A unique and successful product is what every business dreams of. Organizations put in their all for the success of their product.
However, bringing a product into existence is a complex task. It involves lots of planning, proper plan execution, and strategies to keep it going.
Primarily, a product goes through four stages, namely, Introduction, Growth, Maturity, and Decline. All these stages are collectively known as Product Life Cycle (PLC). PLC describes the levels a product goes through.
What Does Product Lifecycle Management Mean?
Company X is a manufacturer of “Speedy Cars.” Each time they plan to launch a new car, they chalk out a complete plan.
Company X is well-aware of the challenges that they might face during different stages of product lifecycle. And to overcome the hurdles, they research and make plans and strategies to make their product a hit in the market.
Therefore, the whole process that involves building strategies and action plan for a product is called Product Lifecycle Management.
PLM helps a business to foresee the challenges that they may encounter during PLM. It assists in building a solution to each challenge.
Goal of Product Lifecycle Management
The goals of product lifecycle management (PLM) are to:
- reduce the marketing time,
- enhance product quality,
- Minimize prototyping costs,
- identify potential sales opportunities and revenue contributions, and
- reduce environmental impacts at end-of-life.
What are the steps in PLM?
PLM is all about making your product a success in the market. Just like the product, PLM is different for different businesses.
Though many consider PLM as a software, it is more of a process that helps in producing a successful product.
Product Lifecycle Management involves certain steps. Below we have seven steps that lead to effective Product Lifecycle Management.
Step 1: Build A Strategy
The first step is to develop the strategy. In this step, the business needs to define its needs. Also, it needs to clarify how the success will be measured. Since PLM varies from person to person, a company needs to be clear in its requirements and criteria. Drawbacks and strengths can also be identified in this step.
Step 2: Consolidate Information
Irrespective of what PLM process is chosen, it is mandatory to gather and organize all information pertinent to the product. Collecting all information pivotal for the process helps in reducing redundancy, conflicts, and confusions. Also, it will clarify that what information is accessible to what people.
Step 3: Work on Internal Collaboration
Once strategies are built, and the information is centralized, the next step is to assign duties to different departments. Also, a collaboration among various teams, i.e, manufacturing, technical, sales, design, etc. needs to be built. It is essential to maintain proper coordination and ensure that best steps are taken to create the product.
Step 4: Automate Change Management
PLM process will involve a lot of amendments and upgradations. It is imperative that these changes should be continuously updated in the information repository. All this to allow complete access to these changes to every concerned person without any delay. PLM reduces the change-cycle time by up to 80%. Also, it will highlight the department that has made a particular change.
Step 5: Self-Operate the Bill of Materials (BOMs)
After strategies are built, plans are executed, and work is assigned, PLM software automatically generates BOMs. The software prepares BOMs by extracting information from the design models and other information available within the data repository. BOMs are created within less time and complete accuracy.
Step 6: Linking the Departments
In this stage, communication channels are developed between different departments. For instance: Designing team needs to inform the manufacturing team if there’s a change in the design of the product. Also, the manufacturing team needs to intimate the marketing team to plan marketing strategies as per the new product. All this requires that information reaches its destination well on time, which can be done via PLM software.
Step 7: Tether Externally
In the final step, businesses move out to connect with the world. Here a communication link is incorporated between the business and suppliers and customers. This helps in understanding the market, customer needs, and prevailing trends.
Through this information, amendments can be made in the respective product to make it a success in the market.
Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is not something confined to big companies only. Instead, it is a process crucial for all types of business. It helps in building a robust and successful product with lesser wastage.