In a variety of industries, there is growing interest in product lifecycle management (PLM) software and its benefits. As companies look to improve their product offerings, refine their supply chains, and grow their business, a PLM system is one of the best tools to achieve these goals. This article will discuss the concept of product lifecycle management, explain why it is important, and what software options are currently available.

So let’s talk about product lifecycle management software, where it comes from, where it’s going, and some of our top recommendations for your industry.

What is Product Life Cycle Management (PLM)?

Product lifecycle management (PLM) is a process by which organizations take a product from creative creation and development to the end of its useful life and disposal. PLM software facilitates this process by integrating data, workflows, and systems into a chain of key stakeholders.

A good PLM system must take everything into account in these 4 phases of the life cycle of a product: design, design, production and distribution. Along the way, your organization must define objectives and KPIs for each process step and workflows for stakeholders. The best PLM software will allow you to collaborate with third-party vendors and vendors and bring in important data from you as you evaluate each step of your process.

Key elements of the 4 phases of product life cycle management:

  • Design
  • Product development
  • Purchase
  • Production
  • Finance
  • Logistics
  • Sales channels
  • Management

As your organization goes through each of these steps, you must collect and enter data into your PLM system. The best software will help you streamline the process and eliminate tedious data re-entry. This means that your PLM software must be seamlessly integrated with your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

How to select PLM software

With PLM software, it is almost impossible to avoid vendor lock-in. Product lifecycle management is incredibly complex, and organizations often have to customize software to work for their unique processes and procedures. For this reason, organizations must be even more careful than usual when conducting due diligence and weighting options. Here are some tips:

  • Consider your implementation needs. Will you deploy your PLM software on your own servers or in the cloud? PLM applications are moving to the cloud and there are many cloud-native options available. On the other hand, if you prefer traditional deployment, you will need to look for a vendor that is committed to supporting traditional local deployment.
  • Look for industry specific characteristics. Some providers specialize in serving specific verticals. If you work in the food or fashion industry, a PLM provider serving primarily automotive customers may not be the best fit for your needs.
  • Make sure your PLM software integrates with your other tools. If you are already using a lot of tools from a major business software vendor such as SAP or Oracle, it may be a good idea to source your PLM solution from the same company. If you are using software from a wide variety of different vendors, it may make more sense to go for an open architecture product. Consider your unique workflows and processes.
  • Try before you buy. All vendors offer demos so you can test PLM applications before you buy. Make the most of these opportunities to ensure you make the right decision in the long term.

Best PLM Software in 2022

1. Aras

Aras is a pure PLM provider that focuses on the aerospace & defense, automotive, consumer goods, energy, high tech, manufacturing, science and science industries. life, shipbuilding and transport. Some of its best known customers include Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Airbus, Microsoft, General Motors, Motorola, GE Aviation, Dow, Honda, FOX Electronics, The U.S. Army, and others. Based in Andover, Mass., The privately held company was founded in 2000 and has approximately 500 employees.

The Aras Innovator PLM platform integrates a wide range of PLM functionality including product engineering, change management, requirements engineering, CAD connector, configuration management, document management, dual digital heart and much more. It is built on a low-code, open, scalable, cloud-based platform. Training is available, and the company’s website also has active subscriber portals and discussion portals for users.

Compared to some alternatives, Innovator is very easy to price. The platform is available as a free download for companies wishing to perform a demonstration or proof of concept. It is available on a SaaS basis with fees depending on the number of users. Businesses with more than 100,000 users will pay $ 13 per user per month, while those with less than 250 users will pay $ 79 per user per month.


  • All Aras applications are included in the cost of the subscription.
  • The low-code platform enables flexible deployments well suited to Agile and DevOps environments.
  • The free download makes it easy to test the platform.


  • Installation may take longer than expected.
  • Learning to use the software can also take a while, and the interface is not as user-friendly as it could be.

2. Arena

Arena focuses on two types of software related to product development: product lifecycle management software and quality management system (QMS) software. It has more than 1,300 customers, including Square, First Alert, Nutanix, Citrix, Peloton and others, primarily medical and electronic device suppliers. It has won awards for being a premier place to work in the Bay Area, as well as a green supplier.

Arena’s PLM solution is cloud-based and highly scalable. The company says it is speeding up the review and commissioning process while ensuring regulatory compliance. It includes product development, change management, training management, supply chain collaboration, project management, requirements management, product registration control and production management. quality.

