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PLM set to boom

Worldwide spending on product lifecycle management (PLM) technology, which helps manufacturers improve production, is expected to increase from US$3.38 billion in 2001 to US$5.12 billion by 2005, according to Aberdeen Group.

Worldwide spending on product lifecycle management (PLM) technology, which helps manufacturers improve product innovation and quality as well as speeding up time-to-market, is expected to increase from US$3.38 billion in 2001 to US$5.12 billion by 2005, according to Aberdeen Group.

The analyst house predicts that total spending on PLM technology will experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.9% through to 2005. This growth will be triggered by the increasing adoption of PLM as a business philosophy and mid-market adoption of ‘packaged’ solutions.

"Product Lifecycle Management is the first business strategy to affect the core value proposition of the manufacturing enterprise — the products they build and sell," says Jack Maynard, research director, Aberdeen Group.

"Since it was introduced, PLM has enabled executives to drill down into the more granular, multi-faceted dimensions of the product lifecycle process and yielded significant benefits to companies in terms of resource utilisation, project timeliness, financial management and risk management,"

"Our historical observation is that when the economy is down, manufacturers have frequently taken the opportunity to re-think, rebuild and re-tool their operational resources," he continues.

"This situation is primarily driven by the fact that with reduced customer orders, resources can be diverted to improvement projects instead of meeting customer demand. This redirection will help the PLM market and ready those savvy manufacturers for the next market upturn with a powerful, efficient and reactive productive development and delivery process," he adds.

The analyst house notes, however, that there are significant challenges for the PLM industry, including limited short term growth because of reductions in capital expenditure. Aberdeen believes though, that the vendors will be able to overcome these issues, resulting in a favourable outlook for the industry.

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