The Definition Of PLM

One of the things that Aras Founder and President Peter Schroer and I spoke about yesterday was the confusion regarding the definition of PLM. I asked him what he thought about people who were still trying to find the right definition of PLM. Peter laughed, “I can understand why there may be confusion about the definition of PLM. If I go to each of my customers and ask them what PLM means to them, I will get a different answer. For one company PLM maybe all about quality assurance. For someone else it may mean process control. Another thing. CAD forms only about 20% of PLM. Rest all is the company’s processes and business logic. So while you can easily define CAD, its the other part that is fluid.

I tend to agree with Peter. I believe PLM means different things to different people because different people do different things. Or as Al Dean so eloquently put it, “PLM is easy to define. It’s 3 things. A product. Its lifecycle. And Managing it. It doesn’t need anymore fucking definition.”

  • Thanks for this post, I also have many people asking me for a PLM definition. And most the time i talk about product definition, lifecycles, workflows and collaboration.
    I think that as people had a definition of ERP softwares, they now want one for PLM. But PLM is really not a software. And as I see the actual technologies i don't think we will have huge SAP-like application for PLM. It will be numerous dedicated modules which will be able to share standard-based product data and information. As long as these standard are not yet applied, the best way is to use Open Frameworks like Aras Innovator.

    Yoann Maingon

  • So what do you manage? Shouldn't it just be Product Design Management? PDM system like some vendors use? It makes much more sense then PLM. And good design takes care of the whole life-cycle of a product. So adding life-cycle to it is just overkill.