By implementing a Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) system, companies both large and small, benefit by simplifying and shortening each phase of the product development process. However, deciding whether or not to adopt PLM software has been a challenge for smaller organizations due to a reputation of PLM being difficult to implement, requiring a great deal of resources to maintain and having excessive initial and long-term costs. The availability of PLM systems specifically designed for the small to mid-size market has helped to alleviate concerns and opened a door for Small to Mid-size Manufacturing Businesses (SMBs) to be able to take advantage of PLM, and realize the same benefits as their larger counterparts.
For SMBs who are hesitant to adopt PLM, this article offers the top five reasons why they should consider moving forward and investigate solutions (for their market), *For the purpose of this article, small to medium companies range from start-up to $500 million in revenue.
Reason 1: Reduce Independent Systems and Separate Silos of Data
PLM provides a central location to track and manage all product related information such as component data, Bill of Materials (BOMs), product documentation, engineering changes and revisions, quality issues, and compliance data. These systems reduce the number of manual/home-grown systems that are commonly used by SMBs (such as Excel spreadsheets, network files and folders, and paper process), for managing engineering documents/drawings, datasheets, and manufacturing files, and provide a single system for all users to access this information. Streamlining these data sources delivers more accurate product information, improves knowledge sharing and supports better design processes.