Product Life Cycle Management: Beginner’s Guide in 4 Important Points

Ajay Ohri


The product life cycle management or PLM is an integration of every aspect of a product taking it right from its stage of conception through its life cycle and ultimately to its disposal. PLM helps the company to meet its vision to manage the data, its people, the software, product manufacturing, and marketing as well as the overall plan for the product.

In this article let us look at:

  1. What is Product Life Cycle Management?
  2. Product Life Cycle Management Tools
  3. Product Life Cycle Management Process
  4. Benefits of Product Life Cycle Management

1. What is Product Life Cycle Management?

Product life cycle management is about handling the product as it moves through the typical life stages. This includes its development and introduction, its growth and stability stage, and ultimately its decline. The handling of the product involves product manufacturing as well as its sales. Through the PLM the company can make informed business decisions right from how to price the product to ways to promote it. The company also understands how to cut costs and expand the reach of its products.

It is important to get the entire workforce to work together for effective product life cycle management. Right from the product development to its decline the department needs to work together to streamline the various activities to price a product that is capable of outperforming its competitors. It helps to make a profitable product that lasts for long as per the desire of the consumers and as per how it accepts technology.

The PLM system lets the organization to cope with the increase in complexities and the engineering challenges that go into product development. PLM is one of the important aspects of the manufacturing companies structure. So you now understand what is PLM.

2. Product Life Cycle Management Tools

Various product management life cycle software is used to manage the information as well as the processes at each step of the product life cycle. The software tracks the data from the products, parts, items, requirements, documents, engineer’s challenges, and workflow quality. The supply chain has become an inevitable part of the business and companies are shifting their operation models towards it. Companies are now using embedded software services like PaaS to sell any new product or service. These companies understand the need for PLM software that is cloud-based and that helps them to be more adaptable and responsive.

3. Product Life Cycle Management Process

The PLC process is based on the assumption that each product goes through the same parameter right from when it gets introduced in the market till when it sees its decline. The product has to spend more time in the market to see an increase in sales. Every product follows a different PLC route which differs in its length of duration and scope. Also, there is a risk that the company may not make it through the introduction phase itself. However, the strategies that the company should follow, needs to be consistent through each of its phases.

When the tenets of PLM are used in the development of any new product then this increases the chances of success of the product. PLM allows data sharing and its various processes improve the creation time and this improves collaboration. This leads to a short cycle which in turn makes the product more successful. The stage-gate model is followed by most products that help to funnel the development stage.

When each stage of the development process gets complete the product gets passed through the management approved stage. The product will go through the screen development test and launch phase. Each of these stages could also be repeated many times. The PLM overview allows an accelerated innovation and product accuracy since managers have even information regardless of the point of origin of the product.

In the process of setting up the right product price, one needs to consider the total product cost and what your customers would say about your product quality. There are many costing methods. These include the cost of design, production, recycling, and disposal. The other way to set the product price is through target costing.

The product life cycle management prices go through the:

  • Stage 1 is the product development stage. Here any new product gets introduced and this is where all the research and product development take place.
  • Stage 2 is the product growth phase where the product is no more an idea but a prototype. Following this, the product gets manufactured, marketed, and then released. The distribution starts to increase, the demand starts to increase and there is also an increase in competition.
  • Stage 3 is the product maturity stage where the product is now widely available and there is a lot of competition in the market. You start to market the product to various market segments but advertising does not show a great impact on the product demand.
  • Stage 4 is the stage of the product decline where the product starts to lose its market share and becomes obsolete. It is a sort of its prime and the demand slowly starts to slow down.

4. Benefits of Product Life Cycle Management

If you apply a sound PLC management system in place then this comes with many benefits. Your product gets into the market much faster. You put a high product quality in the market and improve the safety of the product. You can increase the opportunity of sales and reduce any wastage or errors. There is software that helps with PLM through various functions like design interaction, document management, and process management.

The other benefits of PLM include an improvement in the quality and reliability of the product, reduction in the cost of prototyping, reusing original data that leads to savings, better managing of the fluctuations in seasons and maximizing the collaboration of the supply chain.


Companies make use of the PLM tools to identify in what life cycle stage their products are in. This helps with marketing. So if it is a new product then it needs explanation and if it is a mature product then it needs to be differentiated. Now that you know the PLM meaning, it helps to affect the fundamental elements of the product, and even when a product reaches maturity it can still grow if it gets augmented and updated in the relevant ways.

Interested to learn all about Product Management from the best minds in the industry? Check out our Product Management Course. This 6-month-long program takes place online through live instructor-led sessions. It is the only program in India that offers the ‘Bring Your Own Product (BYOP)’ feature so that learners can build their product idea into a full-blown product, and go through an entire Product Development lifecycle. Not only this, but this is the only program in India with a curriculum that conforms to the 5i Framework. Post completion, learners receive a joint certification from the Indian Institute of Management, Indore, and Jigsaw Academy.

Also, Read

Product Differentiation: A Complete Guide In 6 Easy Points

Related Articles

Please wait while your application is being created.
Request Callback