The importance of tracking the lifecycle of a product is well known. Understanding where a specific product is or products are in their life cycle, whether they are in the Introduction, Growth, Maturity or Decline stages, lets you assess the total worth of that product and what the best management strategy for that product is going forward. When you manage each product via a robust PLM system software, making key business decisions about your products and their placement becomes easy. Here are several ways PLM can help you manage your products.
Channel Distribution Choice
Understanding where each product is in its lifecycle and what markets it performs best allows you to make decisions about what distribution channels to funnel the product and associated advertising into. If, for example, you have a product that is in the Decline stage of its cycle, but still is very profitable in certain markets, you can funnel that product into those markets and capitalize where the product still is popular. It also allows you to select distribution channels based on profitability, cost to market, return on investment or just about any other metric you use to measure a product’s effectiveness.
Targeted Promotional Campaigns
If a product sells well in an urban area, but not well in a more rural area, it makes no sense to run promotional campaigns in the rural area, unless the product is in its introductory or growth stages. PLM via PLM system software lets you track promotional data and then compare it to a product’s lifecycle data and determine if a promotional campaign is likely to have a good return on investment or whether that money would be better spent elsewhere.
Much like the two benefits above, by knowing where your product is in its lifecycle, you can manage that product more effectively. Maybe you switch markets where you offer it. Perhaps you formulate a retooled promotional campaign to push it where it is popular. If you are introducing the product, perhaps you target your advertising and promotion dollars into a specific element of that product based on its stage in the life cycle (New and Improved!.) Maybe it makes the most sense to pull the product because of diminishing returns. You do not know that information if you do not know where your product is in its life cycle and because of that, every business should utilize the best PLM software package available.
By far, though, in closing, the best aspect of PLM is being able to manage a product in an orderly and organized manner. By using a robust PLM system software, you can make key strategic decisions regarding your products from a position of knowledge as opposed to guessing how much juice your product has left in it.