"What is PLM?" Good question, as there is still a lot of confusion about what PLM is in the industry. This answer should provide you with a basic overview.
Controlled Product Record
PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) is a business software investment that manages the product -whether that be a component or an assembly of components - through the entire life cycle, from concept to obsolescence (phase-out & disposal).
System of Record
PLM manages product data, like the Item Master and bill of material (BOM).
This data is maintained and kept consistent by virtue of processes like Change Management and Control Management. These processes establish and enforce rules for who is allowed to approve and release changes to the product. In this way, the integrity of the product is maintained and the intellectual property, such as product designs and product spec sheets can be properly managed.
In addition to managing the BOM and Item Master, the PLM definition has expanded over the years, integrating with other business systems, such as EQMS (Enterprise Quality Management System), which manages the quality records of a product.
With EQMS it becomes easier to control access to data from external sources (i.e., suppliers and contracted manufacturers) thereby, ensuring a product is compliant with the business requirements as well as government regulations.
In a nutshell, Product Lifecycle Management gets the right information to the right people at the right time.
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