The Essential Role of PLM Software in Digital Transformation

PLM Software

Product Lifecycle Management PLM software plays a vital role in today’s digital transformation wave, which is affecting manufacturing enterprises. Digitization holds the key to remaining competitive in this age. Companies regularly face mounting market pressures, forcing them to develop new products and business models.   

However, such ingenuity requires integrating data, business processes, people, and technology. Digital continuity is essential to avoid falling into the pitfalls of disruptions. This article explores how PLM software helps you drive growth, embrace change, and remain competitive. Most importantly, it highlights the vital role of PLM in a company’s digital transformation journey.  

But first, let’s see what PLM is and some of its advantages.  

What is Product Lifecycle Management Software?

Product lifecycle management (PLM) refers to the process of managing all the stages in a product’s life—from its ideation, development, launch, and service to its retirement. In other words, PLM software enables you to manage all things related to your product using a single platform.   

PLM is a technology that enables manufacturers to create new products and launch them in the market. Moreover, it makes it very convenient to track changes in your product’s lifecycle. With PLM, supply chain management, asset maintenance, and operational optimization have become much more convenient. Thus, it would be entirely true to say that the PLM system is essential for manufacturers today—whether small or big.  

Let’s look at some of the benefits of using PLM software.  

Advantages of PLM

  • Development & Engineering Efficiency: Research has revealed that the biggest impediment to efficient engineering results from silos. PLM breaks down silos by enabling a two-way flow of real-time data, which, in turn, facilitates collaboration and knowledge-sharing.   
  • Elimination of Errors: A robust PLM software allows you to rectify engineering errors in your product(s). Moreover, PLM also reduces manufacturing waste and helps you optimize your product costs conveniently.  
  • Reduced Time to Market: PLM empowers your project managers to handle overlapping timelines efficiently. This is possible because PLM software provides you with real-time information on all the stages of a product’s lifecycle.   
  • Enhanced Project Delivery: PLM software is known for improving workflow management. By empowering your team to calculate product costs more precisely, PLM lets you meet project deadlines efficiently.
  • Better Quality Designs: PLM gives your engineers and designers the deep insights needed to develop good-quality designs. You can integrate your PLM software with machine learning to derive new feature suggestions and incorporate customer feedback.  

These advantages and many more facilitate a manufacturing concern’s digital transformation. Let’s dive a little deeper to uncover how PLM aids digital transformation.  

PLM and Digital Transformation

PLM software is at the core of a successful digital transformation strategy for manufacturing companies. It enables you to create an organization geared toward responding to changing market needs and requirements. Such an organization is business-focused, flexible, and yet competitive for all the same reasons.   

It is also a company that quickly translates customer feedback into product changes. PLM software, as mentioned above, breaks down silos, thus allowing your various teams to collaborate seamlessly on a project.   

Without PLM software, a company cannot truly become a modern, tech-driven manufacturing company. However, a firm needs specific capabilities to transform traditional product lifecycle management strategies into digital PLM successfully. These include, but are not limited to, the following:  

  • The vision is to restructure your company’s PLM strategies.  
  • Ensuring digital continuity by leveraging digital PLM assets across the enterprise ecosystem.  
  • Enabling data transformation from data authoring to data consumption.  
  • Enabling intelligent business processes.  
  • Employing efficient and agile development and production methodologies.  

Enabling Digital Transformation with PLM

Products of the 21st century are increasingly complex. Cross-discipline interdependencies form part of the production processes of nearly all modern-day products. Here are some approaches and capabilities you can use with Oracle PLM to drive rapid digital transformation and business growth.  

  1. Strategic Enterprise Systems  

Your company needs to leverage enterprise-level systems to ensure digital transformation. Such systems include ERP, PLM, CRM, etc. These systems and platforms manage a firm’s interrelated data on a single platform. Therefore, companies need to maintain product data throughout a product’s lifecycle to derive cost optimization benefits and maximize value offerings.   

  1. Systems Engineering

You can combine systems engineering with PLM to create innovative systems and products. Most engineers choose either systems engineering or PLM to engineer products. Few realize that combining the two offers you immense capabilities to develop intelligent and innovative products. You would need a systems-level approach to unite the two methods.  

  1. Digital Thread

You need to connect your company’s strategic enterprise systems like Product lifecycle management with downstream and upstream data. This connectivity of data ensures digital continuity. A digital thread generates a closed loop between physical and digital domains, thus impacting the way products are manufactured and serviced.   

Digital threads aim to offer universal access to data. They enable this by following a single data set as it moves in and out of business processes. Today, all supply chains are global and, therefore, highly complicated. However, companies must know how product components, factories where they are built, and people intersect with each other. A digital thread helps achieve all this and more.  

You can employ a combination of modern technologies, such as IoT, PLM, and CAD, to analyze and manage critical product information across business functions and departments. This facilitates digital transformation.  

  1. Digital Twin  

A digital twin is a virtual representation of a physical person, product, process, or place. In the manufacturing industry, digital twins work in tandem with PLM software to provide a holistic view of business processes and products. A digital twin improves product design by collecting data from the physical counterpart using the Internet of Things (IoT) and sending it to the engineering team.   

Moreover, access to real-time information improves product quality by enabling early detection of product issues. Thus, using a digital twin with your PLM accelerates digital transformation and contributes to higher profits.  

That’s a Wrap!

For manufacturers, a successful digital transformation begins with choosing the right PLM software. PLM is the backbone of your company’s production and development management. There are far too many advantages to employing PLM software. Make sure you use it to drive greater business efficiency and growth!  

If you need help deploying, servicing, or upgrading your PLM software, feel free to contact us at [email protected].