Top 10 Product Lifecycle Management Software

Felix Yim

December 8, 2021

Looking for a product lifecycle management tool? This article will help you quickly compare and evaluate the best product management tools. You’ll find a shortlist of tools, things to look for when selecting the PM tool for your organization, and in-depth reviews for each tool.

Table of Contents

Here are our Top 10 Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Software

1. Autodesk Fusion Lifecycle– Best tool for Manufacturers of high-tech electronics, consumer electronics, automotive suppliers, industrial machinery, and consumer products.

Autodesk Fusion Lifecycle is a product lifecycle management (PLM) software created by Autodesk, a well-known software company. It was created to make managing processes, projects, and people simpler and more effective by automating essential tasks and sending the correct information to the right people at the right time, while also allowing individuals to collaborate in a more community-based manner.

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Autodesk Fusion Lifecycle is a significant departure from the typically complex, hardware-based systems that have limited PLM’s ability to achieve its maximum capabilities. Because it is a cloud-based system, data may be accessed at any time, from any location, by anyone, and on any platform.

Key Features:

  • You will be able to collaborate with your worldwide supply chain in a flexible and adjustable way 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • It will assist in the organization, management, and tracking of product data, revisions, and releases of your engineering team.
  • You will get a centralized system for configuring and managing organized Bills of Materials and products that is both robust and simple to use.
  • It includes New Product Introduction project templates that may be customized to standardize phase-gate objectives, tasks, and deliverables by business unit, other criteria, and product line.
  • It has Change Management and Quality Management capabilities and functions.

Cons:

  • Users with no prior CAD knowledge will have a steep learning curve.
  • When you start drawing more complicated 3D models, the software becomes sluggish and unresponsive.
  • It consumes a significant amount of memory on your device.
  • The sculpting features are inferior to those found in competitor applications.
  • When you are in the middle of a project and your workflow changes, some functionality changes.

Pricing:

The starting pricing for Autodesk Fusion Lifecycle PLM is $920.0 per user per year. There are two main Autodesk Fusion Lifecycle PLM plans:

  • Pro costs $920.00 per year for each user.
  • Enterprise costs $1845.00 per user per year.

2. Oracle Agile PLM– Best tool for integration and product enhancement

Complex organizations may get the entire support they need to develop an integrated product lifecycle process with Agile Product Lifecycle Management. Agile Product Lifecycle Management, which was created from the ground up for the networked business, delivers a single view of products across business processes and geographical locations.

Agile Product Lifecycle Management allows you to achieve important business objectives such as better product quality, improved product innovation, shorter time to volume, lower costs, faster time to market, and regulatory compliance by optimizing the global product network.

Key Features:

  • Any issue will be immediately visible courtesy of the quality management tool.
  • The portfolio management tool will assist in the administration of a new product’s schedules, resources, and many other aspects.
  • The RFQ (Request for Quote) procedure will benefit from the cost management function.
  • Maintain the enterprise product database.
  • Enhance product development, launch, and support.
  • Increase the efficiency of the global product network
  • Accelerate the amount of product development
  • Boost your profit margins.

Cons:

  • The program was not intended to be used for training purposes.
  • The maintenance of reference designators may be more flexible.
  • The user interface is quite imprecise and confusing.
  • Under the affected items tab, mass uploading and deleting files is difficult.
  • The learning curve is steep.
  • When switching to the DR site, there is a lot of manual effort involved.

Pricing:

The Agile PLM Cloud is available as a subscription license, with bundles starting at $13,800 per year.

3. PTC Windchill– Best tool for the company that seeks high-quality data governance, and PLM solution

Windchill is a product lifecycle management (PLM) suite that facilitates product data management, product analytics, and product quality throughout the product lifecycle by providing a single source of truth for product data and processes. Windchill centralizes product data management, enabling teams to work on multi-CAD and product data both inside and outside the firm. View, modify, and collaborate on various types of digital product data in augmented reality, 2D, and 3D.

