Many small and medium sized businesses need the efficiency and functionality of a premier product lifecycle management (PLM) product, but their budget has them searching for an affordable PLM solution.
How can your business get the most out of an affordable PLM solution?
This guide will walk you through how to generate strong ROI from your PLM budget.
Develop a PLM Roll out Plan
One of the best ways to get the most out of a new PLM system is by going in with a plan. Here are a few elements you should make sure are included as part of your PLM plan.
- Get Executive and Organizational Buy In – Depending on your company’s size and organization, who needs to be on board will vary. But your PLM will be hamstrung from the beginning if it is being implemented to prove that it will work. To make the most out of an affordable PLM, your organization must be convinced of the benefits going in.
- Identify Problems to Solve – What are the main inefficiencies that you hope your new PLM system will solve? A PLM system will solve a wide range of problems at a company, so it’s easy to jump in expecting a cure all. But if you can identify the specific problems you want addressed, you are more likely to see solutions to those problems.
- Multiple Phase Plan – One way to really limit your PLM’s effectiveness is to try and roll it out in one giant sweep. Inevitably some important elements will be lost. Experience has shown that teams that plan their PLM roll out incrementally reap stronger benefits.
- Reconfigure Workflows – A new PLM system will change workflows across your company. Those who know this going in can use the PLM roll out as a time to address other workflow concerns as well.
Use Your PLM as Widely as Possible
One of the primary benefits of a PLM is the way it helps integrate departments across a company. But in practice, often PLMs are implemented by a team of managers in a few departments.
This common approach limits how effective your PLM can be. Not only will departments not integrated not get the benefits of the PLM, but the departments that do use the system will have to continue to rely on PLM stop gaps such as email and text messages to communicate with the departments who do not participate.
Also strongly consider finding a cloud based PLM. Cloud PLM will allow you to extend the benefits of PLM to multiple regions, or remote workers. The flexibility of a cloud PLM will also help you retain employees whose situations change and allow you the opportunity to seamlessly expand your company when you choose.
Reduce Training and Troubleshooting Time
The cost of implementing a new PLM can extend far beyond the actual license cost. If you’re looking to get the most out of your PLM and optimize your ROI, you’ll want to reduce these ancillary expenses as much as you can.
For PLMs training and troubleshooting can become a major expense. When choosing a new PLM system make sure to consider how much money an easy to use system will save over the lifetime of the software.
Choose the Right Vendor
One of the biggest differences in how effective your PLM system will be is whether or not you choose the right vendor. Consider the following factors when choosing a vendor:
- Experience – As the PLM market has become so lucrative, many newcomers have jumped in. In addition to consider the actual benefits of the product, consider how often your vendor has helped companies like yours actually implement a new system. This experience could prove invaluable.
- Commitment – As a medium or small business, it’s easy to be a low priority to a vendor that has many large companies in their portfolio. When choosing a vendor, consider what sized businesses they focus on and whether or not you’ll be a priority.
- Ongoing Support – A PLM solution is more than software. Consider the relationship you build with your vendor, and how much support they will offer you in six months or even a year.
By following a few simple steps, you can get the quality and efficiency you need without having to break the bank. View our 4G:PLM video demo to see for yourself how an affordable PLM can be high quality, too..