What is Product Lifecycle Management Software - PLM?

Product lifecycle management (PLM) is a solution that offers a systematic approach to managing the sequence of changes a product undergoes, from its design and creation to its ultimate disposal or retirement. PLM is linked to manufacturing, but the management structure can also be utilized for service provision and software development.

A PLM software solution can help companies to manage their product's lifecycle by offering a data warehouse for all the information that impacts the product. The software can be utilized to automate the handling of product-related data and to integrate the data with other processes such as manufacturing execution systems (MES) and enterprise resource planning (ERP). Start by checking our leader SAP PLM, and other recommended solutions in this category.

Product Lifecycle Management Software - PLM

Top 13 Most Popular Product Lifecycle Management Software - PLM

Elbats MES reviews
Elbats MES

Our Score 8.5

User Satisfaction 100%

Elbats MES is an integrated manufacturing execution and product lifecycle management software for factories and manufacturers. Read Reviews

SAP PLM reviews

Our Score 9.6

User Satisfaction 99%

SAP PLM is a product lifecycle management software for enterprises that offers greater visibility and control. Read Reviews

Siemens Teamcenter PLM reviews
Siemens Teamcenter PLM

Our Score 9.5

User Satisfaction 96%

Siemens Teamcenter PLM is a simplified yet comprehensive product lifecycle management software for enterprises to enhance their profitability and increase efficiency. Read Reviews

Autodesk Vault reviews
Autodesk Vault

Our Score 9.4

User Satisfaction 100%

Autodesk Vault is a CAD data management and collaboration software for building an efficient product development cycle in multi-user environments. Read Reviews

PTC Creo PLM reviews

Our Score 9.4

User Satisfaction 100%

Creo is a powerful yet flexible 3D design tool to help you design, visualize, and analyze your product under the process of development. Read Reviews

Infor PLM Discrete reviews
Infor PLM Discrete

Our Score 9.4

User Satisfaction 100%

Take your product development process to the new heights of efficiency and quality with Infor PLM Discrete. Read Reviews

Infor PLM Optiva reviews
Infor PLM Optiva

Our Score 9.4

User Satisfaction 100%

Infor PLM is exclusively designed for the process manufacturers to optimize product development processes and reduce the cost of production while ensuring quality and compliance. Read Reviews

Oracle Agile PLM reviews
Oracle Agile PLM

Our Score 9.3

User Satisfaction 100%

Comprehensive Product Lifecycle Management Software for enterprises to effectively manage product value chains and lifecycles. Read Reviews

PTC Windchill reviews
PTC Windchill

Our Score 9.1

User Satisfaction 100%

PTC Windchill is a comprehensive product lifecycle management software that envelopes all the features of product development. Read Reviews

Dassault ENOVIA reviews
Dassault ENOVIA

Our Score 9.0

User Satisfaction 100%

Product Lifecycle Management solution for large and medium-sized companies for collaborative innovation, clarity and consistency. Read Reviews

Roadmunk reviews

Our Score 9.0

User Satisfaction 100%

Roadmunk is a roadmap application for product management and marketing teams that helps them manage their product launch campaigns. Read Reviews

Canarys reviews

Our Score 7.4

User Satisfaction 100%

Canarys is a comprehensive solution provider specialized in application development, maintenance, and testing across a broad spectrum of domains, such as audit conformance. Read Reviews

OneDesk reviews

Our Score 7.4

User Satisfaction 95%

Capture and manage ideas, stories & requirements. Build releases, create product hierarchies and share plans in progress. Read Reviews

How To Choose The Best Product Lifecycle Management Software

As the name indicates, product lifecycle management (PLM) software helps companies to manage their product’s lifecycle from design and development to disposal at the end. Therefore, it is imperative that you do educated comparisons to choose the best product lifecycle management software for your organization’s needs. However, this can be a tough task given the surfeit of PLM programs in the market. To help you, we have created this buyer’s guide which details the things to look for and evaluate in your search for the best product lifecyle management software.

