PLM and ERP are two important systems required to develop and launch innovative and profitable products. It is important to understand the relationship between PLM and ERP.

PLM(Product Lifecycle management):

PLM focuses on product innovation, product design and development, product record, product files etc. PLM also track any change to the product information. In short, PLM means the system of record for your product.

ERP(Enterprise Resource Planning):

ERP focuses on planning and reporting activities such as production scheduling, inventory management, shipping, logistics, accounting etc. In short, ERP means the system of record for your financials.

How ERP and PLM work together:

ERP and PLM are complementary tools that communicate with each other. To organize and manage product data, product data should be initially stored in the PLM system. Once the product design has developed to a point where resources need to be managed to produce the design, an ERP system that integrates with the existing PLM system is helpful.

By integrating ERP with PLM, the most accurate and up-to-date data is available. ERP without PLM cannot organize product record properly and may mismanage product changes as well as inaccurate with financial planning. PLM is the starting tool that ERP must follow. Following is the integration workflow from PLM to ERP:

  1. PLM begins with the concept of a new product.
  2. Once the initial concept decided, it can then designed and prototyped. In this phase, designers work to make the product concept into reality and finally prototype testing is done. A PLM software centralized document management system is used to keep track of all the information created during this phase. This ensures that teams are always working with the file that is most up-to-date.
  3. ERP uses all these data to create the most accurate resource planning and reporting.
  4. After planning and reporting the product then enters into the manufacturing phase of the product lifecycle.
  5. The last phase is the proper distribution and maintenance of the final product. This includes the warehousing of the final product, distribution to its various sales channels and understanding its overall performance using sales and customer support data, an ERP system is involved in this phase. Before the cycle begins again with a new product, it is important that information about the performance of the product is collected so that it can be accurately understood how it can be improved upon.
  6. Again, PLM software is used to keep track of this information as the product enters into the market. This allows a company to manage the retailers, distributors, and marketplaces.

This is how the PLM and ERP work together to develop and launch the product.