ERP or PLM or Both? Which Option is The Best For You


Many businesses ask if they really need both a PLM and an ERP solution. Should you, or can you, manage all of your product information with just one enterprise system? Which system is the most effective? A PLM (product lifecycle management) system or an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system?


These are frequently asked questions. This article explains the similarities and differences between ERP and PLM so you can make the best and most educated decision possible for your unique circumstance.

It is in your best interest as a company to employ technology to gain a competitive advantage, thus you must be familiar with both systems. With everyone rushing to get items to market as quickly as possible, it’s crucial to remember that brand equity is just as important as speed to market.

It’s critical that you choose the correct technology to serve as the foundation for your digital transformation projects while your organization seeks technology that will provide you with a competitive advantage.

This includes selecting technology that will help you improve your innovation efforts, achieve your operational and strategic business objectives, and bring you closer to your end consumers. While your company is always faced with difficult technology decisions, you may be thinking if it is preferable to invest in an ERP system or a PLM solution.

After all, both ERP and PLM suppliers claim to be able to manage product Bills of Materials (BoMs), costs, revisions, and other data.



Let’s start with a definition of ERP and its advantages.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, software, and solutions are acronyms for Enterprise Resource Planning systems, software, and solutions. Finance and accounting are two of the most important drivers for an enterprise-class ERP system. ERP systems are critical because they ensure that after your items have been created and approved, they are manufactured in a timely and cost-effective manner. This could explain why 97 percent of mid-sized businesses now utilize an ERP system.

It’s also worth noting that ERP software was one of the first software solutions to be classified as a critical business tool. This could also explain why ERP is already familiar to so many businesses. Although there are numerous ERP software options available today, you may be familiar with Oracle ERP, SAP, Epicor ERP, Microsoft Dynamics AX, and other systems.

ERP systems are, after all, designed to meet the needs of corporate operations. This implies they’re frequently used in manufacturing (for example, manufacturing resource planning). Additionally, they are used in finance, accounting, purchasing, inventory management, order management, distribution, labor, and customer service, among other things.

An ERP system is notable for handling operational concerns. These can be concerns such as logistics, warehousing, and inventory management. They can also be about bringing a product to market. These systems also supply a wealth of transactional data. This data can be used to assess your financial situation and make informed business decisions in the future.



While ERP systems are responsible for bringing transactional units to market, the data and information that these systems rely on should come from PLM. PLM is all about managing the processes that go into creating a product.  And also the history and collaboration that comes with it. SAP PLM, PTC Windchill, Area PLM, Teamcenter, Siemens PLM, and other PLM systems may be recognizable to you.

Many benefits can be gained by using PLM software. Anyone involved in design, development, or manufacturing may collaborate with one set of comprehensive, accurate, and up-to-date information thanks to PLM systems. PLM software works by assisting procedures that establish your brand, engage your consumers, and set your products apart in the marketplace.



Planning is the emphasis of product lifecycle management systems. Execution is the focus of enterprise resource management solutions.

To delve a little deeper, each system’s concentration has an impact on the system’s main and unique qualities.

PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) is a collaborative planning solution for your products. Product designers and engineers need to collaborate to figure out what a product should look like. Along with that should identify materials it should be composed of are typical users of a PLM system. PLM provides capabilities for managing designs, linked services, collaboration with red-lining, task management, and more. This is because PLM is more akin to planning everything about your product.

Most PLM systems like KloudPLM also have a PDM (product document management) component. This is how they frequently maintain control over the intellectual documentation required to design and manufacture a product.

Everything from CAD (computer-aided drafting) files to program, project, and change management processes are controlled and managed by these systems. All of this functionality is included in a PLM system and integrated into the full product lifecycle management process. PLM solutions have a greater impact on income and brand image because of this.

ERP, on the other hand, is a product manufacturing and execution system. People that deal with manufacturing activities are the most common users of an ERP system. ERP focuses on recording information about inventory, purchases, and other items because it is about execution and fulfillment.

PLM solutions contain all of the iterative, collaborative, and creative processes that make up the important aspects of your product’s lifetime. Whereas ERP systems solely focus on traditional entities like item masters, bill of materials, and dates.

In a nutshell, both solutions are necessary for a business to create and manufacture items as efficiently as feasible.


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