4 Tips for Managing Manufacturing PLM Solutions

Looking for a way to centralize and simplify the data necessary to track a product through its entire lifecycle? You might need a product lifecycle management (PLM) system. But simply deciding to use a PLM is only the beginning. You have to make sure that your team will be able to integrate it efficiently.

You aren’t the first manufacturer to wonder how this can be done, and the avenue to implementation often differs for every company. But there is a clearly defined path to manufacturing digitalization you can follow with a tech partner like Revalize. We have a few tips and tricks to help make integration that much easier.

1. Encourage Buy-in

One of the first things you should do as a manufacturer looking to integrate a new PLM solution is to identify a cross-functional group of leaders from every department. This group will be responsible for communicating the needs of their departments and held accountable for how smoothly their team transitions to using the PLM system.

It’s easier for team members to keep doing things the way they’ve always been done if there isn’t encouragement from the top. To engage employees, list out the inherent advantages a PLM system provides for their particular roles. An engineer frustrated by messy information might be motivated to learn how PLM solutions organize product data to save time.

2. Set Goals Early

How long should it take to get everyone up to speed with a new PLM system? What systems should be fully integrated into your PLM solution and operational once you’ve reached that point? Setting benchmarks at the beginning of the process will keep integration on track throughout.

It will also help you be clear about how and when your team members will undergo training. It’s important to be as transparent as possible about how the integration will affect their roles and future goals. You’ll also want to have upfront conversations with your technology partner during this time to gain insight into how long integration will take and what costs will be necessary.

3. Be Clear About the Role PLM will Play

If you’re planning on phasing out a project management system in favor of a new PLM solution, give stakeholders as much notice as possible so no one feels blindsided by the switch. While it can take over as the source of truth for your products, some companies choose to keep their current system and just use PLM to supplement certain tasks and store important information.

Either way is valid as long as you set out with a clear objective. Solutions that integrate well with existing systems, weave a digital thread through everything you do with minimal disruption.

4. Break Down Silos

Data silos can be frustrating when you’re building a complex business. As you grow, the distance between certain departments grows, too. A centralized PLM system works to immediately limit that space and break down the barriers between departments.

Data silos can be a weight on productivity and product quality, sequestering useful information from people who might need it. It can also be harder to adapt to new challenges without the cross-functional perspective PLM solutions provide.

Applying a single, company-wide PLM solution creates a platform for communication and collaboration to solve common issues for siloed departments. Even if it’s still a little difficult to get your engineering team to answer their emails, their work will be right there in the PLM system for you to track.
Schedule a demo with a Revalize representative to learn more about how to integrate a PLM solution for your manufacturing business.