Using Product Lifecycle Management to Optimize Your Supply Chain

green circle arrow simplement logo, "Product lifecycle management"

Product lifecycle management (PLM) is a critical component of any successful supply chain strategy. By recognizing key stages in the lifecycle of a product, and managing them accordingly, organizations can ensure they are best positioned to optimize their supply chain and increase profitability.

There are two main ways that Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) can be used for optimization:

1.) Product Lifecycle Management enables organizations to accurately forecast demand and shape the markets in which they operate. By understanding every stage of the product lifecycle, organizations can develop scenarios and use their data to make more informed decisions. This helps to reduce potential risks associated with supply chain operations.

2.) Product Lifecycle Management also enables organizations to better manage end-of-life products. By creating an action plan that identifies potential opportunities or risks and incorporating assumptions into planning, organizations can minimize exposure risk and maximize their supply chain operations. In addition, PLM can help organizations reduce costs associated with product disposal.

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is an invaluable tool for organizations looking to optimize their supply chain operations. PLM enables businesses to effectively manage and monitor the entire product lifecycle from concept, design and manufacture through to sale, service and disposal. By breaking down the process into five distinct tasks – analyze market conditions, create an action plan, manage end-of-life products, discontinue products and review results – organizations can gain a comprehensive understanding of their current processes and identify areas for improvement. This in turn allows them to make informed decisions about how best to utilize resources in order to maximize efficiency while minimizing costs. With the help of PLM, organizations can adjust their strategies accordingly and unlock new opportunities for growth.


The first step of product lifecycle management is identification. This involves segmenting SKUs and categorizing poor performers or markets. It also helps to develop strategic plans that identify gaps in current plans and expose potential opportunities for improvement. By understanding the lifecycle of a product and recognizing potential weaknesses, organizations can gain invaluable insights into their supply chain operations.


The second step of product lifecycle management is Rationalization. This involves eliminating redundant or unnecessary products to free up resources and focus on core products that are more likely to produce greater returns. It also helps organizations identify new markets, segments, and customer groups that can be targeted for growth. By taking the time to review their product portfolios in detail and analyze their current performance, organizations can adjust their strategies accordingly and unlock new opportunities for growth. With the help of PLM, organizations can create an action plan that maximizes efficiency and profitability.

Action Plan

The third step of product lifecycle management is the creation of an action plan. This involves developing a strategy that takes into account current market conditions, customer needs, production costs and competitive pressures. By formulating a comprehensive plan that outlines objectives and tactics, organizations can ensure they are optimizing their resources to maximum effect while minimizing production costs and risks associated with supply chain operations. With the help of PLM, organizations can also identify threats and opportunities in order to keep up with changing markets and customer demands. The action plan should be regularly monitored and adjusted as necessary to ensure it remains effective over time.

Managing End of Life

The fourth step of product lifecycle management is managing end-of-life (EOL) products. This involves identifying and validating the best course of action for each product when it reaches its end of life stage. Organizations must consider a variety of options, such as recycling or repurposing EOL products to ensure that resources are being used in the most efficient manner possible. In addition, PLM can help organizations identify opportunities for new product development and apply learnings from past successes to improve future products. By taking into account both financial and ecological considerations, organizations can develop an effective strategy for managing end-of-life products while minimizing their exposure to risk.

Discontinued Products

The fifth step of product lifecycle management is discontinued products. This involves properly disposing of any products that have been declared obsolete or are no longer profitable. Organizations must consider the environmental implications of disposing of products, particularly when hazardous materials may be involved. PLM helps organizations identify ways to reduce their carbon footprint by reconsidering production methods and materials used in manufacturing. Additionally, organizations can use PLM to analyze customer feedback in order to identify which discontinued products could potentially be replaced with better-performing ones. By proactively managing discards, businesses can ensure their supply chain operations remain efficient while minimizing their impact on the environment.

Overall, by following the product lifecycle principles and implementing a structured process with meetings on a regular cadence, you can effectively manage your products throughout their entire life cycle. Doing so will help ensure that all stakeholders are aware of any changes in demand or market share as well as new customer demands. Additionally, it is important to employ measurements with clearly defined targets and use forecasting techniques to estimate product lifecyle demand when making decisions about how best to reconfigure planning for success. With these processes in place, companies will be better positioned to anticipate customer needs and adjust accordingly. Finally, the use of SKU proliferation and product reviews can help ensure that products remain on-trend and relevant throughout their lifecycles.

By implementing these processes, companies will be better prepared to handle any changes in customer demand or market share while also maintaining a successful and profitable inventory of products. This will lead to improved customer satisfaction as well as increased profitability. Product lifecycle management is an essential tool for any organization looking to ensure success in today’s ever-changing markets. With proper planning and effective execution, companies will be able to successfully navigate the entire life cycle of their products from development through end-of-life and beyond.

Are you getting the most up-to-date data from SAP concerning your SKU’s? If you feel like you’re flying blind and don’t have access to real-time Product Lifecycle Data, reach out to a Simplement Team Member today and see what Roundhouse can do to better inform your organization on key decisions. 

Learn More

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Related Posts