The product has subscription pricing and promises a low total cost of ownership, but does not disclose pricing on its website. Offer a free demo.


  • Arena receives high reviews from customers.
  • The cloud-based model allows for easy scalability and deployment.
  • The company offers an AWS GovCloud-based solution designed to meet the needs of defense contractors and other government contractors.


  • The search and filter process could be improved.
  • Customers also say that customizing their particular workflows can be difficult.

3. Autodesk

Autodesk is probably best known for its AUTOCAD and other design software, but it also offers a wide range of other solutions, including its Fusion Lifecycle PLM software. The company serves clients in the manufacturing, engineering, architecture, construction, design, and entertainment industries, and its PLM clients include TaylorMade Golf Company, Native Instruments, Thermotex, Willerby Holiday Homes, Memjet, and others. Founded in 1982, Autodesk is headquartered in San Rafael, California, and employs more than 10,300 people around the world. For fiscal year 2020, it reported revenue of $ 3.27 billion.

Fusion Lifecycle software is cloud-based and includes new product introduction, naming, change management, quality management, vendor collaboration, and product data management capabilities. It integrates with leading business software from companies such as Oracle, Salesforce, SAP, Infor, Microsoft, and many more. It can also be a good option for organizations that use other Autodesk products.

The Pro version of Fusion Lifecycle costs $ 965 per use per year, and the Enterprise version costs $ 1,935 per user per year. Companies with Pro or Enterprise licenses can also purchase Participant licenses with a reduced feature set for $ 325 per user per year.


  • Fusion Lifecycle integrates with many other popular business applications.
  • Simplified pricing makes billing easier to understand and predict.
  • The cloud-based model makes it easy to access data and dashboards from different departments.


  • Users will need training to fully understand how to use the software.

4. Dassault Systèmes

Also known as 3DS, Dassault Systèmes describes itself as “The 3DExperience Company.” It sells the popular CATiA and SOLIDWORKS CAD software, as well as a variety of other modeling, marketing and analysis solutions, 3DEXPERIENCE ENOVIA product development, and its Centric PLM product lifecycle management software. It serves more than 250,000 clients in the transportation, aerospace and defense, marine, industrial equipment, high-tech, lifestyle, consumer goods, life sciences, energy, construction and business services industries. Based in Vélizy-Villacoublay, France, it is a subsidiary of the Dassault group and is the second largest software publisher in Europe.

Centric PLM software includes functionality for fashion, retail, footwear, outdoor, consumer goods, lifestyle, home décor and manufacturing businesses. Integrate tools for merchandising, product development, logistics, executive management, design, sourcing, planning, and more. A cloud-based version is available. The 3DEXPERIENCE ENOVIA product development platform includes CAD, document management, PLM, change management, configuration management, and more. It is designed for aerospace, consumer packaging, automotive, industrial equipment, and similar verticals.

The company does not disclose prices on its website, but a demo is available.


  • Centric PLM is one of the few solutions with features designed for fashion and related industries.
  • The user interface is particularly easy to use and has a mobile version.
  • The latest versions have built-in artificial intelligence capabilities for image search and more.


  • Most users will need some training to use the software.

5. Infor

Infor’s primary focus is its cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, but it also sells a range of other business software for analytics, customer relationship management (CRM), human resources, asset management, supply chain management and industry specific products. Its PLM solutions are part of its CloudSuite portfolio and are available in specific versions for different vertical markets. The company has more than 67,000 customers worldwide, including 14,000 cloud customers. Headquartered in New York, it has 140 offices in 44 different countries and 17,000 employees. In 2020, Koch Industries acquired Infor.

CloudSuite PLM is available in four different versions: CloudSuite PLM for Process for food, chemical and life science companies; CloudSuite PLM for Fashion for the Fashion Industry; Infor PLM Discrete for industrial, aerospace, defense and project companies; and Infor PLM Accelerate, which accelerates new product launches.


  • Infor PLM solutions integrate with your ERP and other software.
  • PLM solutions are available in versions tailored to specific industry needs.
  • Cloud-based software enables rapid deployment.


  • Navigation can also be difficult at times.

6. Oracle

Oracle, the world’s second-largest software company, is known for its databases, business software, and cloud computing products. Founded in 1977, the company is based in Redwood City, California. In 2019, it reported total revenue of $ 39.5 billion.

