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The Top 10 PLM Software Tools for Product Lifecycle Management in 2024

Every product begins with an idea, goes through iterative cycles of design, development, feedback, and updates, and is eventually replaced by something better. 

Product managers and software developers know this as the product lifecycle.✨ 

As products become increasingly complex and intricate, the data and documentation they generate are growing proportionately. Product lifecycle management (PLM) software is a solution that manages a product from the cradle to the grave while also presenting (and preserving) key information and critical insights in real-time.

In this article, we’ll explore 10 of the top PLM software solutions for your team. 

What is PLM Software?

PLM or Product lifecycle management software are cloud-based tools that help product development teams document and manage a software product’s information at every stage of its development. 

PLM software manages the documentation and development processes of a product’s lifecycle so that designers, engineers, non-technical associates, and other important stakeholders stay on the same page.

With a PLM system product teams can create a standardized workflow and enhance collaboration by consolidating and managing data critical to the product’s lifecycle. 💻

With the right PLM software, product teams can securely collaborate asynchronously, which is especially helpful for teams across different geographies. Moreover, with its data governance and traceability capabilities, product teams can reduce costs over the long term and ship high-quality products.

PLMs capture design data, change logs, documents, collaboration records, and quality assurance information, so that product teams can streamline workflows, minimize errors, and collaborate efficiently. 

If you’re building software, you must obtain PLM software early on in the planning phase. This will help your team mitigate risk, record progress through the SDLC, and make changes when necessary.  

What Should You Look for in PLM Software?

Many PLM tools are available at various price points, so how do you pick the best one?  

Before choosing one, you must consider your current needs and those that may come up in the future.  Try to get a flexible solution that has the tools to meet your team’s specific needs

Here are a few things to look for when choosing a product lifecycle management software:

  • Integration options: Choosing an all-in-one platform that integrates prototyping and CAD tools is better for maximizing your product development workflow. Integration with marketing software, ERPs, and project management tools are also great features
  • Collaboration capabilities: The PLM software should help different teams to work together and view up-to-date information. So look for features like real-time editing, commenting, and task assignment
  • User-friendly interface: The PLM will be used by your entire product development team as well as other stakeholders. So make sure the interface is intuitive and easy to use
  • Flexible but scalable: The software should accommodate the evolving needs of your product portfolio. Capabilities like custom features, integrations, and automation will go a long way
  • Strong data management capabilities: This is fundamental to a PLM tool. The software you choose should have a centralized repository for all product-related information. In addition, it must offer version control, revision tracking, bug logs, etc.
  • Automated workflows and notifications: Look for automation features that streamline repetitive tasks and workflows, keep teams updated, and ensure fast decision-making.
  • Analytics and reporting: Analytics and reporting features within the PLM will let you assess progress, remove bottlenecks, and make data-driven decisions
  • Updates and support: You’re likely to use the chosen PLM for as long as your product exists. So, regular software updates and a responsive support team should be on your wishlist

The 10 Best PLM Software to Use in 2024

You don’t need to go through hundreds of PLM tools to find one that works best for you. Pick one from among the 10 that we’ve listed. 😃

 1. ClickUp

ClickUp Platform
Set up your PLM workflows on the ClickUp platform

ClickUp equips product teams with powerful product management tools. With it, you can create product roadmaps, automate workflows, collaborate with remote teams in real time, communicate feedback, and receive updates through automated notifications. You can also share updates with the leadership and publish release notes.

In addition, you can track work progress with ClickUp Tasks, build process documentation with ClickUp Docs and share them with multiple users, and manage your entire product lifecycle efficiently.

What’s more, you can brainstorm product ideas with your team using Whiteboards in ClickUp, build and track team goals with ClickUp Goals, and analyze all your data using ClickUp’s interactive Dashboards.

Instead of juggling a zillion apps, you can have a single platform that can take care of a large part of your product life cycle tasks. 🕺

ClickUp Roadmaps
Product roadmaps in ClickUp improve teamwork

You can also customize ClickUp to your product management needs with ClickApps, which eventually helps you achieve your product management KPIs. 

