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Why Is PLM a Way to Success for Discrete Manufacturing?  


A manufacturing company that wants to move forward and increase its market share even in times of crisis must meet the industry requirements and stand out from its competitors.


To ensure enterprise stability and convince customers of your reliability, regardless of the economic situation in the market, you can use advanced management tools. This article will consider the benefits and features of SAP solutions for product lifecycle management within discrete manufacturing.  

What Has 2022 Done for the Manufacturing Industry?  

As is often the case, we have two pieces of news for you — a good one and a bad one. The good news is that manufacturing continued a stable development in 2022 with a year-over-year growth rate of 3.1%.


However, the echoes of the COVID-19 pandemic still impact the industry through labor shortages and supply chain disruptions. Moreover, automating business processes and increasing the frontline workforce efficiency is an acute issue.

Challenges that Discrete Industry Face Today

As mentioned above, supply chain disruptions and skill shortages are the most severe challenges for discrete manufacturers. Furthermore, the lack of integration between production and supply chains negatively affects the industry. According to a Deloitte report, 3 out of 5 discrete manufacturers will be hurt by this by 2025.


It is also expected that by 2030, the number of unfilled manufacturing jobs will surpass the 2 million mark. And that’s why it is necessary to start addressing this issue now. However, not all manufacturers pay proper attention to this, prioritizing matching production schedules with available stocks and equipment downtime. 


Another challenge of the modern discrete industry is the bills of materials. Their competent development helps businesses detail the composition and number of components necessary to assemble the parent item. Errors in the BOMs lead to inaccurate material planning and shortages, product costs miscalculation, and increased production costs.

How does PLM Impact Discrete Manufacturing?

SAP PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) is one of the key modules of the SAP S/4HANA ERP system. It helps generate and keep the product information up-to-date throughout the entire lifecycle. SAP PLM also integrates enterprise products and process data with other essential modules.


What does SAP PLM include?


  • Life-cycle data management
  • Program and project management
  • Life-cycle collaboration
  • Environment, health, and safety
  • Asset lifecycle management
  • Quality management


This solution helps businesses manage the product lifecycle and provides a repository for all related data. You can also use it to manage product data and integrate it with other business processes, such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES).

6 Steps to Effective Lifecycle Management With SAP PLM 

Below we describe six crucial steps in product lifecycle management with SAP PLM that will ensure effective monitoring and management of the product development processes.

  • Ideation

Generating and evaluating new ideas is critical to addressing industry challenges. Intra-corporate innovation campaigns and an independent expert evaluation can help implement this stage.

  • Building concept

A clear product structure helps you understand if you have enough resources to innovate. At this stage, you manage the BOMs and use the visualization for further collaboration.

  • High-level product structuring

Developing product variants and components can be time-consuming and resource-intensive. SAP PLM helps you create a concept that includes integrated variant setup and modeling based on a visual difference overview. Moreover, conceptualization is supported by change management with the date and parameter effectivity.

  • Product costing calculation

Before launching a new feature or product, you must evaluate all the costs, ranging from design to release. SAP PLM analyzes and compares various calculations to management, production or purchase, sourcing, or production process to help you make the most efficient decisions. 

  • Design planning

This function includes planning project phases, task schedules, and milestones related to product design. It also simplifies project documentation management.

  • Production and release preparation

Status management with SAP PLM provides full integration with the enterprise ERP system. You can visualize the configuration in the built-in viewer and check the Enhanced Engineering Record to support the release process. Furthermore, you can always check the status history to indicate various transitions.

The Bottom Line

If your enterprise has issues with product lifecycle management, and you need to fill in the gaps at all stages of product development, ranging from concept to handover, then it’s time to use the services of an SAP software provider. That way, you’ll achieve maximum investment return in SAP PLM software. Integrating this module with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) allows you to create an automated system provisioning for your discrete manufacturing. 

So, what do you think ?