Software

10 Best Product Lifecycle Management Software

Product Lifecycle is the duration of time a product goes from its start point to its decline stage. Mostly, this term is used by management and marketing professionals which helps them in finding the right time whether to increase their advertisement or reduce their prices. All these strategic management techniques are involved in Product Lifecycle Management (PLM).

Product Lifecycle is the same as the human lifecycle and includes four phases Introduction, Growth, Maturity, and Decline. Companies that handle these four phases have the ability to increase their profitability.

It helps to provide real-time data about the product. It solves the main issues of the company like customer services, suppliers, marketing sales and partner’s channels, etc. It supports both on-premise and cloud-based deployment.

Cloud-based PLM has more advantages than on-premise PLM as it provides the tools for managing products lifecycle from any location at any time. It focuses on the new design and iterations of the product. Communication between the internal teams can also be improved by using this technique.

The main advantage of using on-premise software is to have physical control over the information that is stored in the system. On the other hand, cloud-based PLM provides advanced security measures and its solutions can be varied by each functionality.

What is Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Software?

Product Lifecycle Management is the process of managing the product from its beginning to its distribution in the market. It is used to manage all the data required for the lifecycle and then save it for future use. It integrates all the data in one place by using the ERP, MES, and CAD software, etc.

With the advancement in technology product management is also complex and difficult to manage. At this stage, the product lifecycle plays an important role and manages the whole task efficiently. It includes many benefits like improved product safety, increasing sales and getting products to market faster, etc.

10 Best Product Lifecycle Management Software

In this article product, various Product Lifecycle Management Software are discussed. These software are rich in its benefits but there exist some drawbacks in it like no one can predict how much time will product take on each of its stages.

It is also difficult to differentiate one stage from another stage. Many other alternatives also exist in the market in order to solve such issues. Some of them are discussed here along with features, pros, and cons.

1. Upchain PLM

It is a cloud-based deployment software that is used for Product Development Management (PDM) and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM). It is designed for the purpose of organizing engineering products, design, and maintenance processes across the entire value chain.

It also helps to keep the stakeholders in the loop by using its iterative design and development processes. Its core features include Cloud storage, Microsoft Office Integration, Version control, Dashboard Creation, Automated Email Approvals, and BOM management, etc.

It supports the integration of SolidWorks, Autodesk Inventor, CATIA, and AutoCAD. Its main competitors are Propel, SAP, Team center, Arena ALM and QMS, etc. It also helps all the team members and stakeholders to work on the business application that is integrated with Microsoft Office plugins such as Outlook, Excel, and Word, etc.

Its starting price is $19.95 per month. Its typical customers are Small Businesses, Mid-Size Businesses, and Large Enterprises, etc. It supported the operating system of Windows and provide software training in the form of documentation, videos, and Webinars.

Features

  • Activity Dashboard
  • Document Management
  • Workflow Management
  • Data import and Export
  • Third-Party Integration

Pros

  • Good Control over the Process
  • Secure Collaboration
  • Organized Product Data
  • Built-in Project Management Tool
  • Seamless Connectivity

Cons

  • Setup Takes Time
  • Insufficient Change Management Protocols
  • Over-Budget Project
  • Delayed Project

2. Arena PLM

It is a cloud-based deployment software that is used by modern companies to design, produce and deliver products to market faster. It helps the electronic high tech and medical device companies to keep the supply chain on the same page.

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It has the ability to simplify the Bill of Material (BOM) and provides flexibility and control at every stage of the product life cycle from prototype to full-scale production. It offers the services of controlling production, product development, and quality processes at any time and any place.

It helps the users to track the complete history for Bill of Material (BOM). It provides all the design of electrical, mechanical, and firmware along with its documentation. It has a well-organized and user-friendly interface. Its free trial is available for a period of one month and has API access to integration.

It provides its customer support 24/7 and online. It provides its training live online, webinars, and in the form of documentation.

Features

  • Engineering Chain Management
  • Quality Management
  • Training Management
  • Supply Chain Collaboration
  • BOM Management

Pros

  • Easy to Update BOM
  • Easy to Track Level 1 Training
  • Requirement Management
  • A Platform for Documentation Design
  • Document Tracking

Cons

  • Difficult to use Deviation Feature
  • Page Reloaded again and again
  • More APIs
  • Supports Integration with Other Sites
  • Difficult to Add a Large Number of Users

3. Teamcenter Siemens

It is lifecycle management software that integrates all the product knowledge with process innovation. It helps all types of businesses in engineering analytics, document publishing, and project execution. It is the best solution for industries like aerospace, heavy equipment, and industrial machinery, etc.

It also manages the electrical and mechanical simulations of the data provided by the company. Team center change management feature will enable the users to view types and dates of modification, maturity level, etc.

It is an on-premise deployment software that provides control over the product data and manages bills of material (BOM), simulation, and other data at the same place. It is best for its change management feature, easy-to-use functionality, and integration with the CAD system.

