Definition: Product Lifecycle Management

What is product lifecycle management?

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is the process of managing the entire lifespan of a product, from its conception and development to its retirement. It encompasses all aspects of a product, such as its design, engineering, manufacturing, data management, marketing, and sales, as well as the resources that are dedicated to each of these aspects.

PLM software can serve as a centralized platform to integrate and store product-related data (such as bills of materials, specifications, and CAD files) from disparate data sources, facilitate collaboration among cross-functional teams, track product changes, maintain data quality control, and support efficient decision-making throughout the entire product lifecycle, among many other functions.

Some examples of PLM software are OpenBOM, Teamcenter, and Backbone PLM.

Is PLM the same as PIM?

PLM and PIM share some similarities, but they fulfill different purposes.

Like PIM, PLM focuses on organizing, optimizing, and distributing the data associated with products. Their aim is to manage and maintain the accuracy and accessibility of product data and facilitate cross-functional collaboration.

However, PLM is concerned with the entire lifecycle of a product, from its conception to retirement, and handles other types of data other than product information, such as engineering specifications, manufacturing processes, and supply chain data. On the other hand, PIM works only with product information.

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