Product lifecycle management software is mainly used to manage the design and manufacturing process.
Actually it can help with other aspects of the process such as research and development and supply chain logistics. And if it’s connected to administration tools, such as customer relations management, usually referred to as CRM, and enterprise resource planning software, which is often called ERP, PLM systems can become even more powerful.
The PLM system originated in the 1980s in the auto-making business but is now used across a wide range of industries, but still mostly traditional manufacturing sectors.
The usage of PLM is growing, with several reports predicting the market for the software reaching approximately $65 billion to $75 billion by 2022.
Most PLM installations are specifically customised to suit particular companies, which probably accounts for the significant revenues.
According to iDataLabs.com, more than 10,000 companies currently use PLM software, but mostly it’s large manufacturing companies which use that type of application.
The PLM applications with the largest number of installations are:
- Siemens Teamcenter – 2,972 installations
- Dassault Systèmes Enovia – 1,852
- Oracle PLM – 1,396
- Siemens Simatic Automation Designer (closest link match) – 1,075
- PTC Windchill – 1,072
- SAP PLM (closest match) – 779
- Siemens PLM (closest match) – 734
- Arena PLM – 184
- Aras – 147
- Infor Optiva – 33
Other providers of PLM are Autodesk, Omnify, Centric, and Selerant.
It’s possible that many companies, especially the large ones, use more than one PLM environment, but there is nonetheless quite intense competition between the big PLM providers.