Its loyal customers are Freelancers, Small businesses, Mid-Size Businesses, and Large Enterprises. It supported the operating system of Windows and its customer support is available 24/7. It offers its training live online, webinars, and in the form of documentation.

Features

  • Inventory Management
  • Design Management
  • Order Management
  • Change Management
  • Production Scheduling
  • Compliance Management

Pros

  • User-Friendly Interface
  • Fantastic CATIA Integration
  • Ability to View 3D Model
  • CAD Data Storage
  • CAD Extraction

Cons

  • Poor Configuration and Administration
  • Not good for small and Mid-Size Companies
  • Delay in Setup Download
  • Require Training before using it
  • Time Consuming Import and Export Sources Data Process

4. Autodesk Fusion Lifecycle

It is a cloud-based 3D CAD, CAM and CAE integrated software that is used for designing, Modeling, and Simulation Capabilities. It is used to deliver the right information to right deliver at right time in order to make the management process easy and effective.

It also helps in defining and automating processes to keep the product development on the right path. By using its global supply chain feature, users will be able to create a flexible and configurable collaboration 24/7.

It provides real-time access to product data and makes a graphical representation for quick interpretation. It is best for three industries including Industrial Machinery and Product, Consumer Electronics and High Tech, and Automotive Suppliers, etc.

Its free version is available for a period of one month after that consumer has to pay a subscription fee in order to use it further. Its starting price is $75.00 per month. Its typical customers are Small Businesses, Mid-Size Businesses, and Large Enterprises. It provides mobile support for Android only.

Features

  • Document Management
  • Compliance Management
  • Bill of Material (BOM)
  • Cost Tracking
  • Lifecycle Management
  • Quality Management

Pros

  • Taking Control of Change
  • Eliminates Bottlenecks
  • Getting on Same Page
  • Stay on Top of Status
  • Connect Business System

Cons

  • Free Trial Limited to 3-Axis Machining
  • Weak Support to Organic Sculpting
  • Steep Learning Curves
  • Uses Vast Amount of Device Memory
  • With Slow Internet Connection, it Becomes Leggy

5. Windchill

It is a product lifecycle management tool used to ensure product data management, product analytics, and product quality during the whole product lifecycle of the product. It manages all the necessary tasks of product data management at one platform by allowing its teams to work on multi-CAD systems and product data inside and outside the enterprise.

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It can handle all types of product data in 2D and 3D views. It is different from another alternative in the sense of having a rapidly developing role, closed-loop quality, critical to quality characteristic and it supports concurrent engineering with the factory.

It includes the feature of Modern Architecture, Secure Collaboration, Streamlined Upgrades, Flexible Delivery, and Admin Support, etc. It supports integration with another Enterprise system from multiple locations by using the Internet-based design of Windchill. It supports the operating system of Windows, Mac, and Linux.

It also provides the mobile support of Android and iOS. It has a built-in Quote-based pricing model system. Its offers its support in the English Language is best for Small Businesses, Large Enterprises, and Mid-Size Businesses.

Feature

  • Design Management
  • Product Data Management
  • Project Management
  • Product Analytic
  • Product Lifecycle Management

Pros

  • Comprehensive Product Data
  • User-Friendly Interface
  • Updated Architecture
  • Organize Company Information
  • Fast and Accurate Work

Cons

  • Difficult to Integrate Old Data
  • Issues in BOM Download
  • Old CAD Version

6. Oracle Agile PLM

It is a strategic approach to managing the lifecycle of the product from its initial requirement to prototyping, production, and customization service. It is an improvement tool to increase profitability and provide a single view of products across geographical regions and business processes.

It manages the product value chain and lifecycle efficiently than other tools. It is also known as Oracle Enterprise PLM. It includes product data management, engineering collaboration tools, and other governance tools.

The top competitors of Oracle Agile PLM are Arena PLM and QMS, UserVoice, and SAP PLM. Its typical users are Small Businesses, Mid-Size Businesses, Large Enterprises and Information Technology, etc. It helps in centralizing the data, creating quality products, and process streaming.

Its RFQ (Request for Quote) process is stabilized by using the Cost management feature. It provides a cost-effective solution for PLM. To manage the schedules of the product and resources it uses the feature of Portfolio management feature.

Feature

  • Cost Tracking
  • Requirement Management
  • Design Management
  • Product Lifecycle Management
  • Project Management

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Custom Searches to find Documents
  • Filter Information
  • List Creation
  • Maintain the BOM Structure

Cons

  • Data Guard Support
  • Improvement for DR
  • Application for Monitoring and Health Checkup
  • Doesn’t support competitive integration
  • High Subscription fee

7. SAP PLM

It is software that helps all businesses to create, plan and administer the production chain with greater control and management. It allows its users to centralize all the project portfolios in one place. It helps the product managers in costing, engineering development, and compliance processes on a single platform.

Stakeholders also use it to streamline product development, receive feedback from customers, recycling projects, and innovate products that are based on market demand.

