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product lifecycle management (PLM)

An umbrella term that designates the process of managing, from an engineering perspective, a product from the initial idea, its design, development and manufacturing right to its end of life.

PLM is often considered one of the four strategic pillars of modern businesses together with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Supply Chain Management (SCM) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and should be integrated with these other pillars for maximum effect.

PLM can be divided into three main phases that align with the maturity of the product: New Product Development, Sustaining, and End of Life Management.