A Brief Introduction to Consolidated PLM and ERP

  • By Mark Hudson

    PLM

    Your business’ ultimate success lies in its ability to use its resources effectively to accomplish two main things:

    1. Develop and manufacture products efficiently so they can get on the market quickly and maximize their life cycle.
    2. Align various business processes and departments to enable effective planning across the organization.

    Everything your organization does hinges on your success with these two critical goals. If new products get bogged down in development or get lost in design, you quickly fall behind your competitors and lose your edge. And, if you can’t effectively track orders from receipt to production and fulfillment, inventory levels, backlog orders, and production bottlenecks rapidly eat your business alive. These business needs are distinct yet complementary; products must be managed from initial development to production, and accurate product data must be part of managing production resources. What’s the solution to managing all your resources and accomplishing these goals? Investing in a consolidated PLM/ERP system is the key to your business’ success.

    The Basics

    First, what is PLM? The purpose of product life cycle management software is to coordinate all the information, processes, and people involved with the entire life of a product, from concept to customer and everything in between. Effective PLM results in lower production error rates, reduced product cycle iterations, and improved speed to market. It divides the product life cycle into four phases: concept, design, production, and distribution. Each phase is dependent upon the success of the previous phase: PLM software shares complete, coordinated data about the product from phase to phase, allowing you to increase your efficiency and competitiveness. Design and fabrication teams share data and avoid miscommunications. Product and project management are smoother, and up-to-date product information is easily available.

    Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is designed to manage routine business operations such as accounting, purchasing, and inventory management. The goal of ERP is to consolidate all business data into one location. It replaces disparate, disconnected systems that didn’t communicate with one another and stored similar data in different formats that required streams of spreadsheets to integrate and coordinate. ERP creates order from chaos and gives everyone in the organization access to the same data for use in any task, from creating a financial statement to generating a purchase order.

    Using PLM and ERP Together

    Coordinating PLM and ERP is a natural extension of the benefits of each system. Because the business goals complement one another, the software management systems do the same. PLM manages the develop of a product, and ERP manages the resources required for production. PLM takes a product from concept to production, and ERP communicates the truths about that product across the organization to help manage all other business activities. Running your business with only an ERP system results in a major information gap during product development, and running only a PLM system leaves you with dozens of complicated spreadsheets that attempt to tie everything else together. PLM and ERP have separate and distinct purposes that work together to give your organization complete control over its valuable resources.

    ERP

    CBX Software has coordinated PLM and ERP software solutions that will help you get your products to market and align your business processes for maximum efficiency and competitiveness. Take your business to the next level with PLM and ERP software today.

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