Mapping PLM Into the Business

PLM is a business strategy extending from new product introduction and sales all the way to support and obsolescence.

During the 1990s, PLM emerged as an extension of Product Data Management (PDM), used to manage CAD data.  Most PLM systems today are still closely yoked to their PDM origins.  These legacy PLM systems have inherited restrictive data models making it difficult and costly to manage increasing product complexity and adapt to fast-paced market changes. Next generation PLM solutions have flexible and adaptive data models that truly allow companies to support the product lifecycle from cradle to grave.  The following chart and supporting infographic, "Mapping PLM Into the Business," outline the functional "touch points" of next generation PLM across the enterprise.   Infographic - Mapping PLM Into The Business


All too often, companies struggle to quote what's delivered  or find it hard to price products with the confidence they'll make money.  The sales process is the actual “headwaters” of product data.  It’s critical that quotes work against data controlled in PLM.  

Engineering & design is the critical link between sales and mfg.  The complexities of this phases involve change management, collaboration, CAD and PDM integrations, BOM management, project management and other functional areas. 

Maintaining integrity of a product’s “digital thread” is a serious challenge during manufacturing.  Many companies mistakenly transfer ownership of product data to ERP and manufacturing. Instead, it‘s critical to leverage your PLM platform.


Supporting a product requires understanding the delivered configuration, looping customer feedback into formal change processes, and responding to the increasing stream of data from connected products.  

Core PLM Business Concepts

The Business of Engineering - Today's winning companies power the business of engineering by supporting product development, manufacturing and field service with flexible processes across the extended enterprise, including suppliers, partners, customers and other stakeholders.  > Learn More

The Digital Thread & Digital Twin -  Aras' CEO, Peter Schroer, discusses the importance of the "digital thread" and "digital twin."  This quick video shows how these concepts are key drivers for a modern PLM strategy and can dramatically improve tractability and decision-making in the enterprise.  > Learn More


How Do I Get Started?

Create a “PLM Beachhead” That Drives Immediate Value

The broad scope of PLM can lead to the misconception that it should be implemented as a monolithic solution.  This has led to many well intended implementations going over-budget and ultimately failing to drive value and user acceptance.  

Just because PLM can do everything, doesn’t mean it should - especially when starting out. In most implementations, 80% of the business value is driven by 20% of a solution’s requirements. How can this “20%” be identified before time and money are wasted?

The vdR Group emphasizes the importance of data cohesion and process automation as foundational pieces of a PLM solution.   Using this approach helps identify the “20%” that drive a majority of the value and produces a solution that scales and extends value throughout the enterprise.  Figure 1.1 summarizes this paradigm. 

Figure 1.1 - Click to Expand

Let's Get the Conversation Started

Contact our PLM community managers to tackle the following questions:

  • Identify where to create a “PLM beachhead” in my organization (e.g. sales, engineering, manufacturing, etc...)
  • Understand the Pareto Principle's effect on PLM implementation and how to minimize risk and predict costs
  • How to leverage Agile projects management to incrementally build on small “wins” to create a foundation for enterprise-wide value

Meet our PLM Community Managers

David van der Roest

PLM Community Manager
North America, East Coast
+1 (714) 549-2446

Ben Desmarais

PLM Community Manager
North America, West Coast
+1 (714) 921-9300 x102