Product Lifecycle Management Software

PLM software can be thought of as an application designed to help users track all information around product design, production and consumption. It integrates all technology and systems throughout the product lifecycle, from design and simulation technology to procurement and manufacturing solutions.

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Showing 1 - 20 of 108 products
Showing 1 - 20 of 108 products

Adaptive Compliance Engine (ACE)

ACE Essentials A turn-key fully validated quality management system. Designed for those companies wanting to move into an electronic QMS. Be fully compliant in 2 weeks with FDA, ISO, and other regulatory bodies. ACE Enterprise A...Read more

4.62 (21 reviews)

11 recommendations

Unifize

Unifize takes a totally different approach to quality management operations. It is infinitely configurable to every quality process, meaning we map to your processes and not the other way around. Unifize brings people, processes a...Read more

4.70 (10 reviews)

11 recommendations

Genius ERP

Genius Solutions is an on-premise ERP system designed for small to mid-sized companies in Canada. This software is suitable for make-to-order, engineer-to-order and lean manufacturing firms in most industries. ...Read more

4.17 (79 reviews)

3 recommendations

Propel

Propel makes cloud-based software that helps manufacturers deliver customer-centric products. Propel combines Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Quality Management (QMS), and Product Information Management (PIM) into a single Saa...Read more

5.00 (1 reviews)

3 recommendations

MasterControl Quality Excellence

MasterControl Quality Excellence (a QMS Software Solution) is an integrated quality management system that eliminates the need to paper-based quality processes. It helps life-science companies adhere more efficiently to the ever-c...Read more

4.48 (94 reviews)

2 recommendations

SyteLine

SyteLine is an enterprise resource planning software created specifically for engineer-to-order, make-to-order, make-to-stock, and mixed-mode manufacturers. Customers in both discrete and process manufacturing can benefit from thi...Read more

3.89 (64 reviews)

1 recommendations

Jira

Jira Software is a business process management tool used by agile teams to plan, track and release software. Jira Software supports Scrum, Kanban, a hybrid model or another unique workflow. Jira enables users to create projec...Read more

ClickUp

ClickUp is a cloud-based collaboration and project management tool suitable for businesses of all sizes and industries. Features include communication and collaboration tools, task assignments and statuses, alerts and a task toolb...Read more

monday.com

monday.com, an award-winning collaboration and project management platform, helps teams plan together efficiently and execute complex projects to deliver results on time. monday.com team management and task management tool allows ...Read more

Wrike

Wrike is a cloud-based project management platform for teams of 20+ that is suitable for both large enterprises and SMBs. It supports remote work for various teams. This solution comes with Gantt charts, calendars, workload view f...Read more

Software pricing tips

Read our Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Software Buyers Guide

Subscription models

  • Per employee/per month: This model allows you to pay a monthly fee for each of your employees.
  • Per user/per month: Users pay a monthly fee for users—normally administrative users—rather than all employees.

Perpetual license

  • This involves paying an upfront sum for the license to own the software and use it indefinitely.
  • This is the more traditional model and is most common with on-premise applications and with larger businesses.

Rated best value for money

Airtable

Airtable is a cloud-based project management solution targeting small to midsize businesses as well as departments within larger companies. This system focuses primarily on data organization and collaboration. The system uses...Read more

Aha!

Aha! is the world's #1 product development software. Our suite of tools seamlessly work together to help teams turn raw concepts into valuable new capabilities — for customers and the business. Set strategy, spark creativity, crow...Read more

Odoo

Odoo Point of Sale (POS) is part of Odoo’s integrated suite of business applications. The module is available both on and offline and provides unified data across stores and has an integrated inventory management function. Od...Read more

Sage 100cloud

Sage 100cloud is a market-leading cloud-connected ERP platform for medium-sized manufacturers, distributors, and professional service businesses. Financials, budgeting and planning, inventory, supply chain, production management, ...Read more

Deltek Costpoint

Costpoint is Deltek's flagship financial management and enterprise resource planning software, now in its seventh version. It features three dimensional project accounting, rich business intelligence and integrated accounting....Read more

Quip

Quip is a cloud-based project management and task collaboration solution that help users work together and communicate without emails. Users can create and edit spreadsheets, documents and checklists in the system, and team member...Read more

Kinetic

Kinetic (the new name for Epicor ERP) is the cloud ERP solution built with manufacturers, for manufacturers. Epicor offers a cloud ERP platform with deployment flexibility (cloud, on-premise, hybrid) that provides manufacturers wi...Read more

CATIA

CATIA is a computer-aided design and engineering software designed to help systems architects, construction professionals, designers, engineers, and equipment manufacturers in small and midsized businesses develop 3D product model...Read more

JD Edwards EnterpriseOne

Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne is an enterprise resource planning software with primary features such as real estate management, human capital management, environmental health and safety and commodity trading. What is JD...Read more

Productboard

Productboard is the customer-driven product management system that empowers teams to get the right products to market, faster. It provides a complete solution for product teams to understand user needs, prioritize what to build ne...Read more

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: July 03, 2022

The goal of product lifecycle management (PLM) is to provide an infrastructure that companies can use to improve product quality. This is achieved by creating a centralized system to organize all data on all products, from initial conceptualization, to manufacturing, to sale and eventually to recycling.