Key Features:

  • Data handling across multiple systems.
  • Assists with innovation
  • You will be able to work easily and reliably.
  • Users can customise the interface and choose their modules or tools with a customizable user interface.
  • Windchill’s built-in search technology ensures that users can quickly find the information they need.
  • Users can also minimize IT costs and workload while maintaining accessibility and security.
  • Reliability at any stage of the product’s life cycle and manages risk and quality

Cons:

  • In need of improvement on ECN reports
  • The formatting of ECN reports may be enhanced.
  • There is no way to add many elements to a Bill of Material at the same time 
  • Data synchronization with off-server data can be challenging in a range of situations.
  • Integrating old data might be difficult.
  • To construct the windchill BOM, the WT component of the files must be manually created.

Pricing:

PTC Windchill comes in three options: base, advanced, and premium, with additional module add-on packages starting at $263 per license per year.

4. Teamcenter Siemens– Best tool for product requirement engineering, analytics, project execution and document publishing.

Siemens Teamcenter is a system that attempts to improve operations and maximize revenue by using a more streamlined, yet advanced method to product lifecycle management. This solution is perfect for industries such as electronics, aerospace and defence, heavy equipment and industrial gear, consumer products and retail solutions, as well as energy and utility organizations.

Teamcenter assists in managing their electrical, mechanical, simulation, and software data from a single platform. Users may view types and dates of modifications, maturity levels, and observe how changes affect all products or documents in the business with Teamcenter’s change management function. Companies can visualize and measure the BOM without having to use the CAD authoring tools that were designed with BOM management features.

Key Features:

  • Change management, supplier integration, document management, manufacturing data and process management, and bill of materials management are all included.
  • Analyze and verify 3D designs made using a variety of CAD systems.
  • Provides a holistic, integrated materials management solution to assist your organization in developing creative, long-lasting products.
  • Integrates MS Sharepoint’s ad-hoc collaborative data and features.

Cons:

  • Lacks ease of use that required training before using it
  • The environment of the software is cannot be changed
  • It takes time to import or export data from any source.
  • At the client level, the Java piece is quite unstable.
  • It requires an inordinate amount of support personnel
  • The cost of using it per seat is quite high.

Pricing:

Contact Siemens PLM Software for pricing details.

5. Aras PLM– Best tool for midsize to large businesses in automobile, healthcare, aerospace, and other industries

Aras is a credible platform for digital industrial applications. Only Aras provides open, low-code technology for the manufacture, engineering, and maintenance of complex goods, allowing for the rapid supply of flexible, upgradeable solutions. Aras’ platform and product lifecycle management applications provide access to critical production processes and data across the lifecycle and throughout the extended supply chain to users from all disciplines and functions.

Key Features:

  • The system is flexible for business changes.
  • It has features for change management, BOM, Manufacturing process planning, System engineering, Configuration management, and Quality.
  • PDM/PLM integration features.
  • Document Management.
  • Requirements management.
  • All data is automatically synchronized, eliminating manual processes
  • Performance tuned to keep your team focused on what matters
  • Extensibility to change logic or data when your business processes change change
  • Customization allows for a perfect fit for your current system and business needs.

Cons:

  • The description field should be made required
  • Subsystem / Subsystem Version, Project Record Number are examples of terminology and labels that can be confusing (PRN)
  • The cost of maintaining and upgrading your solutions might increase.

Pricing:

There is no free version of Aras Innovator. The paid edition of Aras Innovator starts at USD 14.00 per month.

6. Arena PLM– Best tool for companies of all sizes from startups to large global enterprises

Arena PLM is a cloud-based platform that assists product development for inventive, electronic, high-tech, and medical device enterprises. Keeping their supply chain on the same page, allows internal teams and supply chain partners to collaborate more efficiently from early concept through volume production.

Arena PLM controls a product’s lifecycle from conception to release, including design, production, and distribution. The Arena PLM solution integrates business systems, data, processes, and people. It also contains product information as well as information on the company’s extended supply chain. For manufacturing and engineering teams, the platform streamlines change management (CM) and bills of materials (BOM).

