Industry 4.0 and PLM

Establish best practices with a single source product platform while taking full advantage of the PLM solution. Improve collaboration and communication with our cloud-first PLM platform

Product Development Challenges

The development of new products is now accelerating at a rapid pace for many brands and is more important than ever for success. Staying relevant, sustaining growth, and entering new markets can expand earnings potential. But for every new product that is successfully marketed, there are hundreds, if not thousands, who haven’t.


There are innumerable companies competing for the lion’s share in the market. This forces companies to stay vigilant beyond backend design, engineering, and prototyping. To win the race from the safe idea to successful implementation, companies must rely on calculated steps to guide development and marketing decisions throughout the process. Path.


As a product manager or business owner, developing a product from scratch can pose several unprecedented challenges. This role is about creating a  viable product on the market without driving the company into the red.

But that’s not even half the problem organizations now have to grapple with the rigors of a fast-moving market. You need to adapt to changing consumer trends to maximize customer satisfaction and product performance.


The first control point in product development is the generation of ideas. As simple as it sounds, some companies often face obstacles in making these decisions. Sometimes these hurdles are the result of a lack of actionable information about the potential product and the consumer. Idea generation can stagnate due to bureaucracy and incoherent work processes.


An idea may sound good on paper, but putting it into practice on the market is not financially promising. A product manager must always analyze the marketability of a product before development begins.

Market Research tells you about the competition and the audience. Don’t create a product because all of your competitors are doing the same thing. Even if you want to go the same route, focus on the news to get users.

In addition to analyzing the competition, product managers need to gather information from the target audience. Since these people are the potential consumers of the product, it is necessary to collect their opinions and interests.

Time To Market Reduction

Reducing the number of weeks on a development schedule could give companies the freedom to take advantage of everything from time to market, seasonal demands, and trending themes, to highly competitive dominant markets.

More often than not, organizations fail to launch their product in time, losing their customer base and affecting brand value. Poorly planned product development schedules and improper supply management are some of the causes of such delays.

Lead Customers to Your New Product

A consumer’s money may be exchangeable, but they can still only spend each cent of money once. In order to spend money on your new product, consumers need to stop spending it on something else. so that you can record these costs.


Creating a product is a challenge for product managers without extensive development experience. Some organizations and teams often lack the right tools to efficiently select a product strategy, which slows down the whole process.


Additionally, experienced PMs can find it difficult to manage the product roadmap even with a clear vision and plan. They often struggle to prioritize the roadmap to get the most out of the initiative.

Workflow Management

Synergies between teams working together have an impact on the speed of development and the quality of the end product. As a product manager, you are responsible for bringing all employees on the same page.

This process often involves communicating with all members of the organization at the same time. Conflicts between independent teams must be resolved even in the absence of a team leader.

Product Design Issues

Design dependencies also hinder the progress of product initiatives. For example, if you want to build an application and the design team misses the deadline, the entire development team has to wait for a prototype to be ready for review.

Read more on engineering to order issues and how to tackle them.

Establishing The Initial Price

Charge an excessive amount for your product and customers can pass it over immediately. Charge much lesser than your competitors and you risk losing out on profits. This further diminishes the product’s value and brand position. Potentially leading to stagnation of your product sale in the market. 

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Industry 4.0 and The Way Ahead

Industry 4.0 is used synonymously with the fourth industrial revolution and represents a new level in the organization and control of the industrial value chain.

Cyber-physical systems form the basis of Industry 4.0 (eg “Smart Machines”). You use modern control systems, have integrated software systems, and have an Internet address to connect and to be addressed via IoT (Internet of Things).

In this way, products and means of production are networked and can “communicate”, which enables new forms of production, added value, and optimization in real-time. Cyber-physical systems create the necessary capabilities for smart factories. Industrial Internet of Things such as remote monitoring or track and trace to name just two.

Industry 4.0 is often used synonymously with the term a fourth industrial revolution. It is characterized, among other things, by even more automation than in the third industrial revolution, the bridge between the physical and the digital world through cyber -Physical Systems. Made possible by Industrial IoT, a change from central industrial control to one in which intelligent products define production steps, data models, and control systems with closed control loops.

Challenges Posed by Industry 4.0

The introduction of Industry 4.0 does not always bring rain and sunshine, challenges and resistances are almost always inevitable.

The biggest concern is cybersecurity. A survey conducted by PwC in 2016 also clarified the problem. More than 70 percent of the engineers who took part in the survey agreed that breakthrough technologies were associated with an increased risk of a  security system breach. IT

 service providers should see this as added value for their business and offer more intensive training and strengthen their security functions against cyber attacks.

Furthermore, there is still a lack of qualified and experienced specialists for the implementation of these new systems as well as a great reluctance on the part of stakeholders and investors to introduce new technologies on a large scale.

Shrinking labor markets as machines get smarter and replace people in dangerous and high-risk jobs with more reliability. Less human oversight and the loss of high-paying jobs could be an obstacle for companies to embrace Industry 4.0.

