The best production lifecycle management (PLM) software will streamline the product development process, enhance product quality, and foster collaboration – allowing you to deliver exceptional products with efficiency and precision.
We’ve scrutinized 20+ providers across 7 key performance indicators to rank the best PLM software. We evaluated capabilities such as database management, requirement check, product lifecycle tracking, and regulatory compliance, to pinpoint the leading options in the market today.
1 PTC Windchill
PTC Windchill is a sophisticated Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software that assists companies in streamlining their product development processes, encompassing design, manufacturing, and service. For instance, it can aid in the development of complex machinery, such as automobiles or industrial equipment, by facilitating collaboration and information sharing among teams. Furthermore, it tracks modifications made to the product, including design adjustments, component substitutions, or regulatory compliance updates, ensuring that all stakeholders remain informed and synchronized.
In addition to its comprehensive functionality, PTC Windchill boasts compatibility with various devices, including desktops, smartphones, and tablets, allowing users to access vital information at their convenience. Security is a paramount concern for the platform, and as such, PTC Windchill employs robust measures such as end-to-end encryption, multi-factor authentication, and stringent access controls to safeguard confidential data. Consequently, organizations can rely on PTC Windchill to protect their intellectual property and sensitive information throughout the product lifecycle.
Who Should Use It?
Aerospace manufacturers represent one sector that may benefit from PTC Windchill’s capabilities. These companies must contend with intricate design specifications, a multitude of components, and stringent safety regulations. By utilizing PTC Windchill, they can effectively manage the vast array of parts and materials, as well as maintain compliance with industry standards and safety protocols.
Similarly, medical device manufacturers can leverage PTC Windchill to optimize their product development processes. The production of such devices necessitates adherence to rigorous regulations and quality standards, and the PLM software assists in managing these requirements while keeping track of product components and materials. PTC Windchill enables these companies to maintain a high level of precision and quality control, ultimately ensuring the safety and effectiveness of their medical devices.
Teamcenter, developed by Siemens, is one of our favorite Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software options. It stands out due to:
- Comprehensive functionality: Teamcenter provides a wide array of modules and tools to manage the entire product lifecycle. For example, it includes modules for managing product data, handling change requests, and ensuring regulatory compliance. The software also supports computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), and computer-aided engineering (CAE) integration, which allows engineers to work seamlessly across different tools.
- Flexibility: Teamcenter can adapt to different business needs and processes. It offers configurable workflows, user interfaces, and data models to match the specific requirements of each organization. This customization allows businesses to implement the software in a manner that aligns with their unique product development methodologies.
- Integration with enterprise systems: This ensures a smooth data flow throughout the organization. This includes integration with enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems like SAP and Oracle, as well as customer relationship management (CRM) platforms and various CAD, CAM, and CAE tools. These integrations help eliminate data silos and facilitate a more connected product development process
By managing product data and processes, Teamcenter streamlines product development and promotes collaboration. As a result, it improves efficiency and reduces time-to-market for businesses.
This PLM software is capable of handling a wide range of tasks. Key features include:
- Product data management
- Collaboration tools
- Change management
- Integration with CAD, CAM, and CAE tools
- Digital twin and digital thread capabilities
- Project and portfolio management
- Requirements management
Who Should Use It?
Teamcenter is suitable for businesses of all sizes and industries. It’s particularly beneficial for those in manufacturing, aerospace, automotive, and electronics sectors. By centralizing product data and facilitating collaboration, companies can enhance their product development process and boost their competitive edge.
Propel offers a robust set of features that make it an excellent choice for businesses searching for the best PLM software. Some of its key capabilities include:
- Cloud-based platform: Propel’s cloud-based architecture allows for easy accessibility and scalability, ensuring seamless collaboration across departments and locations.
- Configurable workflows: Propel offers customizable workflows that cater to the unique needs of your business, promoting efficiency and adaptability.
- Integrated quality management: Propel’s integrated quality management system enables businesses to maintain high-quality standards throughout the product lifecycle.
- Collaboration tools: Propel’s built-in collaboration tools foster effective communication between team members, suppliers, and partners, resulting in quicker decision-making and faster time-to-market.