Key Features:

  • Collaboration with Suppliers
  • It has Engineering Change Management, BOM Management, Document Management, Requirements Management, and Quality Management, as well as FDA, ISO, ITAR, EAR, and environmental compliance.
  • At a glance, it provides quick and easy insights into how your product-related business processes are doing.
  • Allows users to manage project progress in a variety of ways, including through customized stages with assignable milestones and tasks.

Cons:

  • Product revision control is a bit too manual
  • Some GUI at the request level is confusing.
  • It is often impossible to make further edits to a revision until that change is deleted
  • It is time-consuming to update information for a large number of products.
  • The import tool, which is supposed to speed things up, is lacking in documentation, making it difficult to learn.

Pricing:

Arena PLM licenses cost $89.00 per, and there is only one pricing plan available for all users.

7. SAP PLM– Best tool for businesses of all sizes for planning, designing, building and administering production with control and greater visibility.

SAP PLM, which is part of SAP Business Suite, gives firms all the tools they need to manage the product lifecycle effectively.

SAP PLM includes integrated product development, innovation management, and product compliance as core components. The software not only enables businesses to achieve quality standards and provide total visibility into their processes but also guarantees that they follow all applicable rules. SAP PLM is a targeted solution that is accessible for a range of sectors. Product development is aligned with the company’s strategic goals thanks to the Portfolio Management features.

The SAP product lifecycle costing module in SAP PLM allows administrators to construct costing structures, simulate product calculations, and import data from Microsoft Excel and other corporate applications.

Key Features:

  • It provides you with a centralized PPM.
  • It assists in product design, compliance, and cost, among other things.
  • Change management, batch management, and BOM management are all included.
  • It provides lessons and hosts webinars as a learning resource.
  • Provide internal and external users with role-specific, context-driven access to relevant information, tools, and services.
  • Provide an open-technology framework that provides organizations with up-to-date data for demand planning, manufacturing, purchasing, and sales.

Cons:

  • Setting up might take some time at first before you get the hang of it.
  • No copy-paste feature
  • When it comes to getting things into businesses, there are a lot of steps involved.
  • It differs from the normal features of Windows.
  • There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution; each firm must customize a great deal to meet its operations.

Pricing:

Pricing is available on request.

8. Omnify Empower PLM– Best tool for Fitness, Housing Associations, Recreation, Hospitality, Community Centres, and many more kind of business

Omnify is a comprehensive platform for marketing and organizing goods, as well as efficiently communicating with clients. By delivering a ‘Service Store’ instead of just another Booking Page, our technology helps businesses expand faster through improved conversion.

It also allows users to customise auto-emails, notification emails, and bespoke forms to increase engagement and retention, resulting in higher lifetime value. Teams can communicate as well with their clients all in one location thanks to the built-in Team Calendar, 1-click Emailing capabilities, and 2-way sync with Google Calendar.

Key Features:

  • It has quality, change, issue, and compliance management functions.
  • It contains functionality for document, BOM, and item management.
  • You can import and export data from your current business apps using the system integration feature.
  • It provides a variety of educational products, including white papers, training, webinars, and live demos.
  • A workflow approval process that is done electronically
  • Embedded images and graphical representations
  • Eliminating the need to search for product information in several directories, files, and systems.
  • Importing, exporting, and reporting to and from a variety of file types are all available.
  • features a Business App – Omnify Go (iOS & Android) so that you can manage your schedules and track attendance on the go.

Cons:

  • The end-user experience needs improvement
  • Clients had a hard time booking online
  • There are some odd choices in the design and the workflow.
  • it is not necessarily designed for a solo life coach

Pricing:

Omnify has a free version and a free trial available. The premium edition of Omnify costs USD 39.00 per month.

9. Propel PLM– Best for companies that manufacture physical products across several industries

Propel has created the only fully integrated PLM, PIM, and QMS solutions based on Salesforce, the world’s most secure, trusted, and versatile cloud platform. Our SaaS PLM, PIM, and QMS software make it easier for everyone to collaborate on all of the product information essential for market success, and it only takes a few weeks to get up.