Opportunities Provided by The Industrial Revolution

In order to achieve business opportunities on a national level, manufacturing companies must recognize the new opportunities that  the Industry 4.0 paradigm offers companies in various areas as follows:

  • Efficiency: Saving raw materials and energy
  • Productivity: intelligent technologies that are more productive
  • Flexibility: Use of cyber-physical systems
  • Individualization as required: customer integration via the network
  • Decentralization: faster and data-driven decision-making

Further opportunities arise from new technologies integrated into 4.0 systems. characterized by the merging of digitization and automation in order to operate machines intelligently, interactively, and easily. These new technologies will have a huge impact on work patterns. 

There will be new types of robots that can interact with humans. This technology will complement human activity, especially cognition, combined with other emerging technologies to give us entirely new computer models. Hence, new skills are needed to bridge the gap between engineering and computer science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. 

Industry 4.0 must also be a suitable tool for environmentally friendly production. Because industry will continue to be dependent on resources and energy, and every country will play a role in the production and provision of resources and energy.

Defining Product Lifecycle Management

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) refers to the management of an asset as it moves through the typical stages of its product life: development and adoption, growth, maturity/stability, and expiration.

Effective Product Lifecycle Management brings together the many companies, departments, and employees involved in product manufacturing to optimize their activities with the ultimate goal of producing a product that outperforms its competitors, is highly profitable, and for as long as possible keeps demanded by the consumer. and technology approval. It goes far beyond the mere creation of a parts list (BOM).

PLM systems help companies master the increasing complexity and technical challenges of developing new products. They can be seen as one of the four pillars of the information technology structure of a manufacturing company, the others being the management of communication with its customers (Customer Relationship Management [CRM]), its relationships with suppliers (Supply Chain Management [SCM]) and their resources in the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).

Benefits of PLM

PLM helps companies address the issue of product marketing. Failure to maintain product readiness and orchestrate changes could impact the product’s marketing plan and slow the company’s overall growth.

PLM connects and aligns data, processes, and technology to bring a high-quality product to market quickly. 

With this orientation, PLM not only helps smaller businesses scale but also provides agility and flexibility to larger organizations. Repeatable process frameworks built on the scalable PLM platform. It provides a path for breakthrough transformations and acts as the single source of truth from concept to customer. 

A context-dependent collaborative PLM platform helps to quickly dissolve problems that could cause serious delays or budgetary operations otherwise.

PLM software helps reduce risk by planning in the initial design phase of a product and promises greater success later in the product lifecycle, such as in product marketing and go-to-market time. Availability in a limited environment.

Reduces Risk

PLM software helps organizations maintain detailed, time-stamped historical information on product version changes  to ensure audit records are intact, and also helps reduce the risk of fines, delays, and lost revenue from non-compliance

Expense Management

PLM provides a holistic view of the product lifecycle for various teams such as procurement and manufacturing so they can find durable and affordable product parts and materials, set up real-time dashboards, or schedule reports as designs are developed and valuable feedback is provided, and make recommendations to cut costs later. This is far from possible if the product data is in a different and isolated system.

Faster Time to Market

PLM software helps organizations access data from any platform around the world. In the age of social and mobile culture, employees can access, review, and approve designs from anywhere and on almost any device. Companies reduce their total implementation costs (TCI) and total cost of ownership (TCO) while accelerating value creation.

Data Exchange

Data exchange goes hand in hand with scalability. The ability to share the right information with the right people at the right time comes into play, especially as we enter a new era of an increasingly global and highly connected marketplace. 

The cloud software eliminates the need for complex and cumbersome security measures such as setting up VPN access or maintaining local facilities. Instead, teams can use their unique credentials to securely log into PLM from any device, including their cell phone. to safely break away from the office and interact with other team members or customers without having to worry about missing important updates. Quickly answer questions to move work faster and remove bottlenecks.


Centralized information and workflows increase transparency, improve collaboration and enable teams to work efficiently, increase sales and accelerate the development process.

This enables unmatched synchronization between engineering, operations, sales, and service. With a centralized platform in which the cooperation is unhindered, all devices can contribute to product improvements in each phase of the life cycle of the product.

PLM enables companies to create an innovative product and ultimately a strong organization. PLM systems integrate product and consumer data so teams have direct access to customer feedback throughout the product lifecycle. Metrics such as quantities, adoption, and loyalty customer data can be easily tracked and this data can be used to continuously improve new products in the pipeline.

Companies can better prioritize and plan successfully when they can leverage data-driven insights that come directly from all teams involved: development, sales, marketing, customer success, contract manufacturers, partners, and customers. Guarantee the quality of the product with a faster Goto market. Quality processes are closely linked to design processes, which helps engineering and development teams to be agile while ensuring that products comply with the legal framework.


A simple way to think about the differences between ERP and PLM is to focus on what each system was intended for, especially because both of these systems originate from very different foundations.

