The greatest priority among product or software providers concerning product lifecycle management (PLM)—the process of managing a product from inception to design to testing to disposal—is operational efficiency. These providers are concerned with such things as reducing product quality issues and accelerating time to market, all of which reduce costs and increase profit in the long-run.
To achieve these PLM goals, providers need advanced, integrated tools and analytics that enable them to gain deeper insight into their product lifecycles, more clearly understand how their systems work, and make more informed and profitable business decisions and improvements. In fact, 65 percent of product manufacturers recently surveyed by Accenture said they plan to use data analytics and business intelligence (BI) to maximize their PLM process. Furthermore, 84 percent of C-level executives said they want to increase PLM collaboration between departments such as design, manufacturing and engineering to better streamline their system.
But achieving these goals with data, BI and collaboration can be difficult for smaller providers that either lack product management experience or a collaborative product management team. For instance, compared to larger and more established providers, these companies may struggle to accurately leverage PLM data to accelerate product delivery and identify new revenue streams.
For these reasons, smaller provider should consider the benefits of outsourcing PLM to a trusted IT vendor, who can help by:
- Generating actionable insights using data analytics: An IT vendor can equip companies with either one power user or a team of experts that can analyze data (i.e. customer feedback on products) and pull reports to identify growth opportunities. Furthermore, all data can be provided in one single and easily accessible source so that departments can work more seamlessly and collaboratively.
- Delivering innovative new products: No product manufacturer wants to be a follower. An IT vendor can help providers become market leaders by pinpointing and delivering innovative new products that speak to users’ needs. This enables them to consistently stay a few steps ahead of the competition.
- Keeping operations on schedule and within budget: Companies that have a product concept are not always sure how to build and carry it through every stage of the product lifecycle. An IT vendor not only provides initial strategizing by creating a roadmap, but can also create the product and manage it through its entire lifecycle until it reaches end of life.
- Integrating custom applications with existing hardware: Seventy-five percent of providers surveyed by Accenture believe integrating new software with existing hardware is crucial for PLM efficiency. A trusted IT vendor can create, integrate and continually manage software integrations for these companies.
Billions of dollars are spent every year on product lifecycle management, according to Accenture. Outsourcing PLM to a trusted IT vendor allows providers to significantly improve operational efficiencies and do so at just a fraction of the cost, which is always a plus.