Product Lifecycle Management for Small
process of creating and managing products and services
|Product lifecycle management for small businesses has
as a business strategy, for creating and managing new products and services.
Starting or owning a small business has a lot of difficulties along the road. That
is why finding different strategies to improve the service you
offer should be your number one priority. And when looking for things
to improve, raising the service quality is what you should always aim for. One of the best things you can do is
implement PLM, also known as
Product Lifecycle Management. There are
many benefits of product lifecycle management for small businesses; you just have to know how to use them to your
What is product lifecycle management?
To better understand the benefits of product lifecycle management for small
businesses, you first must learn what PLM is. Once you understand its definition, you will know how it
can help your business evolve, change, and
Simply speaking, PLM is a process of
creating and managing any service or product. It includes
5 essential stages that every
product goes through:
Analyzing all of these five stages is crucial if you wish to run a successful
business. Now, let us look at each step in more detail.
During the development stage, you must get used to the fact that
there will be a lot of expenses, with no real revenue. Developing and testing products and services, and preparing them for the market can sometimes
last a few years. During this stage the risk is high, and each product
requires funding. Existing companies usually fund new products by using
revenue from other services. However, if you are a small or a startup company, chances are you will have to fund everything yourself.
|The development phase of every product or service is
the most difficult part
of the PLM project, which determines the future success of it.
That is why many companies turn to professionals like frontecheu.com.
Tracking your development process is crucial because it is the base of everything you are trying to build. Without it, there is no
The introduction stage is reserved for developing a market for the product. It is crucial
to raise awareness about what you are offering to your
customers. At this point, you must start thinking about the different
marketing channels you can use.
Since marketing costs money, it is crucial only to use those channels that have a good return rate.
Otherwise, you will just be spending your money for nothing. Avoiding mistakes when planning a
project should be your primary concern.
During the marketing phase, it is quite common to raise the cost a bit, since you
are trying to recover from the development expenses.
When it comes to the growth phase, this is where it gets interesting. Your product
is becoming accepted by the customers. The good news for small businesses
owning innovative products is that, due to low competition, you can
still keep the price a bit higher.
|Your revenue goes up during the growth phase, but
there is still a lot more to be done
before you can relax and turn your product or service into a profitable venture.
Furthermore, the demand is simultaneously increasing with the profit, but you
still have to provide funding money or put your trust in lenders.
As time passes, your sales are reaching a
level you are satisfied with. However, due to the increase in
competition, the prices will consequently drop. The bright side is that the production cost will drop
as well. Furthermore, since everything is running smoothly, you have
enough revenue and there is no need for additional
Nothing can last forever, and that is exactly what you will experience in the
decline stage. Whether it is because of the high competition, change in the
needs of the customer, or market saturation, you will feel the
decrease in your sales.
Nevertheless, there is no room for fear. At this point, there are several paths
you can take:
- discontinue the product
- sell manufacturing rights
- improve the
product by adding new features
- find a different market
All of these actions are quite normal, and all major companies use the same
strategies when the time comes.
The benefits of product lifecycle management for small
With all that we have learned so far, let's talk briefly about
the use of PLM in small businesses. The
entire PLM process offers an
option to create something unique. Running a successful production
line is a dream situation for many business owners.
First of all, you have the option to target specific groups of clients. Next, when you reach
the growth and maturity stage, you can say for sure that you have your own
product that can maintain the company name for many years to come.
Finally, in the long run, you have a developed service that can become the
groundwork for future projects. Nevertheless, there are a couple of things
to have in mind.
A word of caution
Even though you can really benefit from implementing PLM solutions, there are
still things to consider here.
For starters, I have to repeat that the
funding process can drain your wallet. If you are not financially prepared for the development and introduction phases, you
will suffer huge setbacks and delays in production and marketing.
|Initial funding is the most crucial aspect of every
PLM project. You need to be well
prepared for this phase, to avoid delays and setbacks.
Furthermore, PLM also requires good software and project management tools to track every process. And, you will need skilled people to run the entire project.
The organization has to be at the top level. So, if you don't think you are capable of handling a project this large, it is better to
stay out of it. However, have in mind that, in the end, it can pay off if you can get through it.
Hopefully, you now understand the
essentials of the product lifecycle management for small businesses. If
there is one thing to learn from all of this, it is that a good PLM project
can really put you on the map, but it requires
good organization, a lot of planning, and a lot of
funding. With everything that's been said so far, I would suggest
that you put your idea on paper, and carefully wager everything
before deciding. Good luck!