What Is PLM?

What is PLM?

Product Lifecycle Management Helps You:

  • Expedite time to market
  • Enhance product quality and reduce risks
  • Save money
  • Boost productivity
  • Increase revenue

Expedite time to market

Centralization and real-time updates on product processes ramp up product workflows for higher productivity, revenue and customer satisfaction.

Product lifecycle management software’s consolidation abilities allow engineers, designers and other cross-company departments to focus on their specific jobs instead of inputting data in Excel or sending disparate emails.

PLM also offers real-time notifications and messages to keep everyone on the same page in the event of product changes. When design teams work in harmony, they can finish small and large tasks quicker and get their merchandise out to clients faster.

Enhance product quality and reduce risks

Maintaining a product’s lifecycle management involves upkeeping product quality and ensuring your operations meet standard workflows, like the FDA, ISO, SEC and more.

Following quality and standard regulations means selling the best and safest product. You also diminish receiving fines, audits, lawsuits, recalls, company shutdowns and other consequences.

Reducing risks means your company knows how to play by the rules and has no reputation for putting consumers at risk.

Save money

Product lifecycle management software is the central authority when developing products because it offers all the correct details.

You can determine what materials to use and plan scenarios in different environments to save money on physical prototypes.

Automation can also reduce time and costly human errors. Like ERP systems, PLM software expedites workflows and increases efficiency to gain more profits and client leads.

Boost productivity

Centralizing design processes, prototypes, engineering and manufacturing notes, and more in PLM allows you to focus more on specific tasks instead of using disparate systems.

When people ask, “What is product lifecycle management?” they may be unaware of its capabilities. PLM can streamline data confirmation and ensure real-time access instead of adding information multiple times and causing errors.

If you need to make quick changes to oak bookcases to align with new environmentally-safe regulations, send those changes to your manufacturers, suppliers, stakeholders and more for higher awareness.

Increase revenue

What is a PLM if it can’t garner you a significant ROI?

PLM software can help you streamline processes to allocate high-quality merchandise to consumers faster, generating more revenue and robust customer retention.

If you sell high-quality bookcases and shelves that meet a client’s needs, chances are they’ll come back to your business for more goods. This person may even tell their friends and family about your company, which can build a better client base.


What does PLM mean?

PLM stands for product lifecycle management. This concept manages every stage of a product’s life, including brainstorming, designing, distribution and retirement.

What is PLM software?

PLM software is a system that streamlines how you manage a product’s life from beginning to end.

What is a PLM’s primary feature?

PLM offers numerous features to streamline workflows. Some must-have requirements include:

  • Risk management
  • Bill of material (BOM) management
  • Computer-aided design (CAD) tools
  • Quote process management
  • Collaboration
  • And more!

What is the difference between PLM and ERP?

Although it’s hard to resist confusing PLM software with ERP solutions, they are as different as night and day.

PLM software strictly focuses on managing a product’s lifecycle. Like ERP, it can integrate with other systems, such as accounting, CRM, BI, manufacturing, ERP and more, to centralize workflows.

ERP software is a suite of tools serving numerous company departments and sectors. One vendor can sell a system that offers PLM, BI, manufacturing, CRM and other capabilities.

Another vendor may sell an industry-specific system that integrates with disparate programs.

Think of ERP as a big apple pie. Each slice represents one department. PLM could be one slice of this suite because it coincides with other company departments.

How do I find the right PLM software for my company?

SelectHub offers a nine-step methodology for finding the right PLM software for any business size or industry called Lean Selection. The nine steps include:

  1. Establish
  2. Collaborate
  3. Define
  4. Distribute
  5. Justify
  6. Prove
  7. Rank
  8. Negotiate
  9. Sign

You can also find the right PLM by reading online reviews of top solutions or speaking with colleagues or friends in the industry about how they found the best software for their company’s needs.

Need more features? Check out our free requirements template for more must-have PLM modules.

Still not sure of how to find the right PLM vendor? We can help! Contact our team for individualized recommendations by messaging or calling 855-850-3850.

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We relentlessly collect and analyze data about software, then compile and share it so every company has the same access to the information. The information we gain is then used in our Software Selection platform to help you find the right software.

Your Guides

Our industry journalists proudly distill the helpful information you read on SelectHub, always on the mission to share what matters so you can make your best decisions independently.

PLM articles are written and edited by:

Zachary Totah

Content Manager

As SelectHub’s Content Manager, Zachary Totah leads a team of more than 35 writers and editors in their quest to provide content that helps software buyers find the right system for their company.

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Hunter Lowe

Content Editor and Senior Market Analyst

Hunter Lowe is a Content Editor and Senior Market Analyst at SelectHub. He writes content for Construction, Inventory, Warehouse, and Supply Chain Management.

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Khaleel Hayes

Market Analyst

Khaleel Hayes is a Market Analyst for SelectHub who crafts content for manufacturing, PLM, PSA, and Construction ERP.

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Top PLM Requirements, Features And Functionality

November 8, 2023
Today’s product development has become more iterative and collaborative than ever before. Businesses turn to PLM software (applications to manage Product Lifecycle Management) to accommodate new design methods while maintaining quality. These solutions can be a valuable addition to your business, but how can you know which one is right for your needs? By conducting a thorough PLM evaluation, you can determine whether it’s a suitable solution for your needs, and if so, what essential requirements and features you’ll want to prioritize.

Khaleel HayesTop PLM Requirements, Features And Functionality
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The Best Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Systems

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November 7, 2023
A PLM system is a powerful solution that manages every aspect of a product’s life from start to finish. An enterprise PLM system can integrate data, workflows, business systems and people with internal and external collaboration tools.

Product lifecycle management systems can help you gain greater visibility and control over the design process. This article discusses the top solutions, a product’s lifecycle, benefits, key features and more.

Khaleel HayesThe Best Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Systems
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The Best Open-Source PLM Software Solutions

October 27, 2023
Selecting the best product lifecycle management (PLM) software is like going to the beach and selecting one beautiful seashell to take home with you – there are so many branches of PLM software that you don’t know which one to choose. We understand. But have you ever considered an open-source PLM ERP? Open-source options have features common to PLM solutions but is usually free. It allows you (or your IT team) to evaluate its coding to pinpoint bugs and add extensions to its interface to better align with your enterprise’s needs. Kudos to our top-notch research team for churning out our pics for the best solutions. Before getting down to our nitty-gritty list, let’s go over an open-source’s characteristics as well as the common benefits and features found within open-source PLM software.

Khaleel HayesThe Best Open-Source PLM Software Solutions
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The Best Cloud PLM Software Solutions

October 27, 2023

Making sure that your entire company is on the same page when it comes to product design is pretty tricky. Cloud PLM software is a great way to stop communication and process errors in their tracks. These solutions provide heightened visibility and workflow checklists to ensure everything is done right the first time. An example of how these programs can be used is by allowing different teams to approve product designs. This means that if the financial team doesn’t sign off on the cost of a design’s material, the production team would then move on to developing a list of substitutes that could be used instead.

Lindsey JenkinsThe Best Cloud PLM Software Solutions
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PLM Trends: Future Of Product Lifecycle Management In 2023

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Staying on top of your product’s lifecycle requires paying attention to all details, like tending to children. Each product must have accurate designs, appropriate functions, compliance adherence and customer satisfaction. You also have to notify designers, engineers, manufacturers and stakeholders immediately of necessary revisions via PLM software. Technological PLM trends can also centralize product data.

This article will discuss PLM software in great detail and showcase the top trends in the PLM market for 2023.

Khaleel HayesPLM Trends: Future Of Product Lifecycle Management In 2023
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