Product lifecycle management systems focus on planning. Enterprise resource management systems focus on execution. PLM is a collaborative planning tool for your products.

Typical users of a PLM system are product designers and engineers who need to work together to figure out what a product looks like and what it should be made of. Because PLM is about planning everything related to your product, it offers features related to design management, related services, redline collaboration, task management, and more.

Most PLM systems even have a PDM (Product Document Management) system. In this way, they often keep track of the history of the intellectual documentation required to design and manufacture a product.

These systems control and manage everything from computer-aided drawing (CAD) files to programs, projects, and change management processes. 

A PLM system combines all of these functionalities and integrates them into an entire product lifecycle management process. For this reason, PLM solutions have the greatest impact on sales and branding.

ERP, on the other hand, is a system that focuses on the manufacture and execution of a product. The main users of an ERP system are usually people who deal with manufacturing processes.

Because ERP is about execution and compliance, it focuses on gathering information about things like inventory, purchasing, and more. While ERP systems only focus on traditional entities such as item master, parts lists, and deadlines, PLM solutions encompass all of the iterative, collaborative, and creative processes that make up the essential elements of your product life cycle.


PDM is an engineering tool, while PLM is an enterprise system, equivalent in value to the company’s ERP, CRM, etc. PLM touches on each of these enterprise solutions and works best when integrated and acting as the master for shared data. 

In simple terms, PLM is a strategic business approach that aims to maximize product profitability at every stage by providing a structured framework for innovation, product introduction, and product end-of-life planning.

PDM was created to manage engineering data, primarily data from CAD, and managed revisions and changes. While it can be used to manage the design release process, in the real world, there are so many design release processes that occur outside PDM capabilities that standalone PDM is simply another input to a larger, more comprehensive process. PDM is an engineering tool while PLM is a comprehensive enterprise management system.

Cloud-Based PLM

PLM in the cloud is a tool that helps companies manage product development across the entire lifecycle. It improves transparency and communication between teams, which can be geographically as well as disciplinary. 

Cloud software for product lifecycle management helps increase business flexibility by avoiding communication and process errors, enabling better change management, and enabling managers to quickly adapt to new needs or requirements.

Scalability and Expansion

Cloud PLM can be expanded based on business needs such as geography, distribution, solutions, and processes. Latest Technology Adoption: The cloud enables the adoption of cutting-edge innovations at every stage of the product lifecycle in the areas of security, analytics, machine learning, IoT, and more. 


SaaS-Cloud PLM in the cloud is affordable, can reduce IT resource requirements, accelerate deployments, and quickly connect users across the enterprise, supply chain, and value chain.

Read more here about why there is a need for a cloud-based PLM.

Accelerate Your Product Lifecycle Management with KloudPLM

KloudPLM is the industry’s most comprehensive  “Cloud First” Product Life Cycle Management platform. KloudPLM was built on the industry’s #1 Cloud Platform, Salesforce. This has been trusted by over 150,000 customers globally and gives our customers infinite flexibility, scalability. 

KloudPLM Features

Project Management

In all phases of product development, planning and “ time-to-market ” is very important. KloudPLM provides an efficient project management tool that can analyze the project planning with the current one so that we can make an appropriate decision that can meet without wasting time and achieve the goal of “time to market”. You can run several project planning experiments before actually doing them with a KloudPLM.

Bill of Material Management (BOM)

BOM (Bill of Material) is the hierarchical representation of information. Thanks to BOM, PLM can analyze and compare product information and make the right decision.

Inventory/Parts Management

An item is a unit that contains information and data. The data is available in the form of CAD, PDF, Doc files,  etc. of a particular object. You can edit an article, share it collaboratively, analyze it and compare it with other information. KloudPLM can access it whenever we need it. You can check the status of the item that changed it. KloudPLM can manage different versions of the same item.

Design/Change Management

Customer requests have changed today. You want a custom product, you want unique articles and product variations, all these settings have to be maintained and managed in the product, so this function is very dominant when managing differently configured products. Design, review and produce in real-time with KloudPLM

Third-Party Integrations:

The business benefits of PLM integration include faster, more efficient  product development cycles. PLM integration gives you a better overview of your life cycle across all relevant domains and disciplines. Our flexible and easy-to-use platform connects with any system across your organization.

Data Centralization

As we know, managing large amounts of information is very cumbersome in order to find information about a particular piece. KloudPLM is able to find all the information that is urgently needed for the processes. Searching for information is a non-value-adding activity in product management. KloudPLM can reduce the time to find information, reducing the cycle time between processes.

KloudPLM helps you streamline and manage your entire Product Life Cycle. Our platform provides a Single, Secure Solution to Connect People, Systems, and Processes to help Organizations deliver Product Success. Achieve Speed, Security, and Flexibility through the entire Value Chain with KloudPLM. Contact us to schedule a demo to start your digital transformation journey.