Today, challenges faced by product development teams include globalization, outsourcing, mass customization, fast innovation and product traceability.
Additionally, organizations are being asked to do more with fewer resources; product complexity is increasing while product lifecycles are compressing. Furthermore, to be competitive, manufacturers not only need to increase the rate of product innovation but also accelerate time to market, while tightly managing costs and relentlessly driving quality.
New product development challenges also include external factors such as product proliferation, consumer awareness, fast-moving consumer trends and changing government regulations. At the same time, manufacturers must comply with an increasing number of standards and regulations.
Equally important, interest in global product development is growing dramatically, driving new demands for distributed processes, collaboration, and global data management.
PLM systems are gaining acceptance for managing all information about the corporation's products throughout their full lifecycle, from conceptualization to operations and disposal. The PLM philosophy and systems aim at providing support to an even broader range of engineering and business activities.
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PLM enables the entire design and supply chain to track, document, and report on important details including design intentions, considerations, test results, decision rationale, and compliance requirements within the context of the as-designed product configuration.
As the product definition evolves, PLM maintains the relationship between all the moving pieces as they change through multiple revisions. Everyone is synchronized on the current version and product designers can reconstruct the complete, versioned product definition (not just the BOM) at any point in time.
PLM provides process support beyond the focus of ERP, giving product managers the change control mechanisms they need to ensure consistent review and approval and to demonstrate due diligence against evolving regulatory compliance and quality standards. They control the change process itself, instead of simply phasing the finished product into production after all decisions have been made.
Because PLM serves as the core product information management system, it complements ERP systems by synchronizing production systems on a single version of the product record across the extended enterprise.
Think of PLM as both a central data hub for all information that affects a product, and a communication link between marketing, engineering, manufacturing and field service. Your PLM system is where all product information from marketing and design comes together, and where it leaves in a form suitable for production and support.
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SoftExpert PLM Suite - Product Lifecycle Management - provides the necessary requirements and skills companies need to successfully manage information and facilitate communication and collaboration throughout the entire product lifecycle, from conception to design and manufacturing , to service and final disposal. SoftExpert PLM Suite also helps manufacturing engineering companies develop, describe, manage and communicate product-related information (PDM).
SoftExpert PLM Suite provides a centralized product development database that helps companies eliminate effort duplication by maintaining other product information such as costs, characteristics, specifications and development status in a single place.
SoftExpert PLM Suite also helps ensure consistent product development procedures and policies, eliminating confusion and lost time working "against" the process. With an integrated workflow system, SoftExpert PLM Suite allows organizations to easily determine process bottlenecks. And, by providing a complete audit trail for changes, companies can also save time when searching what data was changed, by whom, when and why.
The following are some of the benefits organizations can expect with SoftExpert PLM Suite:
Reduced engineer cycles through re-use of master data
- Reduced rework and waste
Improved product quality
- Reduced time- to- market
- Improved processes conformity
- Boosted productivity
- Better use of equipment assets
By adopting SoftExpert PLM Suite as their PLM solution, organizations have the guarantee that their products will be aligned with their business strategy, facilitating the management of the complex challenges associated with bringing new products to market.
Most importantly, SoftExpert PLM Suite enables organizations to improve overall quality and reduce costs and risks associated with a growing number of regulatory compliance and corporate governance processes such as those related to the ISO 9000 Quality Guidelines, Sarbanes-Oxley, FDA 21CFR Part 11 Electronic Record Keeping, Good Manufacturing Practices, OSHA Regulations, among others.
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Return on Investment in Product Lifecycle Management
Traditionally when enterprise professionals discussed the ROI of an investment, they were mostly thinking of the “financial” benefits. Today, organizations must also consider the “non-financial” benefits of an investment.
Financial Benefits include impacts on the organization's budget and finances, e.g., reduced costs or increased revenues.
Non-Financial Benefits are the so-called “intangible”, “soft” or “unquantifiable” benefits of an investment. Unlike financial returns, there may be no widely-accepted metrics for organizations to apply. However, the Softexpert solutions present undeniable potential for producing positive impacts on business performance and mission results. These include improved customer satisfaction, more precise information and a shorter cycle time.
When calculating the benefits offered by PLM, it is important to include both revenue growth and cost reduction. While cost savings are often calculated, many companies choose to reinvest reduced product development costs in product innovation and product development. This provides additional investment for top-line, profitable growth.
Aberdeen research shows that companies that leverage Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) technologies are recognizing significant top- and bottom-line benefits, such as increased product revenue (19% on average), decreasing product cost (15% on average) and reduced development costs (16% on average).
SoftExpert Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution offers the following benefits:
- Accelerated revenue due to shorter design times, earlier market introduction of new products and reduced product development costs.
- Reduced design time by avoiding wasted design effort through immediate, managed access to all design data, collaborative engineering, product development and quality management between multiple business partners.
- Accelerated time-to-market means a larger percentage of revenue from new products, where new products capture premium prices and drive higher margins.
- Accelerated release and change cycles for all product and with design data in a secure and central location, allowing multiple users to have simultaneous access to the data.
- Reduced product development costs that in turn reduce costs associated with inefficiencies:
- Collaboration between design, engineering, manufacturing, marketing, suppliers and customers.
- Optimized resource use.
- Clearly written instructions and high quality technical documentation.
- Easy, security-rich access to current information.
- Reduced Product Costs through:
- Increased reuse of data and knowledge.
- Improved design for both products and processes.
- Reduced variation.
- Reduced scrap.
- Reduced spending on low-value projects through portfolio management.
- Better portfolio mix, boosting the competitiveness of the products in the market.
- Investment in SoftExpert PLM will depend on the business unit size and implementation approach.
Return on Investment (%)
- ((((Total Annual Savings) x n years) – Initial Investment) / Initial Investment) x 100.
Payback Period (years)
- Initial Investment / Total Annual Savings.
- Improved focus on innovation, collaboration and change processes themselves as opposed to the data or tool, as well as improved focus on the integration of the business as a whole.
- Improved client satisfaction ratings by reducing manufacturing process defects, reducing the number of returns and recalls and reducing the number of customer complaints.
- Increased customer satisfaction that leads to improved customer retention rate, reputation, market share and revenue.
- Increased innovation rate, part reuse factor, product traceability and ensure 100% configuration conformity.
- Improved regulatory compliance. SoftExpert allows integration of compliance management capabilities into current business processes.
- Less paper work and less paper needed to print out reports, due to customized views and the comprehensive dashboard.
- Reduced project start-up time, a shorter learning curve for project team members and time savings, once the processes, procedures and templates are created and reused.
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