Oracle offers a wide range of PLM software. Their cloud-based product lifecycle management solution is called Oracle Fusion Cloud PLM, or Oracle Cloud PLM for short. It includes innovation management, product development, quality management, product master data management, and configurator modeling capabilities. Companies that use it include Bissell, Broadcom, Norton LifeLock, and others. It costs $ 500 per user per month with a minimum of 10 users or $ 25 per employee per month with a minimum of 1,000 employees.

It sells local PLM solutions as part of its Agile Product Lifecycle Management portfolio. It includes Agile Product Collaboration, Agile Product Quality Management, Agile Product Portfolio Management, Agile Product Cost Management, Agile Product Governance and Compliance, Agile Engineering Collaboration, Oracle Life Cycle Analysis, and other products. It does not disclose the prices of these products on its website.


  • Oracle offers a wide range of different PLM products to meet different needs.
  • Organizations using Oracle database or other business software will likely find it easier to integrate these tools with PLM offerings.
  • It includes Internet of Things (IoT) analytics capabilities that help organizations seize emerging opportunities more quickly.


  • Oracle’s local software can be expensive, especially if organizations use many of the different modules available.

7. PTC

Another CAD software provider with a product lifecycle management solution, PTC is the company behind Creo CAD software, ThingWorx industrial IoT software, Vuforia augmented reality software, Windchill PLM software, and other tools. Founded in 1985, the company is based in Boston, Massachusetts. Its clients include Lego, INFINITI, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo Group, Sapura Energy, Qantas, Pratt & Whitney, Toyota, GM, Airbus, and many more. In its latest quarterly report, the company reported revenue of $ 352 million.

PTC’s Windchill integrates Product Data Management (PDM) and Product Lifecycle Management capabilities. Thanks to its open architecture, it integrates with many other business applications and IoT platforms. You can deploy it on premises or in the cloud, and the company offers a wide variety of add-ons and extensions to meet the unique needs of organizations.

The company does not disclose pricing on its website, but it does offer both starter models and subscription models. Free trials of their products are also available.


  • Windchill integrates with other PTC design, augmented reality, and IoT software, as well as other business applications.
  • The wide variety of add-ons, extensions, and deployment options help businesses get exactly the functionality they need.
  • Customers value the product very positively.


  • Windchill is complex software and new users face a steep learning curve.

8. SAP

SAP, the third largest software company in the world and the largest in Europe, offers a wide variety of business software, including its popular ERP application. Founded in 1972, the company is based in Walldorf, Germany. For 2019, it reported a total turnover of 27,553 million euros.

SAP’s PLM solution is part of your digital supply chain portfolio. It integrates project and portfolio management, product costing, commercial project management, product engineering, and project network capabilities. Organizations that use it include Humboldt Wedag, Kaeser Kompressoren, and Sartorius. The company recently signed a partnership agreement with Siemens (see below) that could enhance its overall PLM capabilities.

Pricing for SAP PLM tools is not available on the company’s website, but offers a trial.


  • SAP’s PLM solution integrates with your other business software, including ERP and HANA database software.
  • The recent partnership with Siemens could strengthen its PLM capabilities.
  • The PLM solution has very good built-in project management capabilities.


  • Some users complain that SAP PLM does not integrate well with CAD tools


To conclude our learning from the list above, we can summarize that Aena can work with complex products, Teamcenter can be used by organizations of any size, Vault is the best PLM for engineers and managers, designers, and Oracle Agile PLM is a cost-effective method. tool. and it also provides good features and functionality.

Almost all software is a commercial tool, while only Aras’ free PLM software offers some free features.

I hope you have gained an immense understanding of the best product lifecycle management tools on the market.

What is PLM software used for?

Product lifecycle management (PLM) software manages data during the development of a product from inception through the manufacturing, servicing, and disposal processes. Companies use PLM software to increase productivity and collaboration, improve quality, bolster creativity, and shorten time to market for a product.

What is PLM example?

Most products that are developed go through some sort of life cycle management. Examples would be products such as cars, computers, heavy equipment, aircrafts, etc. Product life cycle management, or PLM, is seen in product that have a long develop time or long life span.

What is PLM software for fashion?

Infor® PLM for Fashion is a powerful product lifecycle management and collaboration platform that empowers fashion companies to seamlessly link vital areas of the fashion value chain to their business processes—from line planning, design, and development to supply chain sourcing and in-season consumer-driven design.

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