SAP Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) application helps companies manage, track, and control all product-related information over the complete product and asset lifecycle as well as throughout the extended supply chain.
SAP PLM is designed to facilitate creativity and to free the process of product innovation from organizational constraints.
Enterprise resource planning (ERP), product lifecycle management (PLM) and manufacturing execution systems (MES) have traditionally been three very distinct pillars of the manufacturing technology puzzle. But in todays worldwhere timely product delivery and top-notch quality are the hallmarks of successthose individual pieces are coming together to create a foundation for a modern-day interpretation of lean manufacturing.
Manufacturers may be collecting a lot of data, but if they cant analyze it and turn it into actionable information that affects processes and makes them competitive, its not useful. Thats why theres a big movement to integrate the shop floor with the enterprise and PLM.
PLM strategy should identify what role PLM software will play now and in the future. This way, your solution will provide value in the short-term and create a foundation that supports many future initiatives. Companies get a positive return on investment from implementing PLM for initial projects, and, over time, get even higher ROI from their successive projects because they are leveraging the initial PLM investment.
Taking a look at the short- and long-term goals of your strategy should help you identify the scope of the PLM system you need. Areas to consider in PLM software include the ability to:
Manage products and product-related data, including PDM capabilities to control, access and share data
Track and execute product development and engineering projects
Define and optimize product portfolios
Manage and execute business processes, keeping in mind that the processes supported by PLM are expanding
Coordinate and support design efforts ranging from mechanical, electrical and software design to manufacturing operations planning
Ensure designs are validated based on product requirements, including transparency and traceability
When procuring a PLM system, it's important to understand who will handle the people- and process-centric parts of the implementation, how much of the work will be done by vendors or by their partners, and the availability of built-in best practices. Finding out who has implemented the system and how can save significant time and money and avoid common project pitfalls.