Life Cycle Management

Life Cycle Product Management

What Is Life Cycle Product Management?

Life Cycle Product Management

The product life cycle refers to the succession of stages a product goes through from initial conception, market introduction, growth, maturity to the stabilization or decline phase. Product life cycle management is an initiative that provides the requirements and capabilities for companies to successfully manage information, facilitate communication and collaborate across the entire product process from idea through retirement. This includes focusing on improving all stages to produce superior cost initiatives, productive processes, manage resources more efficiently and enhance supply chain management. Life cycle product management is the newest wave in productivity and is revolutionary approach to "lean thinking" gaining business and industry wide appeal.

Companies that adopt a holistic approach to product lifecycle management focus on key initiatives of strategic value to each stage of the product life cycle. This produces a framework for optimization to improve product quality, reduce time to market, save on prototyping costs, reduce redundancy of inputs and waste, and streamline the integration of engineering workflows. By using processes, people, product information and technology to improve information flow, eliminate surplus materials and inefficient use of time across all organizational facets, product life cycle management supports and enhances your corporate objectives.

Life Cycle Product Management

Product life cycle management processes are being adopted by leading companies such as Dell, General Motors and General Electric. An example of a successful initiative resulting form this approach is Dells license agreement with Agile Software for enterprise resource panning software which allowed Dell to quickly integrate the suite into its manufacturing process to source components that offer the best technology, highest quality or lowest prices at any given point in time. By using a web based interface to communicate across all divisions and suppliers on a worldwide basis, Dell has been able to reduce costs, improve efficiency and quality within its business operations.

The Dell example provides insight into how companies can collaborate with outsource partners at all stages of the product lifecycle to communicate and integrate new developments that can provide enhanced quality or cost savings across the full spectrum of operations and at every stage of the product life cycle process. Companies that stay aware of new developments and become early adopters can use product life cycle management as a means to secure significant competitive advantage over industry rivals. In the internet age where knowledge is a new form of currency, companies that fail to realize and adopt the benefits of product life cycle management are vulnerable to competitors who integrate new and improved ways to do business. Companies who adopt a proactive approach to product life cycle management will realize significant strategic benefit and improved operational outcomes which will ultimately be reflected in the company's bottom line.

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