PLM and the Transition to SaaS
This blog is a part of our new series of “Aras Primers” that provide simple definitions and basic information on concepts and applications relevant to the PLM industry. This blog will review the basics of PLM and why transitioning to a Software as a Service (SaaS) model can provide higher-quality data and collaboration at every process stage, reducing time-to-market and costs.
What is PLM?
Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is a process that involves managing the entire lifecycle of a product from conception, design, development, and manufacturing to service and disposal.
PLM uses software and processes to manage product-related data throughout the product's lifecycle. The goal of PLM is to streamline the product development process, reduce costs, improve product quality, and enhance communication and collaboration among different teams involved in the product development process.
PLM can encompass various aspects of product development, such as design, engineering, procurement, manufacturing, quality control, and maintenance. It can also involve collaboration with suppliers, customers, and other stakeholders.
PLM software provides features such as data management, product data visualization, document management, workflow management, and project management. PLM systems are essential to various industries, including automotive, aerospace, consumer goods, and electronics.
What does PLM do?
Product Lifecycle Management, commonly referred to as PLM, is a comprehensive approach companies use to manage the entire lifecycle of a product, from ideation and design to development, manufacturing, and end-of-life disposal. The goal of PLM is to improve the quality of products, reduce time-to-market, increase efficiency, and lower costs.
PLM provides a centralized platform for managing data related to a product throughout its lifecycle. The system enables collaboration among various stakeholders, including product designers, engineers, manufacturers, suppliers, and customers, to ensure everyone is on the same page and working towards common requirements.
PLM software captures and manages product data, including CAD files, engineering and manufacturing change orders, engineering, manufacturing and service bills of materials (BOMs), specifications, and other related information. This information can be accessed and updated by authorized users from many different locations, including the design office, manufacturing plant, and supply chain partners.
PLM also facilitates better decision-making by providing real-time visibility into the product development process. With accurate data, businesses can quickly identify and address issues, prevent costly errors, and make informed decisions about product design, production, and distribution.
One of the significant benefits of PLM is that it allows businesses to reduce product development time and cost. By streamlining processes and eliminating unnecessary steps, companies can bring products to market faster and at a lower cost. Additionally, PLM reduces the risk of costly errors and rework by ensuring that product data is accurate and up-to-date.
PLM’s role in compliance and the supply chain
PLM also plays a vital role in ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements, such as safety and environmental standards. The software can track and manage compliance data, including material and substance information, certifications, and approvals. This information can be easily accessed and shared with stakeholders, including regulatory bodies, to ensure that products meet all necessary requirements.
Another key benefit of PLM is that it enables companies to optimize supply chain management. By integrating with supplier systems, PLM can ensure that suppliers meet quality standards and deliver materials on time. It’s essential to look for solutions that provide a centralized platform for collecting data related to the product, facilitate collaboration among stakeholders, improve decision-making, reduce product development time and cost, ensure regulatory compliance, and optimize supply chain management. A platform approach to PLM will help businesses improve the quality of their products, increase efficiency, and remain competitive in the global marketplace.
How does Aras support PLM?
The Aras PLM platform, Aras Innovator, supports product development and provides a flexible and scalable foundation that allows organizations to manage their product-related data and processes efficiently.
Aras Innovator includes a set of applications and platform services that can be customized to meet an organization’s specific needs. Some of the capabilities and applications include:
- Product Data Management (PDM): Connect, manage, and access product data, including bills of materials (BOMs), CAD models, and other related documents.
- Change Management (CM): Manage changes to product designs and related processes, including change requests, change orders, and engineering change notices.
- Quality Management (QM): Supports quality control and assurance processes, including inspection planning, non-conformance management, and corrective and preventive actions.
- Manufacturing Process Planning (MPP): Helps organizations plan and manage their manufacturing processes, including work instructions, routing, and process flows.
- Requirements Management (RM): Enables organizations to capture and manage product requirements, traceability, and impact analysis.
- Variant Management (VM): Allows companies to efficiently handle complex product portfolios by defining and tracking product variants, options, and configurations.
- Digital Twin Core (DTC): Captures the as-manufactured and as-maintained configuration of products to support next generation product design and maintenance processes.
Aras' PLM platform is based on an open architecture that allows organizations to easily integrate with other systems and data sources to support the Digital Thread. Organizations can “Build with Aras” to customize out-of-the box applications and build new ones to support evolving business requirements. It supports collaboration between different teams, suppliers, and contractors involved in product development.
Why is Software as a Service (SaaS) important to PLM?
SaaS based PLM solutions enable opportunities to improve:
- Accessibility: Access anywhere with an internet connection, making it easier for team members to access product data and collaborate remotely. This is especially important for companies with distributed teams or partners in different locations.
- Scalability: Scale up or down depending on the size and needs of an organization. This is particularly beneficial for small and medium-sized businesses that may not have the resources to invest in an on-premise PLM system.
- Cost-effectiveness: Do not require hardware or infrastructure investments. Additionally, SaaS solutions typically have lower ongoing maintenance costs, as software updates and support are included in the subscription fee.
- Security: Include robust security measures, including encryption, backups, and disaster recovery. This can provide organizations with greater confidence in the integrity of their product data.
- Continuous improvement: Updated regularly, providing access to the latest features and capabilities. This can help organizations to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in product development.
These benefits can help organizations streamline product development processes and improve collaboration, ultimately leading to better products, differentiated processes, and increased competitiveness.
How does Aras Enterprise SaaS support PLM?
The Aras Enterprise SaaS solution enables organizations to manage their product-related data and processes efficiently. Here are some of the ways Aras Enterprise SaaS supports PLM:
- Accessibility: Aras Enterprise SaaS is accessible from anywhere with an internet connection, making it easier for team members to access product data and collaborate remotely. This is particularly beneficial for companies with distributed teams or partners in different locations.
- Scalability: Aras Enterprise SaaS can be easily scaled up or down depending on the size and needs of an organization. This allows organizations to pay only for the resources they need, making it more cost-effective than traditional on-premise PLM solutions.
- Security: Aras Enterprise SaaS has robust security measures in place to protect product data, including encryption, backups, and disaster recovery. This provides organizations with greater confidence in the security and integrity of their product data.
- Continuous improvement: Aras Enterprise SaaS is regularly updated with new features and capabilities as part of the subscription, allowing organizations to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in product development. Unlike other SaaS PLM solutions the upgrade can happen on your schedule and retains all customizations. This can help organizations to improve their product development processes and stay competitive.
- Customizability: Aras Enterprise SaaS is highly customizable because of its low-code nature, allowing organizations to tailor the platform to meet their specific needs. This can help organizations to optimize their product development processes and improve collaboration among different teams.
In summary, Aras Enterprise SaaS supports PLM by providing a cloud-based platform that is accessible, scalable, secure, continuously improving, and highly customizable. These benefits can help organizations to streamline product development processes, improve collaboration, and ultimately deliver better, and more profitable products.
Can SaaS PLM Really Get the Job Done?
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