Get to know each product with free trial

A great way to start your search is to register for the free trials or demo offered by leading product lifecycle management software providers. This will enable you to try out each solution’s features free of cost and understand if the system is what you are looking for. You can start by visiting the websites of the following top PLM platforms to find out if they offer a free trial: Autodesk VaultAutodesk Fusion LifecycleArena PLM, and Oracle Agile PLM. These tools  have been given high rankings in our product lifecycle management software reviews that you can read to do a comparison of their features. 

Targeted Businesses

PLM software can be used by companies in a host of industries including the following:

  • High Tech
  • Life Sciences
  • Consumer Electronics
  • Industrial
  • Transportation
  • Consumer Products
  • Clean Tech

Examples of Product Lifecycle Management Software

  • Autodesk Vault: Data management and collaboration software. Vault data management software assists designers and engineers to organize design data, handle documentation, and monitor revisions and other development processes.
  • Autodesk Fusion Lifecycle: Autodesk Fusion Lifecycle (formerly PLM 360) is a cloud-based platform that is a next-generation alternative to conventional product lifecycle management. It is an affordable, easy-to-use PLM system that makes the benefits of product lifecycle management available to anyone, anytime, anywhere.
  • Arena PLM: Arena PLM enables high tech companies to go fast. Engineering and manufacturing teams can use the software to drive ideation, innovation, launch, and manufacturing in quick time.
  • Oracle Agile PLM: Comprehensive enterprise PLM solution for managing your product value chain. Oracle’s Agile PLM solution helps you innovate profitably, efficiently centralize product data, and streamline processes.

Types of Product Lifecycle Management Software

You can select and purchase from the following general types of product lifecycle management software tools:

  • PLM software from an ERP vendor: Most ERP systems offer PLM feature with their suites. Example vendors are: Infor, Oracle, and SAP.
  • Best-of-breed application: This is offered by PLM-specific vendors who provide a suite of modules to manage all stages of the product lifecycle. Example vendors are: Dassault Systemes, PTC, and  Siemens.
  • Stand-alone PLM modules: You can also buy CAD, CAE and other modules as stand-alone solutions. Example vendors include: CAMWorks, MasterCAM, and Autodesk.

Key Features of Product Lifecycle Management Software

  • Computer-aided design (CAD) – CAD apps create two-dimensional and three-dimensional models of components. You can use CAD software to produce designs quickly and accurately. Plus, you can update and reuse designs as needed.
  • Computer-aided engineering (CAE) – CAE is used to simulate products, identify weaknesses, and develop preliminary designs to make safer and more sound assets. Common CAE features are fluid dynamics analysis, mechanical event simulation, finite element analysis, and performance simulators.
  • Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) – CAM is used by manufacturers to create products precisely according to design specification. CAM apps communicate with machinery to make items exactly as designed and create documentation needed to trace manufacturing trends at future dates.
  • Manufacturing process management (MPM) – MPM software automates and manages all the processes that are needed to make products.
  • Product data management (PDM) – PDM creates a central storehouse for all information related to product design and processes. PDM modules can be accessed from any device and provide data security features to secure production information.
  • Reporting and analytics – You can use analytics to find where lead times are going out of control which can make your project overshoot cost estimates. Many solutions offer pre-built reports, as well as ad hoc reporting that you can customize for your needs.

Benefits of Product Lifecycle Management Software

  • Quicker production – You can use CAD software to create designs more quickly and easily at lower costs. Plus, you can use CAM functionality to handle machining processes and create products quickly.
  • Accurate production – You can use PLM software to ensure products do not deviate from design specs during machining. Plus, you can also simulate and test designs before production to ensure the finished products are of good quality and dependable.
  • Efficient production – You can communicate with your team members and share designs, production forecasts and other information. PLM software helps you to create definitive, automatic processes for product design, creation, and disposal.

