Major trends in product innovation software include Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, cloud computing, mobile computing, augmented reality, and social collaboration. The strategies of leading PLM vendors are in flux as they try to evolve from older legacy-based custom approaches, while more commercial off-the-shelf applications (COTS) for PLM are gaining favor.
What is PLM?
Over time many separate engineering and product design software solutions have become mainstream applications for enterprises large and small. Larger organizations demanded that the information and databases of these abutting applications, if not using the same data, then, at a minimum, should coordinate and interchange the data.
Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems developed as an integrated suite of applications that help improve product innovation and support processes to drive higher levels of profitability. Though these systems have a plethora of subsystems and functionality, the real power of PLM technology comes from the integration.
There are many different offerings calling themselves PLM, and there are now even variations to the PLM theme (e.g., ALMs and PPLMs). An enterprise PLM system, however, is likely to have many, if not all, of the following modules:*
•CAD (Computer Aided Design)
•PDM (Product Data Management)
•New product introduction
•Configuration management (including classification management and Bill of Materials [BOM] management)
•Content and document management (including released document management)
•Supplier relationship management (including customer/partner distribution and costs/materials management)
•Collaboration (including real-time collaboration)
•Product quality/cost management
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