Propel is the only scalable PLM that can successfully integrate all of your product records into one consistent location, allowing organizations to launch breakthrough products faster and make rapid decisions based on the information you have while maintaining compliance.

Key Features:

  • It contains features for quality control, change management, requirements management, BOM, product, task, information, and project management.
  • You can keep track of the audit’s whole history.
  • Change orders have a full approval history that includes reviewers, comments, and time stamps. 
  • It allows you to see how changes in commitments and products affect your goals.
  • Ensure that your salespeople, distributors, and partners have access to the most up-to-date product information, promotions, and training.
  • Capabilities based on customers
  • Flexible enough to record any type of product information or business procedure.

Cons:

  • It is difficult to come up to speed in the PLM space if you are not passionate about it.
  • The propulsion interface seems off.
  • The system becomes extremely slow and unusable.
  • It is way overpriced for what it is.
  • It is flexible, but there are far too many options for customization.

Pricing:

The monthly cost of Propel starts at $1000.00. There is no free version available. Propel provides a risk-free trial.

10. Infor Optiva– Best tool for food, chemicals, beverage, and life science manufacturers types of business

Process manufacturers will benefit from Infor PLM Optiva, a product lifecycle management solution designed exclusively for them. Optiva assists businesses in increasing production efficiency while lowering costs and maintaining quality requirements.

Optiva has all of the tools and processes in place to ensure that every single product produced through process manufacturing meets all quality and regulatory requirements. Infor PLM Optiva is a product development tool that helps manufacturers at every stage of the process. Optiva simplifies everything for manufacturers along the road, from concept generation through modelling, material selection to product formulation. Infor creates cloud-based business software for certain industries. It is the leading provider of industry-specific business apps built for the cloud.

Key Features:

  • It has Supply chain management, Financials and performance management, Human Capital Management, Enterprise Asset Management, and Enterprise Resource Planning
  • Customer Experience Suite
  • Data collection, analysis, and visualization
  • Collaborate with partners, customers, and colleagues with ease
  • Control inventory levels and manage the entire supply chain.
  • Simplify MTO operations to guarantee that consumers receive their orders in a timely manner.

Cons:

  • They could update the UI a bit
  • A bit complicated as it has a lot of capabilities
  • There is a learning curve to be aware of. It would have been impossible to find out how to navigate without having someone lead me through it or seeing training videos.
  • The software is a little difficult to work with, and there are a lot of things that could be automated but are not.
  • Filters for focusing on a single ingredient or item are difficult to come up with.

Pricing:

Corporate pricing for Infor PLM Optiva is only available upon request. For additional information, contact the company and get a quote.

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Solutions

PLM can be conceived of as (a) a store for all product-related information and (b) a communication method among product stakeholders, primarily marketing, engineering, manufacturing, and field service. The PLM system is the initial point of contact for all product information from marketing and design, and it is where it goes to be ready for manufacturing and support.

Word processors, spreadsheet and graphics programs, requirements analysis and market assessment tools, field issue reports, and even emails or other correspondence are all examples of product information production tools. A PLM solution, in our opinion, focuses solely on managing data that spans the whole lifecycle of a product, regardless of how that data is created.

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Software Must-Haves

  • Specialties in style and visualization

CAD capabilities are included in most PLM solutions to assist manufacturers in creating two- and three-dimensional graphical representations of items. Companies can improve accuracy without having to create repeated iterations of physical models by better understanding product requirements before production.

  • Collaboration program

Collaboration program help work to flow smoothly from department to department, avoiding lost-in-translation difficulties that often stymie teams and cause projects to stall.

  • Centralized data repository

The glue that holds these various processes and equipment together should be your product lifecycle management software. A PLM system, which acts as a centralized data repository, ensures that everyone has access to relevant information from a single location.

  • Content authoring

These tools will significantly boost collaboration and efficiency while also assuring that no image, file, or document is lost.

What factors should you consider while selecting a product lifecycle management solution?

