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How PLM Can Improve Supplier Collaboration

How Product Lifecycle Management Solutions Can Benefit Both Suppliers and OEMs by Bridging the Gaps Between Organisations 

With manufacturers currently facing increasing demand, it is vital that businesses adapt to stay ahead. By working more closely with their supply chain, OEMs and manufacturers can adapt quicker to product changes, customer demand and developments in technology. 


To help close the gap between organisations, OEMs are now bringing their suppliers onto their Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Solution. This way Suppliers can update Product Designs, Bill of Materials, Product Specifications, Compliance Data and more, meaning everyone within the OEM has immediate access to the most up to date product information.
With the adoption of 3DEXPERIENCE by Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), the prestigious British car manufacturer has decided to bring some of their Tier 1 and 2 directly into the platform, allowing JLR to view Supplier Product Information as it’s updated and developed. This change allows for complete project governance and provides a single source of the truth where every person involved in the project knows they are working on the latest most up to date information.
Below are some of the other benefits that OEMs and Manufactures are seeing by adopting a single PLM Platform and bringing their supply chain on to that Platform.
Single Source of Truth
By adopting a PLM Platform any organisation can create a ‘single source of truth’ whereby all users within that organisation have a central repository for all product data. This approach ensures that everyone is working off the latest data and no-one is missing information. If you then bring your suppliers on to your PLM Platform the OEM and the suppliers are now working on the same product data, not the file that the OEM believes is the latest because that’s what they were emailed a week ago.
Reduced Time to Market
No matter what the product being developed, in today’s current climate it’s vital to ensure that the development cycle is reduced, and products are released to the market earlier. To achieve this OEMs need to ensure that the product is fully tested and ready for sale. By having a single PLM Platform that both the OEM and the supplier operate within provides valuable feedback earlier in the development cycle, along with the enhancement if virtual testing using a variety of simulation products.
Easier Route to Achieving Compliance 
No matter what product an OEM or manufacturer is outputting, there is always a level of compliance they must achieve to take the product to market. By bringing the suppliers on to the OEM’s PLM Platform, suppliers can ensure that they are uploading the certification and compliance documentation to the relevant product in a central repository, giving the OEM direct access to this information as soon as it’s available. The OEM is also able to see what compliance they haven’t achieved and ensure that they start the process earlier.
Complete Project Governance
By using a single PLM Platform for the OEM and Supplier to collaborate within, realistic expectations can be set using the project management solutions, allowing all users involved in the project to understand the timelines expected of them, whilst project managers can see real-time data of the project and react as any unexpected delays or disturbances are created. By having the suppliers operating within the same platform as the OEM there is no delay to accessing this data providing complete project governance, not just within the OEM but within the full supply chain.

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