Four signs to implement PLM

By using PLM solutions, everyone involved in the product life cycle has a better overview of the current status and can work together effectively. How to determine if you need to implement such a solution? Check out the new article to weigh all pros and cons.

Four Signs Your Business Needs to Integrate SAP PLM

Whether you are developing new propulsion technologies for shipping in the aviation industry or working on the intelligent refrigerator of tomorrow, the goal is the same. It is always about cost-efficient production, making informed strategic decisions, continuously improving and optimizing product quality — and naturally generating attractive sales. This is exactly where product lifecycle management comes in.

In this article, we will identify the key factors that help determine whether it is worth adopting SAP PLM.

What is PLM as a Solution?

Product lifecycle management (PLM) is a systematic approach that manages the entire cycle of a product, from conception to disposal. PLM software organizes a product's data, processes, and documentation. It offers a digital platform for all product-related information and activities to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase the innovative power of the product.

We have previously looked at PLM as a concept, its core functionalities, implementation plan, and other details. Read more in this article. Today, PLM is used throughout manufacturing to foster collaboration, drive innovation, and efficiently support growth through customer-centric design and product customization. In an era of digital transformation and accelerated change, PLM is critical in helping companies bring products to market faster — which directly affects the growth of the related software market.

Figures speak for themselves: the global market size for PLM was $16.76 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach $26.73 billion by 2026, representing a CAGR of 6.3% over the forecast period. One of the factors of the growing demand for cloud-based product lifecycle management solutions is that PLM systems provide advanced encryption techniques to safeguard sensitive product data, intellectual property, and trade secrets.


Which Industries Are Particularly Interested in PLM Adoption?

Effective product lifecycle management benefits various industries focused on product design, development, manufacturing, and distribution.

Manufacturing industry

PLM is vital in manufacturing because it helps streamline and manage the entire product lifecycle — especially for discrete manufacturing where the coherent sub-sectors operation is the key to success. From concept and design to production and maintenance, PLM systems provide a centralized platform to track and manage product data, collaborate on design iterations, monitor supply chain processes, and ensure regulatory compliance.

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Automotive industry

PLM is crucial for managing the automotive sector's complex and extensive product development lifecycle. Automakers can coordinate various teams, including design, engineering, manufacturing, and suppliers, to ensure effective collaboration and information sharing. PLM facilitates design optimization, prototyping, manufacturing process planning, and maintenance of vehicles throughout their lifecycle.

Electronics and technology industry

PLM plays a significant role in consumer electronics manufacturing due to the rapid pace of innovation and product iterations. It helps businesses manage the design and development of electronic devices, track components and configurations, support collaboration among teams, and maintain regulatory compliance. PLM enables efficient product release cycles, ensuring that IT businesses can bring new products to market as quickly as possible.

Aerospace and defense industry

In the aerospace and defense sector, PLM is essential for managing the complex and highly regulated product lifecycles of aircraft, missiles, spacecraft, and defense systems. PLM systems help coordinate design changes, manage bills of materials (BOM), track configuration management, and comply with stringent industry regulations. This industry relies on PLM to ensure safety, traceability, and efficient collaboration among various stakeholders.

Retail industry

PLM is increasingly adopted in the retail industry to manage the product lifecycle from design to production and distribution. For example, in the fashion apparel industry, it helps track and manage design concepts, patterns, samples, and manufacturing specifications.

Pharmaceutical industry

PLM is increasingly adopted in the retail industry to manage the product lifecycle from design to production and distribution. For example, in the fashion apparel industry, it helps track and manage design concepts, patterns, samples, and manufacturing specifications.

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What are the Signs Adopting PLM Software is Crucial for a Company?

#1 You struggle to innovate quickly

Modern companies face the challenge of digitally mapping the entire life cycle of a product — from development to production, operation, and waste management. But doing something completely different may be extremely difficult.

They say, “Operations beat innovation." It should be: "Innovation comes first!"

PLM software promotes innovation by enabling businesses to capture and manage ideas, customer feedback, and market insights. It facilitates the integration of customer requirements into the product design process, allowing businesses to develop products that better meet customer needs. It also helps manage the research and development process, ensuring efficient use of resources and reducing time and cost associated with product innovation.

Thus, the members of the innovation unit become the champions for innovation and customer focus and drive change in the core organization.

#2 You need compliance with more relevance

Companies must ensure compliance with regulations and technical standards over the entire product life cycle, the value chain, and all sales regions and applications. This is a challenge for globally active companies with constantly changing standards. Non-compliance can have a direct negative impact on market access, sales, and a company's image. On the other hand, compliance can serve to differentiate you from competitors if legal requirements are met in target markets that the competition cannot address.

PLM software helps businesses ensure compliance with various regulations and standards in order to preventively counter the specific risks in the product development process right from the start. It provides tools to track and manage product documentation, certifications, and regulatory requirements. This is particularly important in industries with strict regulatory requirements where non-compliance can have serious consequences, such as healthcare, automotive, and aerospace.

#3 It is difficult to cope with product complexity

Product-related data is generated throughout the product life cycle, and such data is constantly growing. Whether production, sales, or customer service — all areas must be able to access the same current data at all times. Otherwise, barriers will inevitably arise that prevent a smooth manufacturing process.

For future requirements, companies need a digital core in which all applications are networked. This is the most reliable way to ensure a consistent and sustainable corporate transformation. SAP PLM revolutionizes product design, product development, and sourcing workflows to handle added product complexity with the same number of people and resources.

Access to real-time product information by internal teams and external suppliers is a huge time saver. All the right people have access to the same data they need to drive cross-team collaboration and streamline workflows. You can easily create "what if" cost scenarios for hundreds of frames and models. Manage product specifications, track compliance information, and automate updates across products, categories, and groups.


#4 You struggle with software overload

There are many different software programs for companies, each focusing on other areas of the company. However, the situation in companies today is often so messed up that the internal processes and internal information architecture do not allow for a change to a digital company. Sooner or later, this may become the fateful question for many companies and determine their viability.

PLM can become a single source of truth for multiple departments. The system may serve as the central tool for administrative work and bring various apps together in one software solution.


PLM software helps businesses manage the entire product development process, from ideation to retirement. It facilitates collaboration between different teams, such as design, engineering, manufacturing, and marketing, enabling them to work together seamlessly.

Additionally, streamlined workflows and visibility into all product-related data with SAP PLM mean products can be approved faster and easier. If you want to reduce your time-to-market, enhance collaboration, and identify hidden blockers on your way to more effective product development — schedule a consultation with the LeverX expert today.

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