PLM is both a process and a system to efficiently manage product from birth to retirement. PLM manages and integrates product data, processes, systems, and people so that you make maximum use of resources, produce highest quality at minimum cost. PLM2.0 makes use of digital transformation technologies to leverage your PLM.
Quality data is a basic requirement for implementing Digital Transformation components like Big data and AI. PLM provides a single organized source/truth for this foundational data. Moreover data gathered from IOT can be utilized to better and faster product development by making it available on context to designers. It is much easier to succeed with Digital Transformation if PLM is already in place. Journey to DT begins with Digitization and is incomplete without Digitalization.
CAD, CAM +++ – Digitization tools
PLM, ERP, CRM +++ – Digitalization tools
AI,ML, IOT, AR/VR +++ – Digital Transformation tools
Unfortunately, PLM Software cost is quote based and varies depending on which product vendor you choose.
Vendors have made it non-transparent and complicated, sorry to say. Cost depends on modules and packages you choose.
Siemens Teamcenter, PTC Windchill and Dassault Systems 3DExperience are the three major providers.
The license could be perpetual, meaning you own it forever or subscription based (pay per year).In perpetual license you pay a fixed cost per number of license and you pay an annual maintenance cost for getting new product updates and features.
Considering everything, for just guidance we can assume that typical cost could be over 400 USD per user per year for basic PLM modules. There are also many cheaper options available in the market from 100 USD if you do not want top three or choose different bundle. There is also many SAAS PLM options available in market. Some might be specialized for your business for example lot of apparel PLM vendors provide specialized software for fashion industry. PLM Software is costly, and many companies are spending millions per year on annual maintenance making it even more important to implement properly and make full use of it.
First you need to pay annual PLM software maintenance cost if you have perpetual license or annual subscription cost. Then you need to spend on resources like PLM administrator, PLM consultant (internal or external) to enhance, change, upgrade PLM.
The more customization you have built on PLM the more maintenance you need to perform which includes more testing and upgrade efforts. SAAS PLM save upgrade costs by getting the upgrades automatically but your customizations should be in permissible limits.
It’s good to invest your profits in PLM not only because it will give good returns on investment but also it will save your business from extinction. Next generation customers will not buy your products if they do not get more variety and unique experience. New generation of customer is extremely impatient, have short attention span and have more choices. It means you will have to launch new models, products and varieties at a much faster pace and produce them leaner and it cannot be achieved without PLM. PLM can increase product variety without increasing staff leading to higher sales. PLM can reduce cost of your products by efficiently utilizing resources and avoiding rework. Businesses who were doing great but did not adopt technology for betterment faced extinction.
PLM has many benefits or usages. Some of them are mentioned below.
PLM stands for Product lifecycle Management
Components or modules in PLM are as follows:
Release or change management
Access or Organization management
Service Lifecycle management
Integration with MCAD, ECAD , ERP and other business systems
The answer to this question is relative. You can ask which PLM software is best suited for your company as the top 3 providers Siemens Teamcenter, PTC Windchill and Dassault System’s 3DX (enovia) platform go neck to neck with functionalities and others also provide competitive platform. Which software is best for you depends on factors like which functionalities are critical for your business, which CAD & ERP software you use, how many users do you have, What particular modules are important for you, what budget you have, what requirements you have. Generally after assessing these factors one can say which software is best for you.
PLM is always a unique journey with lot of learning and adjustment over years because each company has different product, different culture, different organization and working methods. A well defined PLM strategy is necessary to be on a defined path otherwise it is very easy to get lost in software complexities and ad-hoc changes. Strategy should comprise of high level preferences like customization vs configuration, inhouse competency building vs outsourcing, single site or multi site hosting, long term and short terms goals or functionalities to achieve, what business problems to prioritize etc. PLM software and resources are costly, so company must keep a tab on the benefits. If not benefits are achieved then the return on investment is zero.
You must first define all the processes like new product development, production (forecast to stock), procurement (requirement to stock), finance, service etc. Then define the sub-processes in detail. After that map those processes inside software tools like PLM, ERP, CRM, etc. There could be some overlaps or interfaces which are important. Principles like single source of data should be followed throughout.
Some PLM software are open source and can be tailor made to requirements easily. Degree of openness varies depending on vendors. Aras is perceived to be fairly open PLM.
One of the core functionality of PLM software is to store and manages CAD data like 3D models and 2D Drawings generated in modern day CAD platforms like NX (Unigraphics) , CREO (ProE), Catia, Solidedge, Solidworks, AutoCAD, Inventor etc. This functionality is called CAD integration which provides check-in, ckeck-out., version control and many functionalities. Often you can search a part in PLM software or in CAD software directly and work with it. Degree of integration varies between pair of CAD & PLM due to vendors. For example Teamcenter PLM and NX CAD are from same vendor Siemens and provide excellent integration. Similarly Windchil CREO from PTC, 3DExperience (Enovia) Catia from Dassault Systems are examples of highly integrated platforms. From few years there is also trend for PLM vendors to be CAD independent and they support multiple CAD systems at the same time. ARAS do not have their CAD software hence is vendor neutral.
PLM software can be accessed in different forms. You can install it as a client software and access it by logging in using user ID and password provided by administrator. This is called rich client which gives you full fledge functionalities. Now a days all PLM vendors are moving towards web based access where you can open PLM software in a web browser. There are also other methods like a light weight client and web client which are nothing but variations of first two methods. Software has different menus, icons, buttons to perform different operations like creating part, master data , BOM or searching etc. It also has workflows which can be used for approvals.
PLM software can be integrated with almost all business systems like ERP, Microsoft Office, MCAD, ECAD, Simulation and Other tools. Basic purpose of these integrations is to have a single source of truth (data) which often originates in PLM systems in the for of parts, bill of materials, data like part number, material, etc, and how to make instructions. PLM is pretty much recipe for the business product. Once recipe is final then the end product can be made in mass scale in ERP system.
SLM or Service Lifecycle Management is the part of PLM which specifically deals with aftermarket or service functions also called MRO or Maintenance and overhaul. Usually it is the extension of PLM in terms of module. It has functionalities to capture as-built BOM, as-commissioned and as-maintained BOM. It can track serial numbers, part replacements in service, create service orders, spare part lists and all the functionalities like service planning, service executions etc required for service.
PLM on one hand has potential to transform your business in many ways to make you industry leader and on other hand it is costly to maintain and can easily drain your finances and loose management support.
PLM Nordic has hand-picked every consultant who have worked closely within businesses and understand how to make best use of it.
We guarantee the success of your PLM program which will put you and your company to newer heights.
We believe that you can do much better with that annual spend on your PLM budget.
We are not in favor of increasing software complexity and spend efforts on maintenance. We would rather help you simplify and move to higher levels of functionality.