When choosing a PLM solution, take into account the use cases that each choice covers. Begin by making a list of needs, then evaluate each potential product against that list.

You should also think about how well each PLM solution matches your needs and how much money you’re willing to spend on one.

In addition to the requirements you establish, the following characteristics of various PLM solutions should be considered:

  • Is the PLM software convenient to use?
  • Is the PLM software easy to handle with other devices?
  • Is the PLM software compatible with your current workflows? When opposed to bespoke development on a PLM platform, changing your process is typically more cost-effective.
  • Is it possible to coordinate and communicate across industries, enterprises, and teams using PLM software?
  • Are you able to swiftly implement the PLM solution and connect it into existing workflows?

What Is Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)?

Product lifecycle management (PLM) is the process of managing a product as it goes through the stages of development, launch, development, maturity/stability, and decline.

This management entails both the production and marketing of the product. From pricing and promotion through expansion and cost-cutting, the product life cycle concept assists business decision-making.

Elements of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)

  • Data is exported for use in downstream ERP systems.
  • Handles document design and processing.
  • Controls multi-user, password-protected access, as well as electronic signatures.
  • Bill of material (product structure) records are created and controlled.
  • Allows for the management of workflow and processes for the approval of changes.
  • Provides access to an electronic file repository.
  • Allows for item-specific task allocations.
  • Part and document metadata are included, both built-in and custom
  • Determines the content of items to ensure environmental compliance.

Some of the Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Benefits 

  • Releasing a product of excellent quality on the market
  • Enhancing product security
  • Expanding sales possibilities
  • Decreasing waste and errors
  • Product quality and dependability have improved.
  • Prototyping costs are lower.
  • Sales opportunities and revenue contributions can be identified quickly.
  • Savings by reusing original data
  • A product optimization framework
  • Improved ability to deal with seasonal fluctuations
  • Improved forecasting to save money on materials
  • Collaboration throughout the supply chain is maximized.

Professional product management is vital throughout the product lifecycle. The key is to be ready to change your sales, marketing, pricing, and promotional techniques as you progress through the stages. If you use this method, your products will last longer and be more profitable in the marketplace.

Why Do Companies Need Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)?

Firms producing goods encounter a variety of difficulties that are not related to design and production. Product lifecycle management (PLM) addresses these difficulties by assisting in the alignment and integration of essential resources, as well as providing easy access to product information to teams across the company.

PLM is meant to assist engineers in collaborating on the most recent product designs and regulating information throughout the lifecycle of a product. PLM solutions, on the other hand, focused solely on internal personnel due to their on-premise technology stack. Today, product lifecycle management as a technique has expanded to incorporate a broader range of functions, including customer support, sales, marketing, and channel partners, suppliers.

Original PLM systems were created with the engineer in mind due to the significant focus on engineering. Legacy PLM was intended to help engineers boost productivity, reduce product costs, and accelerate time to market. Today’s next-generation PLM software includes new product lifecycle management benefits across the entire organization, allowing for faster customers satisfaction and enhanced client transparency, as well as higher product quality, even for complex products, all of which contribute to increased revenue and faster product launch.

Conclusion

PLM software controls the entire product lifecycle, allowing for a comprehensive perspective of the product. It encompasses a wide range of aspects of product development across numerous worldwide cross-functional teams.

To quickly bring a high-quality product to market, PLM links and coordinates data, procedures, and technology. PLM, as a result of this alignment, not only assists smaller businesses in scaling up but also delivers agility and flexibility to larger businesses. It uses repeatable process frameworks developed on the scalable PLM platform to assist larger enterprises to avoid bottlenecks. It functions as a single source of truth from concept to consumer, paving the way for breakthrough transformations. A contextual collaborative PLM platform aids in the rapid resolution of issues that could otherwise result in significant delays or budget overruns.

To increase the company’s total throughput, executives must constantly think about enhancing operational efficiency, decreasing infrastructure costs, improving product quality, and accelerating time to market in today’s competitive industry. To preserve a competitive advantage, generate revenue and customer loyalty, and be more responsive, businesses must embrace a digital transformation strategy.

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