The exponential pace of innovation today means that every product organization wants to launch successful products faster than competition and in record time. But to do so, you need to collaborate across the product value chain, right from ideation, through product design, development, manufacturing, and supply chain to make that possible.
Many product organizations have a Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) and an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system in place to run their day-to-day operations. A PLM system manages vital product development processes from ideation, to development, to manufacturing and supply chain in order to introduce new products to the market. Whereas an ERP system manages other core processes such as manufacturing, finance, HR, supply chain, and procurement.
Both PLM and ERP systems are a critical part of any product organization and impact multiple departments across the organization. Connecting these applications to each other and integrating the data can make life easier when one system relies on information from the other. For example, when new products are released to manufacturing from PLM, the item masters and bills of material (BOMs) can be automatically created in ERP.
When PLM and ERP are not integrated, teams can spend an inordinate amount of time manually entering and re-entering data. This often leads to errors and productivity loss. If you don’t have access to real-time product information, it leads to wrong product forecasting and inaccurate cost predictions. All of these have a significant impact on your ability to introduce new products to the market efficiently and profitably.
The benefits of integrating PLM and ERP systems are quite strong:
- Cost Savings: Reduced operational costs by eliminating time-consuming and error-prone manual data entry, so your teams can focus on high value work. With automated integration, manual errors are minimized significantly. Enhanced data accuracy means better forecasting and reduced supply chain costs.
- Productivity and Efficiency Gains: Real-time information exchange between two systems means you have access to the latest data, helping you make informed decisions leading to higher productivity and efficiency.
- Faster Time to Market: Launch new products faster to the market by providing operations, procurement, and manufacturing teams with real-time product data to ensure everybody is working on the right version.
Clearly, the benefits of PLM and ERP integration are profound, but it’s common to be daunted by a project like this. Here are some tips to start you off on your PLM and ERP integration journey.
- Unify and organize your integration team: The foundation of a successful integration is getting everyone on board, articulating the case for integration, championing collaboration, and deploying communication and workflow tools that empower the team.
- Audit your ERP and PLM situation: Each integration scenario is completely unique. To give your team the best chance of success, you must audit your situation, thoroughly understand the current reality and future requirements to prepare for the project ahead.
- Map the integration process: Have a “best practices” checklist that can be valuable for helping you manage complexity, track progress, and eliminate areas of concern.
- Assess your integration options: Now it’s time to get down to the details. How will you navigate the project to integrate PLM and ERP? Do you need to partner with an outside integrator, or can you do this in-house with a custom-coded project?
For most companies, our recommendation is to choose pre-built integration workflows from a reputed integration vendor that accelerate connections to commonly used objects, fields, and processes. This is a standardized approach that is proven, cost effective and scalable. If your needs require a custom integration, the integration vendor can also help navigate these waters. They can move faster and more efficiently to help ensure your technology is deployed on time and on budget.
Jitterbit, the API transformation company, makes it quicker and easier for businesses to utilize data from any source, empowering them to rapidly innovate and make faster, more effective decisions. The Jitterbit API integration platform enables companies to quickly connect any SaaS, on-premises, or cloud applications and automate business processes using Jitterbit’s low-code integration platform and pre-built, easy-to-implement connectors, recipes, and templates.
For instance, Jitterbit offers solutions for Propel and multiple ERP integrations, including an integration to NetSuite, that connects data and processes between these systems right out of the box, significantly reducing integration efforts.
Rated #1 in Customer Satisfaction by G2, Jitterbit has teams that can help consult and manage your integrations as well as built out custom integrations.