All products have a beginning and an end. Because of that, companies carefully manage the lifecycle so they can maximize their profits and minimize their losses.
Thankfully, there’s a program that’s specifically designed to help businesseswith their product life-cycle management: PLMsoftware. Vendors use it to project sales, while manufacturers read the data it gathers during production. But, what exactly does it do?
To help you understand, here are a product’s 4 major lifecycle stages, and how the software is used on each of them.
This is when the product is first brought into the market. During this stage, the costs are high, sales have a slow start, and there’s little to no competition. The goal of the company is to create customer awareness and demand.
The software is integrated with features like automated computer-aided design (CAD), which is a tool for product conceptualization and marketing. It also shows the bill of materials (BOM), a list of costs and required raw materials for projecting finances and facilitating resources. Plus, there’s quote management that determines the best offers, which is helpful during the slowsales period.
At this stage, the product should have a notable presence. It’s available in most markets, it has return customers, and its sales rise. While companies get to enjoy the significant increase in profits, it’s also during the growth that competition emerges.
This is where the process management feature shines. It can track project milestones, resource allocation, and product activities to monitor and fully optimize the benefits of the surge of sales. This can also be used for delegating tasks to streamline the process.
This is the peak stage of the product. At this point, curve effects show: a sales decline, the emergence of new products, and competitors slowly leaving the market. The best course of action for companies to take is to stay competitive either by lowering their pricing or rebranding.
What companies can do is use the risk management feature. This analyzes the current market condition and shows the best course of action the business can take. It also reveals weak spots in the manufacturing process, logistics, and costing, which can reduce expenses and help the product stay afloat.
Saturation and Decline
This is the product’s final stage. Sales steeply decline and costs become counter-optimal. The best thing to do at this point is to stop production and marketing.
During this phase, the collaboration and reporting feature is the most useful. This provides analytics of the product’s entire lifecycle so businesses can determine how much they stand to lose or if the product is still profitable. It also shows patterns of success to help plan any future lines.
PLM software is packed with features and applications that assist managers with their product’s inception to its decline. If you’re interested to learn more about it, or if you want to use it for your business, talking to a developer can help.