Product lifecycle management or PLM is a crucial business process. It is especially important for agile development cycles where products are always in flux. This post reviews Windchill as a PLM software.
PTC is an American software and services company founded in 1985 that currently has over 6000 employees spread across 30 countries. The company launched a product lifecycle management tool, Windchill in 1998. Windchill just launched its version 12 in 2020 with the post-pandemic requirements in mind.
What is Windchill?
Windchill was positioned as the first ever internet-based product lifecycle management (PLM) tool in the world. It offers a suite of applications and capabilities that help businesses streamline the product development and process.
The version 12 of Windchill focuses majorly on collaboration and secure data access. It was built with the changing needs of companies in the post-pandemic era in mind.
Before we learn more about Windchill, let’s brush up on our knowledge of PLM or Product Lifecycle Management.
What is PLM?
A product’s life cycle starts from its ideation and ends when it is disposed of and removed from the shelves. Product lifecycle management is the process of overseeing, streamlining, and optimizing every step of the product’s journey from planning to development, from marketing to expansion, from manufacturing to removal from the market. It also includes the servicing of products while it’s owned by the customers.
Why do you need PLM software?
Businesses use ERP tools to manage different processes pertaining to business, they use CRM tools to engage customers better and Product Management platforms to streamline the product development process. But none of these tools cater to every step of a product’s journey from ideation to disposal.
Your business needs a PLM platform to ensure better collaboration between the different teams involved in the development process. It has to loop in the sales and marketing people so that they can make insightful decisions about product placement and promotional activities. It should also take the customers’ feedback into account so that continuous adaptation and improvement becomes feasible.
Overall, you need a frictionless system where all the stakeholders and participants in a product’s lifecycle can come together and play their parts.
How does Windchill fare as a PLM platform
Windchill is the first online PLM tool and it has come a long way in the last 25 years. The version 12 of Windchill is specifically designed to streamline collaborative product development. It is well suited for teams distributed across various locations, agile development structures, and rapid decision making.
Key features include
- Broader access to product data across the enterprise.
- Secure data access for seamless collaboration.
- Integrations for sophisticated part selection, risk assessment, and component sourcing.
- Easy visibility of Critical-to-Quality characteristics.
- Digital thread continuity between design and factory.
Windchill takes PTC’s mission to enable digitization forward with its collaborative and augmentative platforms.
It works especially well for businesses spread across cities. It helps you defeat silos in terms of product placement, marketing, and customer service, and lets you get the best out of the system.
Windchill has a quotation based pricing which differs with the modules you choose. You can consult with them about your specific needs and customize a PLM model that works best for you.
As far as PLM goes Windchill is definitely one of the top choices in the world. The company has improved consistently and has always kept the needs of its customers in mind. It has been a reliable tool for businesses across industries and geographies. It is definitely something you can rely on.