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The Cost of Using the Wrong PLM Software

3 min read
Nov 4, 2022 9:30:00 AM

Product lifecycle management isn’t a new industry. The term “product lifecycle management,” as we define it today, was coined by The American Motors Corporation back in 1985. However, when it comes to software, the actual features of each PLM platform vary so significantly that the umbrella term alone isn’t enough to describe what functions each PLM software suite can actually fulfill. 

The result of using an overarching term to refer to so many different functionalities? Suppliers and retailers rarely understand what features are available from different PLM tools. The variances between different solutions are so substantial that PLM software providers often struggle to define themselves with that term alone. Take Surefront: Our software’s instant quote customization, SmartCatalog, and ability to interface with external partners takes our clients  way beyond the product lifecycle.

Let’s break down what PLM software is used for, features to keep your eye on, and where most retail decision makers go wrong when hunting for a PLM tool. 

What is PLM software used for?

PLM software is used to develop products and track them throughout their lifecycle. PLM tools can encompass everything from the inception of a product idea to the final sale of that product. They should help everyone within an organization access the product data they need to do their jobs effectively, and allow teams to collaborate on products. That said, the features of each PLM solution vary significantly. 

Core features of most PLM solutions

Retail PLM tools allow employees to collaborate and share data throughout product idea inception, manufacturing, shipping, product orders, and catalog listings. PLM software is used to manage product data throughout its life cycle. From design and development to production and marketing, PLM tools facilitate communication and collaboration between teams in various locations.

PLM software helps companies integrate data, workflows and systems across a chain of key stakeholders. This can include everyone from suppliers and manufacturers to distributors and end consumers. Think of your product lifecycle management tool as your team’s central hub for all things related to product communication and collaboration. 

What not to do when choosing a PLM

Choosing the right PLM solution for your business is not an intuitive process. Retail business owners go wrong when they assume that every software labeled “product lifecycle management”  has the same functionality. That’s not at all the case. 

PLM software is used for a wide range of functions throughout a product’s lifecycle. Choosing a PLM tool without reviewing that specific PLM software’s functionality can have a negative impact on your business. With the wrong PLM solution, you could wind up:

  • Paying for features you don’t need.
  • Spending months painstakingly onboarding your team, distracting from other projects.
  • Frustrating your team with inadequate training on complex software.
  • Unable to integrate your new PLM with your current systems.
  • Unable to integrate your PLM with future systems.
  • Having limited functionality, requiring you to make costly additional investments. 

Onboarding the wrong PLM software can represent a massive expense for your business down the line. With the wrong solution, you could have to pay for additional functionalities, delay your team’s productivity, or have to fight to get out of a restrictive contract. You know what they say “the best defense is a good offense.” Doing your research on the front end will prevent all of the above atrocities from damaging your bottom line.

Entire PLM process, one systemHow to know you’ve found the best PLM solution

The best PLM solutions will help you streamline the process and let you eliminate tedious data re-entry. But there’s still only one retail PLM that lets you collaborate with internal and external teams on one platform. Surefront product lifecycle management solution was built to serve the retail industry. We centralize all of your product data in one place, giving you the power to choose with whom and when you share that data. 

Surefront retail PLM goes the extra mile. Our product syndication feature allows retailers and suppliers to publish product listings across multiple catalogs with just a few clicks. But that’s not all. Surefront’s sustainability tracking abilities can help retailers ensure that their operations adhere to increasingly rigid sustainability protocols –– making testing, certification, and reporting a gosh darn breeze. 

Ready to experience the difference of a retail PLM that allows you to swiftly interface with external suppliers? Surefront’s product lifecycle management solution was built by a retailer to service the retail industry’s unique needs. It’s time we got better acquainted. Book a custom demo with one of our product lifecycle management experts today!

Product lifecycle management is a quickly evolving industry with a lot of moving parts. We do all of the research, so you don’t have to. Stay ahead of news & trends by subscribing to our Product Lifecycle Management Blog.

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