For businesses that rely on customer service within the era of digital transformation, it’s more important than ever to have the right software in place to handle business processes. From integrations that keep customer information and pricing accuracy to data analytics that drive the supply chain, proper product data management helps companies avoid technical hurdles in their business systems. This is thanks in part to product lifecycle management software.

What is PLM software?

Product lifecycle management (PLM) software is the strategic process of managing the journey of a product from its initial concept to the offering of the service and its disposal. PLM is a solution that manages all of the information and processes at every step of a product or service lifecycle. This is helping to replace outdated systems by turning over access to real-time data to have greater procedures and regulatory compliance across supply chains. This includes information regarding items, parts, products, documents, and quality workflows.

Supply chains have become an ever-changing operating model, so many businesses are turning to embedded software services for a competitive advantage. These organizations are discovering that PLM technology is ready to help adapt and respond. Modern PLM software is quickly becoming the lynchpin to business transformation, creating a digital foundation through a holistic product development process. When these business processes are aligned with today’s PLM software, the product value chain is unified with supply chain execution for faster innovation.

What is the digital thread?

A PLM investment has been a driving force behind business transformation and other technological advancements for organizations. This is rooted in what’s referred to as the “digital thread” intertwining product lifecycle processes like artificial intelligence and machine learning. The digital thread is collaborative, tying together all elements of the enterprise and the data used to create a view of the physical and digital data lifecycle. The thread begins at the earliest stages of ideation and design through manufacturing, the supply chain, and delivery of those services, business systems, and processes.

The digital thread helps accelerate business value, breaking down walls from outdated systems to greater real-time transparency. By reducing latency and complexities, there is greater profitability through real-time transactional analytics. PLM software provides the digital thread that gives businesses access to the right information faster. This is helping to break down organizational barriers to unlock speed and agility while ensuring the highest product quality. This helps to develop what’s referred to as digital twins, a digital representation of a physical asset that can be built, maintained, or manipulated through a virtual profile during the product’s lifecycle.

What industries can utilize a PLM system?

Product lifecycle management software is highly beneficial to connecting the product value chain across an entire family of products. By unifying these processes, companies are driving faster innovation for new product introduction, while seamlessly integrating new data in real-time. This leverages the latest technology to avoid bottlenecks in workflow while harmonizing product data to make sure that this information is kept at the highest quality and adhering to the highest of global standards in compliance.

In the healthcare industry, PLM software is being used in the development of medical equipment, making changes to innovative products without the need to manufacture and waste resources before manifesting the best product possible. Within engineering, layouts and designs are being approached quicker than ever. The institution of these best practices is allowing for revisions in real-time, making all parties aware faster before proceeding with any construction.

With the methodology that PLM software implements across an organization, there’s a greater rate of success and real-time mechanisms to benefit businesses in all sectors.