Best Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Software for 2022

The best PLM software systems support all of a business’s product-related processes, from the first product idea all the way to product service.

PLM, or product lifecycle management, is the process of managing a product’s entire lifecycle from the moment the idea was conceived, through design and manufacturing, to distribution, and the eventual retirement of the product. PLM also describes the engineering aspect of the product, including its properties.

PLM software helps businesses generate systematic plans to ensure their products meet market demands at the lowest possible cost. Using a centralized PLM system avoids mistakes and conflicts by keeping stakeholders informed of design and manufacturing details, such as the bill of materials (BOM), pertinent compliance records, and the suppliers for each part of the product.

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Benefits of using a PLM software system

The best PLM software systems offer a number of benefits:

  • PLM systems ensure that products comply with specific regulatory standards and adhere to industry regulations.
  • PLM manages products even after they leave the factory, helping companies easily find and handle issues with products to minimize the cost of replacements. 
  • PLM increases productivity, helping companies reduce infrastructure costs, improve operational efficiency, and accelerate time to market.
  • PLM products help businesses have a deeper and fuller understanding of the product and product lifecycle to prevent over-buying or under-buying materials.

What are the best PLM software systems?

The best PLM software systems offer comprehensive product development, design, and supply management solutions. 

SAP PLM

SAP Product Lifecycle Management uses technologies like virtual sensors and 3D viewer support to modernize the product modeling and development process. 

The following products help SAP customers cover the wide range of enterprise product management:

  • Product portfolio management draws from accounting data and identifies potentialsap logo. project risks. 
  • The Engineering Control Center allows users to present product development data and accommodate CAD software requirements and data models.
  •  Lifecycle costing allows users to customize data modeling and integrate the product with other software like Microsoft Excel
  • Enterprise product development provides collaboration tools like task management and simulations like digital twins.
  • The SAP Teamcenter integration offers electrical design management and bills of material management.
  • SAP S/4HANA allows businesses to track dangerous goods, manage safety data sheets and labels, and track regulated substances. 

Key Differentiator: SAP is built to serve large enterprises and their product management needs, using software like SAP S/4HANA for compliance and providing an engineering control center for product development and materials information.

Also read SAP ERP Software: S4/HANA Cloud Review 

Upchain

Upchain is a cloud-based product data and product lifecycle management platform offered by Autodesk, a design, engineering, and construction software provider. Upchain allows customers to:

  • Use multiple CAD programs and plugins for other enterprise softwareAutodesk logo.
  • Track revisions and maintain version history
  • Give non-CAD software users, like their third-party partners, the ability to view and mark up 3D models 
  • Rapidly upload and download data stored in the cloud and compare file versions through comparison overlays

Key Differentiator: Upchain is a highly collaborative PLM solution that includes product data management and allows everyone involved in a product lifecycle to contribute to designs, not just engineers. 

Siemens Teamcenter 

Teamcenter is a PLM solution that can be deployed on-premises, in the cloud, or as a service through Teamcenter X. A few of the capabilities offered by Teamcenter include:

  • Document management and publishing for comprehensive documentationSiemens logo.
  • Environmental compliance and product sustainability, which includes environmental compliance grading and reporting and material and substance management
  • Mechanical design management, a product data management environment that compiles all mechanical computer-aided design data
  • Software design and asset management, which integrates application lifecycle management (ALM) engineering data with the PLM data and tools
  • The visualization module, which includes digital mockup and virtual reality features and allows customers to create virtual prototypes. The virtual reality design reviews support digital twin technology.

Key Differentiator: A wide range of products, including environmental sustainability features, make Teamcenter a good choice for enterprises that need a variety of product management capabilities. 

Infor Optiva

Infor PLM for Process, known as Optiva, is a PLM solution designed for manufacturers in the food and beverage, chemicals, and life sciences industries. Optiva capabilities include: 

  • Project management and team collaboration, using application integrations and GanttInfor logo. chart-style project views
  • Regulatory compliance for food labels and nutrition 
  • Cost optimization, which includes recipe and formula optimization and the option to integrate with ERP software

Infor Optiva reduces the time that manufacturers spend creating product nutrition labels and updating them. 

Key Differentiator: Infor Optiva is specifically dedicated to serving manufacturers, and its features are particularly tailored to food and beverage companies.

Also read: Enterprise Resource Planning | What is ERP Software? | Infor

Oracle Cloud PLM

Oracle’s product lifecycle management solution is cloud-based and delivered as software as a service (SaaS). Modules within the PLM platform include:

  • Innovation managementOracle logo.
  • Product development
  • Quality management
  • Product master data management
  • Configurator modeling

With Oracle Cloud PLM, businesses can mitigate supply risks and maintain a view of their suppliers during the product life cycle. Oracle Cloud PLM also offers product compliance management. 

Key Differentiator: Oracle is one of the biggest enterprise cloud providers in the world. This is a SaaS for businesses that want top technology for their PLM processes or already use Oracle products. 

ENOVIA

Offered by 3D engineering and design software provider Dassault Systémes, ENOVIA is a solution for developing successful product management plans. The ENOVIA platform specializes in seven different areas of focus: 

  • Collaborative innovationDassault Systemes logo - ENOVIA.
  • Collaborative IP management
  • Collaborative product development
  • Customization and IP exchange
  • Enterprise planning and collaboration 
  • Global sourcing and value network
  • Total quality management 

The collaborative innovation suite is a project management tool that directly connects product data to the ongoing project. Collaborative IP management allows enterprises to link data from third-party design applications to their CAD software. 

Key Differentiator: ENOVIA focuses on collaboration among teams and between software, so enterprises have more options for using data and applications. 

Read Best Project Management Software & Tools next.

Jenna Phipps
Jenna Phipps
Jenna Phipps is a writer for Webopedia.com, Enterprise Storage Forum, and CIO Insight. She covers data storage systems and data management, information technology security, and enterprise software solutions.

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