Who Should Use It?
Propel is designed to cater to businesses across various industries. This includes manufacturing, medical devices, consumer goods, or technology sectors.
Based on examples of real-life use cases we sourced on the web, we’ve found that Propel has provided companies with the following benefits:
- Streamlined product development: A medical device manufacturer used Propel to reduce their product development cycle time by 50%, allowing them to bring innovative products to market faster.
- Enhanced collaboration: A consumer goods company implemented Propel to improve collaboration among its global teams, resulting in better decision-making and accelerated product launches.
- Improved supplier management: A technology company leveraged Propel’s PLM capabilities to effectively manage supplier relationships, leading to a 30% reduction in supplier-related issues.
- Increased customer satisfaction: By using Propel, a manufacturing company was able to integrate customer feedback into their product development process, ultimately increasing customer satisfaction and driving business growth.
PDXpert is set apart with its user-friendly interface, which streamlines the management of product information throughout the entire lifecycle. This software provides an efficient and accessible way to handle product data, enabling businesses to stay organized and make well-informed decisions.
The capabilities of PDXpert extend far beyond basic data management, as it offers numerous features that simplify complex tasks. For instance, its bill of materials (BOM) management allows users to effortlessly create, update, and maintain multi-level BOM structures. Additionally, PDXpert facilitates efficient document control by managing revisions and automating approval processes. These features save time and resources, proving invaluable for companies that deal with intricate product development processes.
PDXpert’s versatility is evident through its wide range of use cases, making it a top choice for companies across various industries. For example, it is extensively used in the aerospace sector, where it assists with compliance and regulatory documentation. Similarly, it has found a niche in the electronics industry, as it helps manage the rapid pace of technological advancements by streamlining design changes and component sourcing. Ultimately, PDXpert’s ability to adapt to the unique needs of each industry makes it an outstanding PLM software solution.
What is PLM Software?
Product lifecycle management software helps your business develop new products faster, improve quality products, and collaborate with your colleagues. By connecting and aligning data, processes, and technology, the software brings high-quality products to market fast.
PLM software keeps your business organized so you can manage the entire lifecycle of a product from conception through design and manufacture and finally disposal. By conducting research, products can be created to a targeted demographic. Mockups and prototypes are used to test the product before being moved into production. Then, the solution is created with the right amount of materials, costs, and timelines. From there, the products go out to the appropriate sales channels.
Read “What is Product Lifecycle Management Software?” to learn more.
Who Uses PLM?
Product lifecycle management is primarily used by manufacturing industries. Due to the vast number of parts they source from thousands of suppliers, they stood to benefit the most from this type of system. Created with the auto and aviation industries, PLM can now help any company that develops products and is looking to lower costs, improve quality, or shorten the time to market.
Today, certain manufacturers such as those in consumer packaged goods stand to benefit the most by using PLM in their complex environments. This means any manufacturer of goods or merchandise that customers use and replace on a recurring basis can reap the advantages PLM software gives their business. The biggest example would be food, beverage, cosmetics, and cleaning product manufacturers.
Why Should A Business Use PLM Software?
If a PLM software implementation is successful, it should save your company money in the long run via increased efficiency and improved time to market.
It’s important to not be drawn in by advertised low monthly prices, and instead, find the solution that will benefit your business the most in the long-run. Knowing exactly what the PLM software offers will give you the best insight into how many users truly need access, which can lead to savings over time.
PLM also provides the following benefits:
- Reduced risk
- Increased productivity
- Improved cost control
- Faster time to market
- Higher Profits
- Better Quality Products
What Does Product Lifecycle Management Software Cost?
Product lifecycle management software has a minimum average cost of $80/user/month, billed annually. This is for a cloud PLM license that is billed on a subscription-based pricing model. Some software vendors may offer a month-to-month payment structure (not paid annually) for a slight increase in the monthly amount.
PLM software can also be locally installed, meaning that your company would purchase the software outright and likely incur a large cost upfront for the licensing, implementation, and training. This cost will vary greatly depending on the number of users, the level of implementation, the amount of any included support, and more.