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Or: Why Product Data Management (PDM) comes
before Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)

PDM PLM definition – what is the difference?

What is PDM?

PDM (abbreviation for Product Data Management) is a technology for managing production data. With a focus on design, product development can thus be driven forward more efficiently from the design or planning stage through construction and production to sales and service.

For this purpose, a PDM system manages and informs the entire company about all data arising in the product life cycle and its creation process.
PDM – properly set up and implemented – increases productivity during the creation, manufacturing and design of products. The goal of PDM is to minimize the time and cost of product development while increasing the quality of product development.

Product data management, formerly also known as engineering data management (EDM), is the foundation for product lifecycle management.


What is PLM?

PLM is a process-oriented, strategic approach aimed at increasing productivity throughout the enterprise. The task of PLM is the continuous analysis and optimization of processes throughout the entire product life cycle. From market research to profitability to product disposal. In this respect, PLM needs entrepreneurial concepts or also consulting services in order to be able to profit from them accordingly.

Every product has its lifecycle: from its creation, through its growth and maturity, to its decline or discontinuation. Its life cycle and market success are influenced by many factors. For example, the development costs, the production or assembly effort, customer satisfaction or even the sales figures.
The aim of all good product policy is to enable products to have as long and successful a “life” as possible. If PLM concepts are to be effective, there must of course be a general appreciation at management level and in particular their penetration throughout the entire company.

Learn more about Product Lifecycle Management


PDM PLM – an either-or decision?

No PLM without PDM.

It’s less about “PLM vs PLM”. Rather, product lifecycle management systems are based on PDM systems for managing production data.


Companies can assess whether the purchase and implementation of a PLM system is justified on the basis of their size, turnover, number of employees or the satisfaction of required resources. Because this also always means a higher investment and commitment.


Product data management provides support from product creation right through to sales. In this respect, the greatest added value in the life cycle of your products lies here – especially for small and medium-sized companies.

PDM Wertschöpfung

PDM PLM System:
Rely on the familiar.
And add PDM to the mix.

The employees of your company have probably been working with the possibilities of your enterprise resource planning (ERP), your customer relationship management (CRM) or your data management system (DMS) for years. Stick with it.

Implement GAIN Collaboration in your existing environment. So you benefit from the familiar, the specific services of your existing systems, and the possibility to now also manage product data. And that without any ifs and buts.

Bundle product data from MCAD, ECAD, FEM and CAM under one roof. And thus enable their efficient management and analysis. The finely scalable PDM interfaces of GAIN Collaboration are looking forward to your special requests.

Your contact

Marcus Dirks

Marcus Dirks

Dipl. Ing. Marcus Dirks has been committed to tailor-made solutions in the PDM/PLM area for 20 years.

At GAIN Software he is responsible for business development.

+49 (521) 9676 13 16


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