From Idea to Cash: A PLM Roadmap

When it’s time to put together a product development roadmap, you need to find an all-in-one solution. A product lifecycle management (PLM) system can store every note, every detail, and every specification for each of your products on one platform.

Converting to a PLM system, or integrating one into your existing systems, weaves digital thread through all of the processes required to bring a product to market. A PLM system is like the conveyor belt in a production line. Each new station/department adds data to track their progress until a fully realized product is completed.
To help you visualize this process, here’s a roadmap with every stage in the product lifecycle showing how PLM systems can support your team along the way.

New Product Development

During this stage, most of the information concerning a product is generated. This is the “idea” portion of the idea-to-cash cycle. As such, the focus during this phase needs to be on collecting a lot of data, setting the stage for future updates and modifications. Inputting prototype, testing, and design data into the PLM system during new product  development is vital because your engineers will need to easily understand how and why your product was set up the way it was during development.
PLM systems can also assist with some of the more important functions during new product development by:

Product Launches

Once it’s time to take a product to market, PLM systems are there to provide all the details sales and marketing needs to craft effective messaging. This is one of the areas where PLM integrations really shine, since it cuts down on the need for salespeople to memorize every detail about a new product, or to chase down engineers and technicians for the information they need.

With a PLM system integrated from the beginning of the idea-to-cash cycle, both sales and marketing will have access to every step that led to the creation of the current product. Not only that, but they can pull product information from their smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop.

If a customer has questions about the testing done during a certain phase of product development, there’s no need to start a long back-and-forth discussion with the technical team since all of the info is already there.

Reaching Maturity

Once a product is launched and has an accepted role in your product lineup and the marketplace, it has reached maturity. From this point on, most of what you’ll be doing is updating or tweaking the product.

With the context provided from all the data you’ve collected on your PLM system to this point, your engineers should have everything they need. Since you used the same PLM solution for new product development, the processes required for updates should already be well defined.

Decline and Retirement

Once the time has come to retire a product for good, PLM systems are excellent tools for phasing out production in an efficient manner. If you have a certain machine or material that is only useful for the retiring product, you can plan out exactly how much more inventory you need to make to exhaust those supplies. Your PLM system can take over the role of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution or even supplement your existing ERP protocol.
Want to see how a PLM system can improve your idea-to-cash cycle for the better? Speak with a Revalize representative who can schedule a demo so you can check it out for yourself.