Latest Trends

Need for greater integration

Smartphones are revolutionizing the PLM industry and are making the products more complex. Designers and engineers need to handle complex issues related to combining electronic, mechanical, and software elements. Manufacturing companies will not be able to keep software, electronics, and mechanical teams in silos as there is great demand for integration of software, electronics, and mechanical elements of product data.

Internet of Things data overwhelms engineers

PLM software vendors are trying to figure out the benefits the Internet of Things can offer to their products and businesses. PLM solutions are becoming more complex as its designers are adding software and electronic components. Plus, online social interactions are bringing more data to the table. To sum up, the Internet of Things is set to create a wave of data that may overwhelm PLM software makers.

The future of manufacturing technology disruption

What does the future hold for manufacturing technology disruption? We can expect smarter software as well as full connectivity involving a range of data-capturing features and sensors that will be integrated into products. Plus, PLM software vendors can be expected to use agile, lean methodologies to make their products better. Existing development environments are likely to be disrupted by multidisciplinary interconnected data sets because of the complexity of products.

Potential Issues

The following challenges can affect the effective use of PLM software:

Lack of integration between a bill of materials (BOM) and CAD

If you do not use a good quality CAD system, it may not automatically generate a BOM list. The solution is to use PLM software which automatically creates a BOM list and updates it if designs get revised. This ensures there is no gap between design and manufacturing.

Revision Errors

Multiple revisions may be created during the design and review processes. This increases the chances of sending an older version of the design for manufacturing. This error can be expensive in terms of resources, time, and cost. With PLM software, you can synchronize data between teams, business units, and locations.

Misplaced or lost documents

A number of documents are generated during the design and manufacturing process. These include CAD drawing and parts lists, text documents, pictures, spreadsheets and more. It is easy for these documents to become disorganized and littered. Use a quality PLM software to securely store all important product documents in one place and make them easily accessible to all team members and business units.

List of Product Lifecycle Management Software - PLM Companies


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Our Score Read More

Our platform employs our unique SmartScore™ mode to gather information about all the solutions in the Product Lifecycle Management Software - PLM category so that we can help you select the best possible application. It takes into consideration the following factors: cruscial modules, collaboration tools, custom elements, available integrations, user friendliness, help & support, security, mobility, general media ratings. As of now, SAP PLM is the leader in this category and our experts are really satisfied with it. Following thorough testing it had the best results among its competitors and we strongly suggest that you consider it as one of the options for your needs.

User Satisfaction Read More

A summary of total user satisfaction with the services in our Product Lifecycle Management Software - PLM category based on our unique algorythm that collects user reviews, comments and opinions across a wide set of social media sites to help you make an educated purchase decision.











Pricing Read More

Each vendor in the Product Lifecycle Management Software - PLM category will have a different set of pricing plans for its app and every plan will include a unique set of elements. Below we list the overal pricing for the cheapest plan provided for each service. Keep in mind that advanced features may have an extra cost.

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Devices Supported Read More

An overview of what type of devices and operating systems are supported by all B2B solutions in the Product Lifecycle Management Software - PLM category, including mobile platforms and web-based solutions.






Laguages Supported Read More

Check which languages and countries are supported by the popular B2B solutions in the Product Lifecycle Management Software - PLM category, including solutions aimed at international markets and prepared for multi-cultural groups of employees.

Pricing Model Read More

Learn what pricing packages are offered by the vendors in the Product Lifecycle Management Software - PLM category to see which one matches your business needs and budget best. Note that certain services can support free or freemium accounts for you to try out first.


Monthly payment

One-time payment

Annual Subscription


Customer Types Read More

A brief look at what kinds of clients a selected B2B solution in the Product Lifecycle Management Software - PLM category is designed for, from small businesses and non-profits to large enterprises.

Small Business

Large Enterprises

Medium Business


Deployment Read More

A summary of what kinds of software deployement are supported by each B2B vendor in the Product Lifecycle Management Software - PLM category. While almost all modern SaaS solutions are cloud-based there are services might offer an on-site deployment model as well.

Cloud Hosted

On Premise

Open API

Post by Alex Hillsberg