For large companies with geographically dispersed teams, managing these processes and integrating data from throughout the supply chain is a complex strategy that requires software to help automate and connect disparate technology solutions. PLM software is the technology that ties these solutions together.

Here's what we'll cover in this guide:

What Is PLM Software?
Common Features of Product Lifecycle Management Software
Important Considerations
Market Trends to Understand

What Is PLM Software?

PLM software can be thought of as an application designed to help users track all information around product design, production and consumption. It integrates all technology and systems throughout the product lifecycle, from design and simulation technology to procurement and manufacturing solutions.

The advantages to using PLM software can be distilled to three main benefits:

Faster production. Through the use of computer-aided design software, designs can be quickly and easily created, and at lower costs. Meanwhile, computer-aided manufacturing functionality can manage machining processes to create more products, quickly.

More accurate production. PLM software can reduce the chance products deviate from design specifications during machining. Its users can also simulate and test designs before production to ensure finished products will be reliable.

More efficient production. Users can communicate with coworkers throughout the organization and share designs, production forecasts and other data. The creation of definitive, automatic processes for product build, assembly and disassembly.

These benefits combined lead to more organized, profitable product development.

 

Common Features of Product Lifecycle Management Software

The modules and features found within PLM applications will vary vendor by vendor: some systems are fully featured suites, containing modules to handle every step of the lifecycle, while other solutions offer phase-specific functionality to handle only one aspect of the lifecycle. Most applications act as the “integrator,” connecting various applications and data sources into one, coherent solution.

When evaluating PLM software, here are the key features and functionality to be aware of:

Application Description
Computer-aided design (CAD) CAD applications create two-dimensional drawings and three-dimensional models of components. Users of CAD software are able to produce designs more accurately and at greater speeds than professionals who design by hand. In addition, engineers can also reuse and update designs as needed.
Computer-aided engineering (CAE) CAE is an essential process to simulate products, anticipate weaknesses and build-upon preliminary designs to create safer and more structurally sound assets. Its features commonly include performance simulators, finite element analysis, mechanical event simulation and fluid dynamics analysis.
Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) CAM ensures that manufacturers create products precisely to design specification. Its applications communicate with machinery to create items exactly as intended, while creating the necessary documentation to trace manufacturing trends at later dates. These applications can greatly reduce raw material usage and improve production efficiency.
Manufacturing process management (MPM) MPM software manages and automates all of the processes that take place to machine products. MPM is also a key component in streaming processes through various reporting functions that look to reduce lead times and inventories.
Product data management (PDM) PDM creates a central repository for all information on product design, requirements and processes. PDM modules are often accessible from any device and offer data security features for users who need to secure production information. Bill of materials (BOM), CAD files, supplier and materials data and information on machine processes are accessible through PDM modules.
Reporting and analytics Analytics can be used to find where lead times are getting out of hand and costs are greatly overshooting estimates. Many systems feature pre-built reports, as well as ad hoc reporting that users can customize to their own needs.

Important Considerations

When evaluating PLM software, there are a few key considerations that you should keep top of mind:

Integrated suite vs. best-of-breed software. Buyers have a lot of options in this market. Many of the major vendors in this space offer multiple applications with varying degrees of functionality. When it comes time to purchase software to assist with PLM, buyers have three main options:

  1. Purchase PLM software from your ERP vendor. Most enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems offer PLM functionality with their suites. Example vendors include: SAP, Oracle and Infor.
  2. Purchase a best-of-breed PLM software application. There are PLM-specific vendors that offer a suite of modules and applications to manage every step of the product lifecycle. Example vendors include: Siemens, PTC and Dassault Systemes.
  3. Purchase PLM modules on a stand-alone basis. Buyers may also choose to purchase CAD, CAE or other modules on as stand-alone tools. Example vendors include: Autodesk, MasterCAM and CAMWorks.

All three options have their merits and faults for particular buyers. We recommend buyers first evaluate their needs, consider the systems that new PLM technology must integrate with and then evaluate the systems that best meet this criteria.

Cloud-based vs. on-premise. Cloud-based PLM software is still in its infancy, but many of the big vendors now offer to host some functionality and allow applications to be accessed via the Internet. The benefits of using PLM software in the Cloud are similar to many other applications, such as low upfront spend and easy online access.

Because of the proprietary nature of the information stored in PLM software, many buyers choose to deploy this type of system in a private Cloud, or an online network managed by the users’ company, rather than by the software vendor. This allows buyers to enjoy the cost- and access-related benefits of the Cloud while maintaining tighter control around their data.

Market Trends to Understand

As we look to the future of PLM, there are some glaring trends on the horizon. First and foremost is the advancement and blurring of the lines that we’re seeing in connected devices. Over the next 5-10 years, more and more products will become connected. While this will lead to exciting product performance and maintenance monitoring, it’s also a new component of product design that must be taken into account.

From a manufacturing perspective, more and more products are going to require baseline software components built into them. This will add another team for existing design, mechanical, electrical, and other manufacturing teams to work with. Organizations will have to determine where, when, and how to embed software teams into the traditional PLM processes.