Complementary Roles of ERP and PLM

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Complementary Roles of ERP and PLM: Leveraging Enterprise Applications to Maximize Product Profitability provides an overview of the roles that ERP and PLM can play in maximizing product profitability, describing recent implementations and key considerations to help manufacturers determine the right application approach for their business. Please enjoy the free Introduction below, or click the report title above to download the full PDF (free of charge, no registration required).

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Business Strategies
  • Enterprise Application Strategies
  • The Power of ERP
  • ERP Theme – Managing Orders
  • ERP Theme – Centralized Control and Accounting
  • The Power of PLM
  • PLM Theme – Managing Product Knowledge
  • PLM Theme – Speed to Market
  • PLM Theme – Collaboration
  • ERP and PLM Roles
  • ERP and PLM – Better Together
  • Recommendations
  • Summary
  • About the Author

Introduction

Choosing from the menu of available enterprise applications for manufacturing is a confusing and challenging task. Enterprise applications such as ERP, Supply Chain Management (SCM) and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) help companies meet their strategic goals and run their businesses more efficiently and effectively. Today, software technology is embedded in almost every aspect of business, and helps companies implement their strategies to be more competitive, increase revenue and enhance profitability. While the need for—and benefits available from—enterprise applications may be evident, the path to achieving that value is not always as clear. For manufacturing companies in particular, choosing applications from a diverse array of vendors offering applications with overlapping claims of functionality can be frustrating.

One particular area of confusion in today’s enterprise application market is choosing the right solutions to enhance product profitability. The primary goal for product-oriented companies—whether they are manufacturers or brand owners—is to offer competitive products that provide solid financial returns to the business. To achieve this, these companies must have well-defined business processes for product development, engineering, and product management. In the past several years, interest in Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) business processes and software applications has increased as a way to address those needs. PLM strategies have proven to provide significant benefits to companies adopting them, but have also added complexity to enterprise application strategies because of confusion between the roles that ERP and PLM should play.

ERP and PLM play key roles in enterprise application strategy for manufacturers—but they are certainly not the only ones. Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Supply Chain Management (SCM) and others can play important parts in supporting the business. Unfortunately, these application suites also provide overlapping capabilities with ERP. For the purposes of this paper, however, we will focus on the need for manufacturers to develop clear product development strategies and support them with appropriate enterprise applications. The paper provides an overview of the roles that ERP and PLM can play, touches on some examples of how companies have approached the use of these applications, and introduces some key considerations to help manufacturers determine the right application approach for their business.