’t matter where they are located physically.
Additionally, companies can protect their intellectual property, ensuring that future innovation is not hampered.
Features To Look For In A PLM software
Before selecting PLM software, you should learn the characteristics that will make it ideal for your business. Here are some of the features that you should consider while choosing a solution:
Product Data Management (PDM): This feature lets you manage information about products, such as CAD files, BOMs, and engineering requirements.
Collaboration Tools: Effective product lifecycle management requires the capacity to work with several teams. These teams will be engaged in the product development process. Project management, process automation, and real-time chat are examples of collaboration technologies.
Workflow Management: Workflow management makes processes more efficient and guarantees that the right people are working on the right tasks at the right time. Finding and fixing process bottlenecks during product development is also beneficial.
Analytics and Reporting: This feature will provide you with important information about how the product development process is doing. As a result, you can make wise choices for your business and remove errors.
System Integration: Integration with other systems such as ERP, MES, and CRM systems. These integrations will assist in simplifying the product development process and reduce data silos.
Security Measures: It’s crucial to pick a PLM system with strong security measures to guard against security attacks. Since the software will deal with sensitive data such as product design and intellectual property, a strong security measure is necessary.
Mobile Accessibility: In light of the rising popularity of remote work, it’s crucial to choose a PLM system that allows for mobile access. Thus, team members can also access the product development process using the software from any location.
Now that you are aware of the features that must be present in PLM software. It’s time to learn about some of the best product lifecycle management (PLM) software available in the market.
Productboard is a powerful solution that aids product teams in gaining a clear understanding of their customer’s needs. It determines which features or products to develop next, ensuring everyone in the organization collaborates with the product roadmap.
- Craft road maps that can be customized to align with any customer requirements.
- Prioritize features based on consumer and company needs.
- Centralize feedback and use AI to understand client demands.
- Validate concepts and seal the feedback loop by including customers in product planning.
- Integrate flexibly with different platforms via integrations and APIs.
This tool helps you speed up the production process by focusing on what matters the most. Also, you can enhance the business’s progress by motivating all stakeholders with a strategy.
Thus, the time-to-market of the products is improved by maintaining transparency and fostering collaboration around product plans.
Atlassian’s Jira software is a powerful project management and issue-tracking tool. This PLM software is widely used by agile software development teams. It offers a variety of tools and features to assist in team planning, tracking, and managing product efficiency.
- Centralized dashboard to get all the information about product development.
- Robust issue tracking system to capture, monitor, and address software bugs & issues.
- Use user stories, problems, and tasks to divide the large concepts into smaller portions.
- Track and discuss your team’s work while maintaining complete visibility and transparency.
- Ship more quickie with the accurate and latest information.
- Real-time visual reports to improve team performance.
- The whole product development process is automated to maintain team focus and speed up workflow.
- Start the product and project development process with ready-made templates.
- Easily integrate with different tools to be the central source of information.
With Jira, team collaboration becomes flexible since everything is visible in one place. Real-time monitoring boosts the speed of project delivery significantly. You can release & market product faster since there is less friction in the development process. Moreover, organization-wide report visibility allows organizations to make wise choices.
Roadmunk is a PLM solution to put the whole organization on a customer-focused roadmap. It allows you to collect customer feedback and determine the project’s priority. You can easily explain your project plan using boardroom-ready roadmaps.
- Comprehensive PDF guides are available to create the roadmap within minutes.
- Boardroom-ready roadmap with timeline and swimlane visualization.
- Generate several roadmap visualizations from a single data set.
- Export visible & sharable roadmaps to URL, PNG, and HTML format.
- Prioritize framework to create product concepts based on collected feedback.
- Consumers and team members can submit feedback directly into the feedback portal.
- Roadmap templates are available for product, marketing, project, and technology.
- Guides are available for leveling up the project management skills and steps.
monday.com is a renowned work operating system (Work OS) that will assist you in managing tasks, projects, and workflows. It has a highly visual and customizable platform that centralizes your entire product lifecycle.
You will get some amazing tools, including product backlog, product roadmap, sprint management, Kanban, project management, and bug tracking.
- Generate and customize product roadmap with complete visibility of work progress.
- A fully collaborative platform that assists different departments in developing features.
- Modify your spring planning procedure with customizable views.
- Track bugs through an intuitive and centralized board view.
- Maintain seamless collaboration between departments through a single source.
- Manual and irrelevant tasks are minimized to focus on the main project.
With monday.com, you can create personalized roadmaps and Gantt charts and visualize more essential data. Therefore, you will get a single high-level overview of everything in your product development process.
Aha is a cloud-based product roadmap tool created to assist companies in coordinating their product strategy with the entire business objective. It provides a number of tools to assist businesses in managing product roadmaps. Moreover, it helps in setting product development priorities and collaborating with team members.
- Create a product roadmap for your business that aligns with strategic objectives.
- Get a thorough view of product strategy that helps the team make wise decisions.
- Capture and evaluate new product ideas from customers, team members, and stakeholders.
- Track product development progress, monitor resource allocation and make informed decisions.
- Collaboration tools for sharing feedback and contributing to product discussion, planning, and development.
- Accelerate product innovation through centralized customer feedback, prioritizing requests, and engaging the community.
- Integrates with various third-party tools such as Jira, GitHub Trello, Asana, and more.
Businesses looking to streamline their product journey will benefit greatly through PLM software. There are so many options in the market, but the optimal choice depends on your organization’s specific needs.
However, after carefully evaluating several alternatives, we’ve compiled this list with some of the best product lifecycle management software.
Each software comes with unique features and efficiently handles product lifecycle management. You just need to choose one that closely aligns with your business objectives.
Next, check out the best product roadmap software for streamlined progress.