Manufacturers used to compete on economies of scale. Design engineers were the only users of product lifecycle management (PLM) systems. Their task was to design the lowest unit-cost piece parts for mass production.

But now manufacturers must compete on customization and on time-to-market. It’s why industrial giants have bet their future on software.

Drivers and fleet owners value over-the-air vehicle software updates. Airlines and defense departments prefer the predictable cost and availability of jet engines “as a service.” Manufacturers and their customers like the promise of new subscription business models.

That’s why sales, marketing, and customer service team members, as well as design engineers, use modern product lifecycle management. It’s why manufacturers of jet engines, or even compressor blades, use modern PLM to collaborate on testing and design with airlines as much as with aircraft manufacturers. It’s part of the secret of the Tesla supply chain, too — the ability to expose a vehicle’s digital twin and sell directly to the driver, without involving a dealer channel.

Modern PLM, together with techniques such as additive manufacturing, help to build supply chain resilience, as well. They enable you to design and test complex components, such as the burner in a gas turbine. For low-volume, high-value production, you can link your simulations directly to digital manufacturing devices. This reduces reliance on multiple low-cost component suppliers and boosts resilience.

I invite clients to view our webinar about recent research into modern PLM. You will learn how manufacturers:

  • Engage potential customers in design and testing.
  • Manage a digital thread linking design, manufacture, and maintenance to boost collaborative innovation.
  • Reduce time-to-market and improve their chances of market success for their products and services.