Project Description

“The choice between PLM and PDM is fundamental and strategic”

Close scrutiny of your organisational needs

If you engage actively in product development, closely scrutinising the value and necessity of PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) and PDM (Product Data Management) systems is worthwhile. Before going any further into these systems, it makes sense to explain the differences between the two approaches first. In brief, PDM is a business function that manages product-related data and PLM is a more strategic approach to a product’s entire lifecycle. PDM is logically always a part of PLM. Another clear difference between the two functions is the complexity and the costs involved.

“A PLM solution is often a blend of ERP, SCM, CRM and ALM”

PDM: direct benefit

PDM directly manages specific product data and makes this accessible: product number, product description, supplier, size, costs and, for example, CAD drawings. As the PDM functions as a central data bank, everyone involved in the project shares the same data, no time is wasted locating documents, productivity is boosted by reusing design data and integration and cooperation is promoted.

PLM: the big picture

PLM approaches a product based on its entire lifecycle – basically from conception to disposal. It is a strategic approach focused on increasing productivity and accelerating the development process. PLM integrates people, data, processes and machines and creates a solid backbone of product information for your company. The all-encompassing, company-wide nature of PLM solutions means they are often deployed by large organisations. Within these companies, multiple departments that interact with the product such as engineering, sales, procurement, production and logistics use PLM. It also serves as an interface between various branches of a company. A PLM solution is often a blend of ERP, SCM, CRM and ALM.

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