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White Paper

Driving Transformation and Sustainability in Manufacturing through Enterprise Product Lifecycle Management


Most organizations mistakenly treat a Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) program as a mere technology intervention. However, we have found that a PLM implementation can be leveraged to transform sustainability related business processes, resulting in far bigger rewards for manufacturing organizations.

Need for transformation and sustainability in the manufacturing industry

Transformation helps organizations align themselves with the changing global trends, by adapting to new business models, altering organizational and business processes, and leveraging advanced technologies.

Sustainability means finding the right balance between the social, economic and environmental aspects of a product and the business as a whole. Organizations who deem long-term environmental sustainability as a key focus area have gained significantly in revenues, profit margins and customer loyalty. 

How PLM can help

The conventional approach for addressing business challenges is generally based on a reactive model wherein organizations transform the local business unit or functional level processes and systems in response to certain external factors. This reactive approach usually lacks vision and clarity of purpose, is weak on leadership commitment, and does not have an enterprise-wide view. PLM has the potential to transform a manufacturing enterprise – it ties all the business critical systems together so that business can innovate faster, reduce costs on a regular basis, enhance quality and collaborate globally.

We propose a PLM & Transformation framework where key imperatives of a PLM program are drawn from the organization’s vision and are directly linked to the entire NPI value chain, thereby enabling the organization to achieve its objectives. PLM can help achieve sustainability by including design analysis, environmental analysis and economic analysis during the early stages of the new product development process. PLM can not only bring about effectiveness and efficiencies on an exponential basis, but also support continuous improvement on an on-going basis.

Some of the benefits are:

  • Tracking of material, substances and their weight management throughout the product lifecycle
  • Risk and hazard impact analysis, thus reducing the possibility of litigation and related costs
  • Efficient automation thus reducing time and resource requirements of processes
  • Data management to ensure accurate analysis of the impact of change to gain better insights into cause and effect
  • Supporting virtual collaboration while reducing paper-based information and travel thereby contributing to making the earth a greener planet

Solution approach and framework

Drawing on our extensive consulting experience, we have arrived at a standard methodology to create a business case for large transformation programs and have designed a high level framework that explains the various stages between strategy and implementation along with the building blocks of strategy formation and the steps in managing transformational PLM programs.

A sustainability and business transformation-centric approach for a PLM implementation program may be beset with multiple challenges, and therefore mandates a long term and a clear PLM vision. To reap maximum benefits, such an initiative requires meticulous project planning, creation of frameworks and planning set in place at the very beginning.

Read this paper to understand how an enterprise-wide PLM program with sustainability at the very core is far more beneficial than merely focusing on the technological aspects of such an implementation.