As covered in ‘ What is PLM? ’ a Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Platform is for the organisation as a whole and is no longer limited to just the engineering and operations departments. For this reason, benefits can be found across the entire organisation, but to truly benefit from a PLM Platform an organisation needs to appreciate that it isn’t just software for the engineering and operations teams. This is a business platform designed for the entire organisation. If PLM is treated as a business-critical system and the time is taken to agree on a clear strategy then you start to gain some of these benefits:
1) ‘Single Source of Truth’ (Centralisation)
With Product data being utilised by nearly every department within a company it is easy for data to become out of date in minutes. If the data is not held and maintained within a central repository that everyone works from, departments can soon be working on out of date information. By having a centralised PLM Platform everybody is able to access the same data and see updates and changes as they happen in real time, reducing that risk of mistakes being made due to incorrect information.
2) Reduced Development Cycle
By creating that ‘single source of truth’ for the product data, it’s easier for design teams to collaborate through the development stage. Along with adopting other PLM and Manufacturing technologies, a product can be virtually designed, reviewed, analysed and produced. All this combined means that the time taken to develop a product can be significantly reduced.
3) Decreased Compliance Risks
Ensuring that a product meets all the latest compliance standards, requirements and regulations is a role that can quickly become uncontrollable. By managing all the documentation and processes related to ensure your products are meeting the relevant standards, requirements and regulations in a single PLM Platform, organisations can quickly and easily audit what has already been achieved and what needs to be completed.
4) Reduced Costs
With the adoption of a PLM Platform companies create a central repository of all their design and engineering data. This means when it comes to developing a new product, part of the work may already be done, and any lessons learnt from previous projects can be carried across to ensure that no costly mistakes are made.
5) Drive Innovation
With every member of the organisation working on a single PLM Platform, users can share and evaluate feedback from various departments that interact with the products, from customer support through to the sales team. This means the engineering and design teams can take this feedback and enhance and improve product development and innovation.
6) Enhanced Product Quality
By allowing the entire organisation access to the PLM Platform, the design and development teams are able to get useful information about existing products from the Sales, Marketing and Customer Services teams. This information is vital to the continued development and improvement of products to ensure ever increasing product quality. Having a central repository allows the teams to access the data in real-time and relate it to planned or proposed product innovations and development.
7) Increased Productivity
PLM enables companies to improve operational efficiency through removing non-value-added tasks, with streamlining and automating workflows and internal process where possible. Along with adopting design templates and automation, users can generate product information quickly without having to go from one-system to another and kick off workflows manual. With all the product, project and manufacturing information held in a central location teams are able to search, access and reuse that data quicker than ever before, along for the focus to shift and improve productivity across the business.
8) Business Scalability
With an ever-changing landscape, businesses are required to be agile and react to new regulations, changes in customer demands along with developments in their industry. They also have the additional challenge of ensuring they stay competitive. A PLM Platform allows the business to adapt and scale as required. They can increase the level of product customisation required, re-use existing parts to develop new products or products lines quickly, they are able to collaborate with partners and suppliers in a single platform as well as being able to provide a holistic view to every project and product within the business. All of these abilities combined mean companies can scale and adapt to changes to ensure they can grow and increase their revenue.
9) Improved Customer Loyalty
Customer feedback is crucial to any business, and with a PLM Platform that’s been adopted by the entire organisation, your customer service team are able to provide crucial customer feedback and experiences directly in to the PLM Platform allowing this data to be reviewed by engineering, operations and production teams allowing them to react to that feedback and adjust either the product or the production process accordingly, to ensure that customer satisfaction is increased, meaning you have improved customer loyalty.
10) Supplier Collaboration & Integration
OEMs are becoming ever reliant on their supply chain, and it’s not just the OEMs with Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers having numerous suppliers under them it is important for information to be fed back. As we know from Jaguar Land Rover’s (JLR) Case Study , JLR have brought in their suppliers in to their PLM Platform to help synchronise the teams across multiple organisations to ensure that can collaborate easier on new projects.
By having the suppliers working within their PLM Platform, JLR are able to ensure that they always have the most up to date product data without waiting for a supply to send them that data, and in turn can provide design reviews and feedback instantly to help streamline the product reduction process and accelerate the time to market.