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, the need for technical innovation that ensures proper data organization, document control, up-to-date operations management, and cost reduction is essential. This is where PLMs and ERPs come in.

While 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, they often don’t recognize the benefits that come from integrating these two systems together.

How Cre8tive Can Help

If you’re wondering, “what is a PLM and an 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’re going to start by understanding what the differences between these systems are and how implementing both a PLM and ERP today can tremendously boost your business’ capabilities for the future.

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, including:

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

Not only does PLM manage these stages, it also connects 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 – thus reducing risks and additional costs.

What is an ERP?

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a software system that businesses use to manage their finances, as well as organize various processes including customer support, sales, accounting, and manufacturing.

With an ERP, industries with multiple departments that create and require numerous amounts of intricate data, heavily rely on ERPs in order to create a seamless communication across multiple teams and departments.

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

While PLMs and ERPs both focus on increased collaboration, efficient data management, and cost-control, they vary in their execution styles.

PLMs have a distinct focus that is mainly product centric, whereas ERPs focus is mainly business centric.

The main users of a PLM software are twofold: 1) designers and engineers that 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 – this software allows for a seamless process of purchasing, creating, and fulfilling product orders, on top of inventory and machinery efficiency.

Benefits of PLM and ERP Integration

While industries often see these software systems as competing solutions, together, they actually 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

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

These two software solutions automate, update, and transfer data in real-time, delivering a seamless connection from machinery to management to consumer.

Lower Costs

With real-time data transfer, errors and risks are considerably minimized, thus decreasing any inconsistencies that may arise.

Production orders, purchasing orders, and delivery orders can be done with complete confidence and accuracy can be accomplished with the combination of PLM and ERP software.

Improved Collaboration

Because product development and execution has 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 and 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 less errors, thus creating an improved customer experience.

Partner with Cre8tive

Interested in implementing a PLM or ERP software for your business? 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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