What is Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) – The Ultimate Guide to Understand its Meaning and Benefits

Product Lifecycle Management

Product Lifecycle ManagementEvery day, innumerable new products are launched in the market. However, only a few of them turn out to be successful while the rest of them fail to stay and sustain in the market. The reason is that either they are not up to customer expectations or are launched before the market is ready. There could also be a situation wherein the product sells faster than the company’s ability to handle the sales pick-up. Can you guess why this happens? It is due to fundamental issues in product life cycle management.

Now, the next question on your mind would be what product lifecycle management is and why do you need to know about it. Precisely, it is imperative to learn and understand because when you do not have a plan for the product about to get launched, it could actually prove to be a liability for any business. Hold all your questions for some time and continue reading. This article will clear all your doubts about project lifecycle management.

What is Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)?

Let’s first understand what the product lifecycle is and then move on to the management aspect. It is the period from the time a product is first introduced to customers till the time it is taken off the shelves or the market. Now, what is product lifecycle management?

Simply put, product lifecycle management is – the way in which the goods are handled throughout their lifecycle. This includes the development and introduction stage, growth, maturity/stability, and decline. The cycle includes the period in which the product is manufactured till the time it is marketed. It is important to thoroughly understand what product lifecycle management is because it helps an organization make better decisions and gain efficiency in its operations.

Understanding Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)

There are many units, departments and employees involved in the management of a product lifecycle. However, the goal is just one – to manufacture a product that stands out in the market, beats competition, and lasts in the market till the time there is demand. It is not just about setting up a bill of materials (BOM). There are different stages involved in product lifecycle management, which are as follows.

  • Ideation
  • Validation
  • Planning
  • Design and Development
  • Launch
  • Finding Market Fit
  • Maintaining Saturation
  • Keep, Kill, Reboot

With an understanding of what PLM is and the stages involved in it, an organization can ensure that they are capable of handling any challenges faced while developing new products. When a business is able to identify what stage of its lifecycle a product is on, they’ll also be able to figure out how to market it. For instance, a new product may need to be explained and a product that has matured needs to be differentiated. It is important to note here that even when a product reaches maturity, it can still be updated or modified in some way so that it continues to be a part of the lifecycle. After gaining this clarity on what PLM is, let us now take a look at some of the benefits.

History of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)

The concept of PLM can be traced back to the year 1957 when the employee of an advertising agency came up with a five-step life cycle for goods. What developed as a manufacturing and marketing tool for businesses later matured into what we know as PLM today. The earliest recorded application of this process was done by American Motors Corporation (AMC) which decided to bolster the product lifecycle of its main products. The PLM was so effective that the strategy was expanded throughout the organization called Chrysler that purchased AMC This is how Chrysler became the auto industry’s lowest-cost producer.

Significant Benefits of Product Lifecycle Management

There are many benefits of product lifecycle management – from ensuring that the product reaches the market faster to making it top quality, there are many things that make this process a must. To make sure that the benefits of product lifecycle management are retained, there is specialized computer software available today to assist with the monotonous tasks. We’ve collated some of the many benefits of product lifecycle management.

  • Better quality and more reliable product
  • Reduction in prototyping costs
  • Better solicitations from suppliers
  • Faster identification of sales opportunities and revenue contributions
  • Better savings
  • Better framework for product optimization
  • Reduction in wastage
  • Better ability to manage any fluctuations
  • Reduction in material costs
  • Better supply chain collaboration

Career Opportunities in Product Lifecycle Management

There are product management courses available for those who are considering pursuing a career in product lifecycle management. Achieving project management certification is a crucial step for anyone who wants to upskill themselves in this field.

Emeritus India offers some of the best product management courses in collaboration with globally renowned and leading institutions. Let’s take a look at three of these best product management courses.

XLRI VIL’s Executive Development Programme in Advanced Product Management Through this programme you will gain an understanding of product strategy, ideation, creation, management, and growth across products’ life cycle as well as marketing, branding and sales from a product’s perspective. It will allow you to play a key role in creating disruptive business models.

ISB Executive Education’s Product Management Programme This programme will help you with a structured approach to managing entire product life cycle. You can ideate, test, and launch products that customers love and are always ahead of the competition. The programme will also help you learn competition analysis, road mapping, prototyping, A/B testing and much more.

Indian Institute of Bombay’s Certificate Program in Product Management Enrolling in this programme will help you acquire crucial skills pertinent to ideation, product development, testing and refining marketing and sales from a product perspective. This engaging learning experience will give you a strong tactical and strategic understanding of disruptive business models and conceptualizing innovative products with the customer as a focal point, driving overall business growth.

So, without any further ado, choose from any of these programmes or others available online and give your career the much-needed head start.

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