Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)

Product lifecycle management software enables geographically-dispersed, multi-disciplinary, teams to strategically collaborate with partners and customers using trusted, up-to-date product information.

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Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is an information management system that can integrate data, processes, business systems and, ultimately, people in an extended enterprise. PLM software allows you to manage this information throughout the entire life cycle of a product efficiently and cost-effectively from ideation, design and manufacture through service and disposal.
As an information strategy, PLM builds a coherent data structure by consolidating systems. As an enterprise strategy, PLM lets global organizations work as a single team to design, produce, support and retire products, while capturing best practices and lessons learned along the way. PLM empowers your business to make unified, information-driven decisions at every stage in the product life cycle.

The Four Phases of the Product Lifecycle

The product life cycle is broadly composed of four phases. By virtue of its name, it begins at a product’s conception and ends with the final plan for its distribution and maintenance.


The product life cycle begins with a key concept or idea for a new product. In this phase of the product life cycle, much research is done to manufacture the product that people will actually want to use. Typically, it arises with respect to both a certain market and with a certain problem it attempts to solve.


Once the initial idea for a product is decided, it can then be designed and prototyped. It is in this phase, the design phase, where designers work to make the concept of the product into reality. It comprises of creating mock ups, prototypes and finally testing, to complete a product that is ready for consumers.


Using the data from the previous stage, the product enters the manufacturing phase of the product life cycle. The final design is shipped off to the production environment where a different set of KPI’s must be monitored. A business must account for a host of new components, such as the sourcing of materials, costs, countries of origin, productivity quotas, time lines and more.

Distribution & Maintenance

The last phase of the product life cycle includes the proper distribution and maintenance of the final product. This includes the warehousing of the final product, distribution to its various sales channels and understanding its overall performance using sales and customer support data.

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About Author
Anup Karumanchi
Anup Karumanchi
Champion of PLM, CAD & MES platforms, with a proven track record of delivering successful workshops and services for global clientele.

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