What is the Difference Between PLM and ERP?

What You Should Know About PLM and ERPs

For industries like Aerospace and Defense and General Manufacturing, reliable and effective tools are crucial. Businesses in these fields need to ensure proper data organization, document control, up-to-date operations management, and cost reduction.

This is where PLMs and ERPs come in.

Many businesses today are already utilizing either a PLM or an ERP as a way to efficiently manage and organize everything from supply chain management, inventory, product development, and pricing.

However, they often don’t recognize the benefits that come from integrating these two systems together. This combination creates a stronger digital infrastructure that more effectively shares information. It automates key processes and supports product-focused as well as business-focused objectives.

How Cre8tive Can Help

Are you wondering, “What’s PLM vs. ERP?” and “Should my business integrate these types of software?”

The experts at Cre8tive Technology and Design are here to help answer all your Epicor ERP migration questions and solutions.

In today’s blog post, we’ll start by reviewing the differences between these systems. Then, we’ll look at how implementing both a PLM and ERP today can tremendously boost your business’ capabilities for the future.

Product Lifecycle Management vs. Enterprise Resource Planning, Explained

What is a PLM?

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is a software used by businesses as a way to manage and control product-centric processes across all stages. These include:

  • New Product Ideas
  • Prototype, Testing and Design
  • Production
  • Change Management
  • Customer Support

PLM systems do more than only manage these stages. They also connect the key players associated with the project, synchronizes valuable data, centralizes documents into a Single Source of Truth, and automates the BOM transfer to ERP. The result is reducing risks and additional costs.

What is an ERP?

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a software system that businesses use to manage their business across nearly all areas of operation. That includes various processes and departments including finance, customer support, sales, accounting, and manufacturing.

Industries with multiple departments that create and require large amounts of intricate data, heavily rely on ERP. They leverage these digital solutions to create seamless communication across multiple teams and departments.

What are the Main Differences Between a PLM and an ERP?

PLM solutions and ERP platforms both focus on increased collaboration, efficient data management, and cost control. However, they vary in their execution styles.

Staff review information from ERP and PLM tools while meeting in a conference room.

PLMs have a distinct focus that is mainly product-centric, ERPs, on the other hand, have a focus that is mainly business-centric.

The main users of PLM software include two distinct groups:

  1. Designers and engineers who collaborate on the creation of a product, its materials, and the related testing involved in production.
  2. Office and shop floor users that need to save and view product-centric documents.

The main users of ERPs are companies who deal in manufacturing, although it’s increasingly used in other industries. This software allows for a seamless process of purchasing, creating, and fulfilling product orders, on top of inventory, machinery, and general business efficiency.

Benefits of PLM and ERP Integration

Wondering which is better, PLM or ERP? The truth is that these tools don’t directly compete with each other. Instead, they have distinct areas of focus where they’re intended to offer valuable results. Additionally, they can coordinate and work together, such as PLM automating BOM transfer to ERP.

Businesses can and do combine PLM and ERP to derive benefits from both solutions. Together, they create a fully-functioning management system for industries looking to develop a completely seamless production and fulfillment cycle.

Here are a few benefits of implementing both PLM and ERP software systems for your business.

Increased Efficiency

This combination of software provides access to real-time data, production status, machinery function, and required product modifications. PLM and ERP integration delivers increased productivity and efficiency to businesses that can’t be duplicated by non-technology solutions.

These two software solutions automate, update, and transfer data in real time. In the big picture, that means a seamless connection from machinery to management to consumer.

Which is better for my business, PLM or ERP software? From an efficiency standpoint, the answer is both. PLM and ERP systems that work together consistently deliver results that continually support your organization.

Lower Costs

With real-time data transfer, errors and risks are considerably minimized. This helps to reduce and mitigate any inconsistencies that may arise.

Production orders, purchasing orders, and delivery orders can be managed with complete confidence and accuracy. It’s all possible with the right combination of PLM and ERP software.

Improved Collaboration

Product development and execution have so many different stages. Communication can often become tangled, leading to errors, product loss, reduced revenue, and recalls.

The implementation of PLM and ERPs essentially detangles this web. It creates a clear flow for communication and collaboration for multiple departments.

Increased Customer Satisfaction

When a customer experiences a less-than-ideal situation with a product, they’re less likely to return. With the implementation of both a PLM and an ERP, orders are fulfilled in a more timely manner with fewer errors. This, creates an improved customer experience.

Partner with Cre8tive

Interested in implementing PLM or ERP software for your business? Want to access the benefits that both of these solutions can provide when paired together?

Trust Cre8tive Technology and Design to create a custom migration plan for your unique business needs.

Get in touch with us, and one of our knowledgeable representatives will help you get started today.

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