ClickUp best features

ClickUp limitations

  • A few users have said ClickUp has a steep learning curve
  • New users may face difficulty in navigating the user interface

ClickUp pricing

  • Free Forever
  • Unlimited: $7 per month per user
  • Business: $12 per month per user
  • Enterprise: Contact for pricing
  • ClickUp AI is available on all paid plans for $5 per Workspace  

ClickUp customer rating and review

  • G2: 4.7/5 (9200+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.7/5 (3900+ reviews)

2. Arena PLM & QMS

Arena PLM software
via Arena

Arena is a cloud-based PLM tool useful for a variety of functions, for example, product development, product record control, quality management, training, and regulatory compliance. 

Arena brings product information, people, and processes into a single cloud-native platform, and thus speeds up product development.  

Arena’s best features

  • Secure your data with a cloud-based, easy-to-deploy PLM software
  • Protect your resources and IPs with role-based access 
  • Save spends over time with a lower total cost of ownership

Arena limitations

  • Users have reported facing difficulty while navigating and changing projects
  • Some customers have found the support inadequate

Arena pricing

  • Contact for pricing

Arena customer ratings and reviews

  • G2: 4.2/5 (300+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.2/5 (70+ reviews)

3. Propel

Propel PLM software
via Propel

Propel offers a cloud-based business PLM, QMS (Quality Management System), PIM (Product Information Management), and supplier management system on a single platform.

Propel connects product teams with their business development or commercial counterparts in global organizations.

With this collaborative approach, all relevant teams help shape the product, thus creating an excellent experience for customers. 

Propel best features 

  • Easy collaboration with BOM (Bill of Materials) management, supplier management, and real-time analytics 
  • Integrate Microsoft and CAD software for an efficient management system

Propel limitation 

  • Most tools require intensive training 
  • Difficult to configure initially

Propel pricing

  • Contact for pricing

Propel customer ratings & reviews

  • G2: 4.2/5 (90+ reviews)
  • Capterra: Not enough reviews

 4. Odoo

Odoo platform
via Odoo

Odoo is an open-source enterprise resource planning (ERP) tool with several business management software solutions. 

Odoo PLM helps you systematically test and iterate the product across its entire lifecycle.

It keeps track of changes across various levels of product development with centralized real-time document discussions. This reduces the probable effect of these changes on the product manufacturing process or its BOM.

Another exciting feature is engineering change orders, which act as a central information dump for everyone associated with the product.

Odoo best features 

  • Align every department on the same document and track changes efficiently across multiple versions
  • Prevent errors in ongoing production with engineering change orders (ECOs)

Odoo limitation

  • Some users find the Odoo setup process a little complex
  • Odoo has a steep learning curve

Odoo Pricing

  • Free Forever
  • Standard Plan: $9.14 per month per user
  • Custom Plan: $13.71 per month per user

Odoo customer ratings & reviews

  • G2: 4.1/5 (200+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.2/5 (780+ reviews) 

5. Siemens Teamcenter

Siemens Teamcenter cloud based PLM software provides a secure platform to plan, develop, and deliver a product.

Team members across the globe can be a part of the whole product design, development and production process and keep track of the product life cycle through its user interface

This robust PLM system comes with some excellent features like digital twins, which can significantly improve your product’s functionality and design if used properly.

Siemens Teamcenter Best Features 

  • Use digital twins to connect and optimize design and visualization processes for quick problem resolutions
  • Perform design documentation with CAD integration

 Siemens Teamcenter limitations

  • Updates are often expensive
  • Some users have reported usability issues

Siemens Teamcenter Pricing

  • Contact for pricing

Siemens customer ratings & reviews

  • G2: 4.3/5 (300+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.3/5 (80+ reviews)

6. Jira Align

Jira is an agile and powerful project management software that helps you visualize, manage, and address product development issues proactively.

It has various features to assist in planning, tracking product details, and managing product efficiency.

Since effective communication is crucial for successful product launches, Jira ensures that all communication channels are correctly established.

Jira’s best features 

  • Integrate a host of useful third-party apps via Jira
  • Quickly start a project or project development process with readymade templates
  • Run both Scrum and Kanban methodologies simultaneously throughout your product lifecycle

Jira limitations

  • Jira’s extensive features and customization can be a challenge to set up
  • Since it is purpose-built for software development teams, it may not be as effective for other industries

Jira Pricing

  • Free
  • Standard: $8.15/user per month
  • Premium: $16/user per month
  • Enterprise: Contact for pricing

Jira customer ratings & reviews

  • G2: 4.3/5 (5,600+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.4/5 (13,000+ reviews)

 7. Productboard

Productboard is a product management software that helps your organization deliver competent products by fostering better collaboration and resolving blockers.

