Choosing PLM Software

Every now and then, I will see a question posted in a LinkedIn Group asking, “which PLM software I should choose?”  Any quick answer to that question will only be a ‘popular’ vote [often posted by people selling a specific solution].

One of the most important pieces of advice I can provide is to ‘do your homework’.


Whatever you want to call it, you need to do this first so that you can make an informed decision.

Some basic questions you should ask.

–     What does your environment look like?  How many users do you have?  Do you want users outside your 4 walls to have access?

–     What is your budget?  How big is your problem in dollars?  How much are you willing to spend to solve the problem?

–     What will your company look like 5 years from now?  How big will it be?  How will this affect your problem?  What will I want the software to do then?

–     Do you want to manage bills of materials?  Do you want to manage changes to the bills of materials?  Do you want to write the bills of materials into your ERP?

Answers to these questions could get you to a short list of vendors, but a thorough analysis/assessment will narrow that down.  My PLM assessment workbook starts at a dozen pages.

The more knowledge you gather, the better your chances for a successful implementation.  It is definitely worth the effort.

Your Thoughts?

What has been your experience?