Regardless if a company produces high-tech electronics or bubble gum, they all face a common challenge: managing the end-to-end product lifecycle. To face these challenges, manufacturers have been investing in stand-alone software solutions (or worse, using spreadsheets) that aren’t integrated and don’t “communicate” with one another, which ends up making the process much more complicated than it has to be.

So, what are some of the features you should look for in a PLM solution? Here’s a quick list to help you get started:

1.   Product Portfolio Management

The first feature the solution should have is the ability to allow you to identify, prioritize, balance, and manage the mix of product development initiatives.

The solution should allow those involved in product development initiatives to derive priority scores and effectively evaluate competing investments to optimize the application of resources to the highest value opportunities.

2. Product Development Management (PDM)

It is absolutely crucial that the solutions you are evaluating can collect and centralize your product data in a fully integrated and automated manner giving you the organization advanced reporting capability.

This will help the organization improve overall qualityreduce costs and risks associated with increasing regulatory compliance.

3. Process & Workflow Management

Another important feature is a visual, easy-to-use and advanced process modeling and analysis tool to help users better understand, document, and deploy the product development processes are crucial.

It should also allow multiple modelers to work on developing and maintaining product development process models concurrently. The solution should use a comprehensive set of tools, empowering users to connect to existing applications and assemble user interfaces.

4.     Document and Content Management

Like I said earlier, the management, delivery, and control of documents and content is important for any company that develops and/or manufactures products.

After all, how do you expect a company to manage the end-to-end product lifecycle without being able to proactively manage the vast amount of documents and content that are created during the lifetime of the product?

5.     Centralized Data Repository

As you probably noticed throughout this post, making sure that everyone involved in managing product’s lifecycle has constant access to the latest data is the foundation of any PLM solution.

A centralized data repository that is always up-to-date and allows you to organize data according to your company’s needs will optimize the efforts of all of those involved.

As I mention at the beginning of this post, these are just some of the important features you should look for in a Product Lifecycle Management solution.

In the eBook 8 Resources Every Product Lifecycle Management Solution Should Have, I go into more detail about each one of the features listed above and included three other important features that are crucial to enhancing the optimization of every step of product lifecycle management.

‘Till next time!

Gus Oliveira

Author

Gus Oliveira

Gus Oliveira has a degree in Business Administration as well as a degree in Economics from The University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth (USA). Oliveira has experience in the software industry for Business Excellence also in the financial and business development field, working in large companies both in the United States and in Brazil as a financial analyst, business strategy consultant and a senior project consultant.

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