Selerant Devex PLM implementation

Best practices for PLM implmentation

| Product Lifecycle Management
Posted By: Selerant

Ensuring Return on Investment (ROI) for your Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Implementation

Part of the PLM selection process should include the total approach to implementing the solution. Some companies may look at a “Big Bang” approach, which essentially launches every module at the same time.

While this may be tempting to immediately realize your ROI, it can also be a large pitfall. If you imagine building a house, you don’t immediately put up the foundation, framing, electrical, plumbing, drywall, and paint on the same day. The same logic holds true for a software implementation. There is a logical sequence that requires thorough testing at each stage.



So what order should you take?

First there is the overall structure of the launch itself. This has many sub-layers, but the basic path is:

  1. Project Initiation
  2. Design and Prototype
  3. Build and Configure
  4. Testing and Deployment
  5. Training and Go-Live

As for the modules/features that should be implemented, there is a set order. Even though each of these directly integrates and builds upon the other, you must establish a defined order to have both accuracy and clarity throughout the project.


1.    Product Data Management

The foundation for your PLM system, Data Management defines and incorporates all data for every stage of your New Product Development and Introduction (NPDI).

While the processes impact the data, the structure must be defined before you can determine what the eventual workflow will be.

Most early adopters invested in specification management first, because it has an immediate positive effect on existing manufacturing operations.

The first phase should define and integrate Product Data Management for the entire product lifecycle, including:

  • material attributes
  • initial requirements
  • packaging specifications
  • product specifications
  • vendor specifications (for bought ingredients)
  • Bill of Materials
  • Artwork
  • Labeling templates

This phase will require several supporting tasks, including data cleansing, data harmonization and legacy system integration.

In addition, IT must gather requirements from each Subject Matter Business Expert (SMBE) to define tables and fields, down to the granular level of significant digits, populated fields, if/then, etc.


2.    Innovation Process Management

Processes define both systemic and resource-driven activities that support the NPDI. As you SMBE helped define the data structure, they must also be involved with how the structure works.

This will not only include incorporating the current culture, but identifying where they opportunities for growth and enhancement lie.







When a formula is ready for validation…


R&D creates email and send to manually selected recipients.


Automatically generate a notification email, send to defined recipients, and archive in distribution log.

When you buy a new ingredient from an outside vendor…


Review the specifications, attach to an email, and send to manually selected recipients.


Review uploaded specification, approve and automatically add to centralized database for immediate use.


3.      Formula and Recipe Management

Many are tempted to initially launch the formulation module to capitalize immediately on their investment. However, this module will not effectively work unless both the data and process structure is tested and validated. Essentially, you are ensuring the foundation of your PLM enterprise system.

After the first two phases, your R&D team will be able to access past formulas and leverage them for future NPDI. In addition, they can increase their overall visibility to existing formulation currently in production and accurately analyze each newly added ingredient and process.

4.    Regulatory Compliance

Once you have established the first three phases, the Regulatory Compliance module can be implemented to analyze all three: data, processes, and formulations/recipes.


However, in addition to the initial product data, companies should investigate regulatory data services. While you have the product data and calculations, you must also have the regulatory guidelines to feed the analysis.

As markets grow larger, companies must ensure compliance across multiple regions, each with continually changing legislation issues.