It includes a variety of features like file management, portfolio management, engineering portal, and real-time production control, etc. Its loyal customers are Large Enterprises and it supports the operating system of Windows and Web. For customer support, it uses the medium of Help desk, Email, and Phone. Its customer support is available 24/7.

Feature

  • Document Management
  • Product Data management (PDM)
  • Project Management
  • Chain Management
  • Supplier Management
  • Compliance Management
  • Requirement Management

Pros

  • User-Friendly Interface
  • Good for Business Solution
  • Great for Asset Maintenance
  • Low-Cost Calculation

Cons

  • Navigation Bar is missing most of the Time
  • Time-Consuming Setup
  • Issues in Default Windows Function
  • Issues in Delivering the Product
  • No Copy-Paste feature
  • High Cost

8. Aras PLM

It is an open architecture system that is used for Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), lean product development, Advance Product Quality Planning (APQP), and New Product Introduction (NPI). Mostly, It is used for simulation and product lifecycle management.

It also provides the facilities of technical support, software update, and other subscription services. Its web-based design mostly helps businesses in aerospace, energy life sciences, transportation, and medical devices, etc.

It allows the managers to manage the product data according to the time of content and quick access panel. It is available at the starting price of $14.00 per month. It has a user-friendly interface that provides a customizable, easy to use and open-source system.

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In order to get full access to the complete platform, users have to pay a subscription fee for it. It provides its training in the form of online videos. For customer support, it offers its services 24/7. It uses the medium of Phone Support, Help Desk, and Chat for the ease of its customers.

Feature

  • Design Management
  • Document Management
  • Project Management
  • Compliance Management
  • Drag and Drop
  • Search/Filter
  • Workflow Management

Pros

  • Quick and Efficient Access to Documents
  • User-Friendly Interface
  • Logical and Intuitive organizing Libraries
  • Great Control on Document
  • Easy to Use and Customizable

Cons

  • Robust Procedure
  • Time-Consuming Customization
  • Not Good for Beginners
  • Tricky to Install and Download

9. Omnify Empower PLM

It is a software that is used by members of design and manufacturing to share all the information relating to design, manufacturing, and supporting products at one point. It provides a single, secure location to manage all the information of products such as documents, bills of material (BOM) and Engineering Changes, etc.

It includes both the on-premise and cloud-based deployment that has the ability to integrate with existing engineering and business systems like CAD, CAE, and ERP. Its top competitors are Arena PLM and QMS, PTC Windchill, and Oracle Agile PLM.

It is now a part of Arena as Arena was purchased in 2018. It includes the built-in solution of Microsoft.Net Framework and supplies bi-directional interfaces with Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) tools etc.

By using this software, users will be able to import and export the data from current business applications. It provides its training in the form of white paper, webinars, and live demos.

Feature

  • BOM Management
  • Change Management
  • Document Management
  • Requirement Management
  • Project Management
  • Quality Management

Pros

  • Flexible and scalable PLM system
  • Easy to use and Configurable
  • BOM Management
  • Engineering Change Order Processing
  • Customizable workflow
  • Collaboration between Engineering and Manufacturing

Cons

  • Inbox is full of “Action Items”
  • Difficult to use
  • Delay Response
  • Not good for Beginners

10. Propel

It is cloud-based deployment software that is used to deliver customer-centric products. It is used to combine all the management techniques Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Quality Management Solution (QMS), and Product Information Management (PIM) into a single platform.

It will help the companies to correct product issues with closed-loop quality, commercialize the product, and to create innovative products. It is also used to ensure the quality of the product throughout the lifecycle.

The combined platform of PLM, QMS, and PIM is built on the platform of a Salesperson that provides all the information related to market success. Its starting price is $1000 per month and its free trial of 30 days is also available. It is best for Small Businesses, Mid-Size Businesses, and Large Enterprises.

It supports its software in the English language and does not support API integration. It supports the integration of on-shape, Salesforce, and Sales Cloud. It offers Knowledge Base, Chat, Help Desk, and Phone Support for its valuable customers.

Feature

  • Customized Reports
  • Task Management
  • Supplied Quality Control
  • Third-Party Integration
  • Document Management
  • Activity Dashboard
  • Compliance Management
  • Reporting and Statistics

Pros

  • User-Friendly Interface
  • Easy to Use and Customizable
  • Scalable and Capable to use PLM and QMS Tools
  • SalesForce Interface
  • Cloud-Based Platform

Cons

  • Complex Data Model
  • High Subscription Fee
  • Issues in Clicking
  • Required Training to Use it
  • Not Feasible for Beginners

Conclusion

In this article, Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Software is discussed in detail. PLM is the management of the product from its starting point to the endpoint of distribution in the market. PLM software has many advantages but along with its benefits there exist some drawbacks also in it.

To overcome the drawbacks of PLM software many of its alternatives are available in the market. Some of the best alternatives are discussed above along with their features, pros, and cons.

After discussing all the alternatives it is concluded that Aras PLM is best to use as it has an affordable subscription fee and it provides a few of its features free. It also has quick and efficient access to documents.