selerant-erp-plm-integration-ebook (2)

Integrating PLM with ERP and Legacy Systems

| Product Lifecycle Management
Posted By: Selerant

How do you view a product's entire cost and scope?


  • View real product development and introduction costs
  • View final costs of finalized product
  • Integrate Ingredient data efficiently between the systems.
  • Reduce input errors and efficiency by real time transfer of material master data and Bill of Material (BOM)


  • Populating resource costs in Project and Devex
  • Populating timelines in Devex and ERP
  • Managing artwork in graphic art suites and Devex

How do you successfully integrate PLM/ERP?

1.  Understand True Functionality

Before you can begin selecting a combination or integration of systems, you must first understand what you need in each system. 

This will require you to determine your company’s specific needs for a PLM solution, including feedback from:

  • IT
  • Legal
  • Marketing
  • Quality Assurance (Including team members from Specifications, Labeling)
  • R&D
  • Regulatory
  • Manufacturing 

Once you have their feedback, you will need to determine which vendor best meets the majority of your PLM needs. If you do not establish the key criteria from the on-set, it will definitely lead to implementation problems later.


2.  Evaluate the type of connection needed for your ERP system.

The best practice would be to have a connection that allows data to be easily synced with your system.  This does not have to be with the same vendor, but it must be a tested and validated integration system.

When you select a PLM vendor, they should be able to tell you if they have successfully integrated with ERP systems, and provide you with a reference.

3.  Determine what data should be transferred, level of granularity, and security.

The criteria is also listed in the PLM/ERP checklist.

What information do you need to be synced across the systems?

  • Specifications
  • Ingredient Attributes
  • Costs
  • Vendor Specifications
  • Bill of Materials

How detailed/granular will it be? 
Vendor Data

  • Do you have a separate collaboration site for secured login?
  • Can the data be reviewed before it can be synced?
  • What are the supported file types for uploads?

4.  Determine the scope and differentiation.

Some companies are actually enterprises or conglomerations, essentially functioning as multiple companies.  In this type of enterprise, you must determine if you need multiple integrations.  Ex: Enterprise 123 may have Groups A, B, C, and D.

Groups A and B may share the same ERP system, but Groups C and D use a different ERP system.  In this circumstance, you will need to define a separate integration.

5.  Select the right resource.

The basic configuration between the two systems can be completed at implementation.  Additional mapping may be required upon upgrades or major new releases, but should not be a frequent activity.

With that in mind, you should select an expert in your ERP system with a clear understanding of Middleware.

6.  Test and validate.

Your resource should test and validate the system. However, each internal group should have a designated team member who confirms their critical data has been integrated (ex: R&D confirms that their new ingredient has been synced with all corresponding attributes).