Customer feedback is integrated into Productboard, so you can co-create products alongside your customers. This way, you will develop innovative products together that align with your and your customers’ vision.

Productboard helps your product team cater to the customer’s needs. You can also use this software to improve and prioritize feature development workflows.

Productboard’s best feature 

  • Access customer feedback and create products that meet users’ needs
  • Prioritize features according to their urgency with the help of an intuitive dashboard

Productboard’s limitation

  • Does not have a mobile app for beta users and end users 
  • Difficult to integrate with other systems

Productboard’s pricing

  • Essentials: $20/month per user
  • Pro: $80/month per user
  • Enterprise: Contact for pricing

Productboard’s customer ratings & reviews

  • G2: 4.3/5 (200+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.6/5 (140+ reviews)

8. OpenBOM

OpenBOM is a collaborative SaaS platform that connects manufacturers and their supply chain networks and manages product data. 

OpenBOM gives you a flexible and scalable way to organize product data. Use it to manage CAD, parts, documents, bills of materials, vendors, inventories, and purchases.

Open BOM’s best features 

  • Update designs from any CAD system
  • Use it for free for non-commercial, personal projects

OpenBOM limitations

  • Users have often complained about lags
  • Since it is a cloud-based SaaS solution, it is not available offline

OpenBOM pricing

  • Free plan
  • Team: $78/user per month
  • Company: $108/user per month
  • Enterprise: Contact for pricing

OpenBOM’s customer ratings & reviews

  • G2: 4.3/5 (450+ reviews)
  • Capterra: Not enough reviews

 9. Aras Innovator

Aras Innovator
via Aras

Aras Innovator is a web-based software to manage product development processes, multi-site manufacturing processes, and supply chain operations.

It provides several engineering solutions like PLM, PDM, BOM, configuration management, change management, AVL/AML, etc.

Aras also has change management tools to notify customers when adjustments are made, which ensures consistency throughout the entire product lifecycle.

Organizations can download, modify, and use the openly distributed solution free of cost.

Aras best features 

  • Create multi-level bills of materials easily with Aras Innovator
  • Integrate existing ALM environments with simple steps

Aras limitations

  • Users find the labels and terms confusing
  • The customization procedure isn’t streamlined yet 

Aras pricing

  • Contact for pricing

Aras customer ratings & reviews

  • G2: 4.4/5 (30+ reviews)
  • Capterra: Not enough reviews

 10. SAP PLM

SAP
via SAP

SAP PLM Software can be an excellent go-to companion for a risk-resilient and sustainable product lifecycle management process.

Right from the brainstorming stage to product launch, SAP PLM solution provides a platform to analyze business processes and customer feedback, evaluate ideas, and then collaboratively develop the product and deliver the service.

SAP PLM supports all product-related systems and processes, from the beginning of the lifecycle with product ideation to manufacturing and service.

SAP PLM’s best features

  • Integrate other SAP products to build a complete stack of product development products
  • Evaluate project cost with the in-built cost estimator before implementation

 SAP PLM limitations

  • Could prove complex for small project development teams
  • Often requires a SAP expert to operate to its full potential
  • Received a relatively low rating on popular rating platforms

SAP PLM pricing

  • Contact for pricing

SAP PLM customer ratings & reviews

  • G2: 3.7/5 (60+ reviews)
  • Capterra: Not enough reviews

Choosing the Best PLM for Your Product Lifecycle

PLM tools aren’t just for recording product related data and gaining insights. Challenges can pop up at any point in a product’s lifecycle, and you need to arm yourself with the right tools to troubleshoot. 

The PLM solution you opt for, then, can make or break your product development process. 

The top 10 PLM platforms can help you build and market higher quality products, and support you through the product lifecycle from initial ideation to product launch. 

Whether you’re building one or multiple products, in manufacturing or other industries, selecting the right PLM software for your specific needs and future growth is crucial. It can be the base for your digital transformation and make your product lifecycle as efficient as possible. 

ClickUp is one such PLM tool that brings the best of both worlds—an efficient PLM stack as well as a platform that supports close collaboration, improved communication, and efficient project management. Give ClickUp a try today!

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