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How do you define product management? Many business owners think that managing products simply involves tracking inventory levels at warehouses. Yet the product’s lifecycle does not begin and end in the warehouse. It involves understanding the customer’s fluctuating demand for the product and how the product may change to continue to spur market interest. It also involves the time when you decide to discontinue the product and dispose of excess inventory.

Through every product stage of the supply chain, you must manage the vast amounts of information and analyze it to develop feasible action plans. Product lifecycle management is a business concept offering a way to further streamline your supply chain.

What Is PLM?

Product lifecycle management (PLM) is a product management concept. It allows for the gathering of data from every product point in the supply chain. The PLM process is broken down into four stages to correspond to the product’s stages: market introduction, product market growth, market maturity, and demand decline. At each stage, gathered data becomes evaluated so you may develop business plans that enhance product creation, marketing, and distribution tasks.

Product lifecycle management in supply chain processes gather data from every operational aspect of the business. This data may come from the inception, engineering, design, development, sales, marketing, warehousing, distribution, product service, and disposal stages.

Benefits of PLM

PLM allows a business to better manage the time, cost, marketing, and quality of the product. With the gathered data about customer demand, you may use it to forecast how long that demand will last and when the time will come to cease production.

Another way to use PLM could involve finding ways to lower the time to market for the product by streamlining the design and production processes. You might change suppliers to receive materials sooner or modify the product design to make production processes run faster.

PLM can allow you to speed up the time to market, lower production costs, improve product quality, and streamline product demand forecasting. Not only can you understand how the product will be made, but when the right time is to launch it, service the product, or when to move on to the next product concept. 

Challenges of PLM

A major challenge of the product lifecycle management system involves how data becomes gathered and analyzed. To create solid business planning, you must gather the right type of data at the appropriate time. Then, the data you need must be successfully extracted so reports allow for the company to take actionable steps.

Another challenge consists of the length of the product’s lifecycle. Product lifecycle in operations management may span years. It requires long-time management planning solutions that your management staff understands even when there are changes to the available personnel.

WSI and PLM Solutions

Every company has a unique supply chain. Some supply chains are simple, while others are complex. Proper management of the product lifecycle can become difficult for the business owner to implement. Here at WSI, we offer innovative 3PL solutions, including PLM services.

Contact WSI today to learn more about our business solutions.

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For over 50 years, WSI has helped customers operate their supply chains more efficiently. What can we do for your business?

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