Finding the right fit from a range of PLM systems
A collection of articles that takes you from defining technology needs to purchasing options
Autodesk PLM 360 is product lifecycle management (PLM) software that focuses on automating key product tasks, functions and information delivery to streamline the management of processes, projects and people throughout the product life cycle. It offers bill of materials (BOM) management, change management, and new product introduction management. Because Autodesk PLM 360 is a software as a service-based cloud offering, clients only need a standard Web browser such as Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome; there are no operating system requirements. Autodesk also offers PLM 360 Mobile, a free mobile application custom-designed to facilitate the management of product development processes directly on any iOS or Android device.
The software is not broken into separate modules, and all PLM 360 functionality is available to all subscribers. A wide range of PLM functions are covered, but the functions that the product is best known for are:
- BOM management that helps product team members manage, visualize and share up-to-date BOM information across the organization in real-time;
- Change management that provides a clear view of the details needed to understand and approve engineering change requests and engineering change orders;
- New product introduction (NPI) information that comes with configurable NPI workflow tools that help organizations efficiently get their latest product innovations to market; and
- Quality improvement capabilities that connect critical product processes -- from return material authorizations to corrective and preventive actions to engineering change orders.
Autodesk PLM 360 customers have access to a production cloud environment, a sandbox environment for testing and experimentation, a beta environment that features continuously updated feeds from the PLM 360 development team and a preview environment that gives clients early access to new releases before the releases go live in production.
The product comes in two different editions: PLM 360 Professional and PLM 360 Enterprise. The PLM 360 Enterprise edition has additional value-added capabilities, including single sign-on, a higher level of support and unlimited storage. Autodesk releases updates of PLM 360 once per quarter over the calendar year. All clients are updated with the latest enhancements at each system release interval.
In the latest version of Autodesk PLM 360, clients received product enhancements that included new updates to the PLM 360 parts classification system, free licenses for client third-party suppliers that restrict the product visibility of these suppliers only to those parts and products they are responsible for or engaged with, and client access to a new system beta environment for testing new capabilities before adding them to production.
Autodesk PLM 360 customers range from SMBs to large enterprises. The bulk of the PLM 360 customer base tends to be mid-sized companies that are doing high-volume manufacturing in industries like consumer products, high-tech and tier three automotive (raw materials suppliers).
PLM 360 does not come as a private or hosted cloud option. It is licensed on a per-subscription basis, and uses per-user pricing on two tiers: The PLM 360 Professional tier at $75 per user, per month, and the PLM 360 Enterprise tier at $150 per user, per month. Autodesk directly sells PLM 360, but there is also a small channel of PLM Advisor partners authorized to sell PLM 360.
The subscription includes support, which is broken down into three tiers.
- Basic Support is available for PLM 360 Professional clients, which includes installation and configuration, an online knowledge base, Web support and an online community forum.
- Advanced Support for PLM 360 Enterprise clients includes all of the PLM 360 Professional client options with the addition of phone support, priority response, remote desktop assistance by demand, application programming interface support and webcast training.
- The third support level is called Enterprise Priority Support. It includes all of the Advanced Support options and adds to these 24/7 critical support for priority issues, an assigned account manager, an assigned product specialist, question escalation, proactive support, interaction with PLM 360 senior management, opportunity to participate in beta programs and annual roadmap sessions with the Autodesk PLM 360 product team.
Autodesk provides a complete portfolio of consulting services for the implementation, expansion, training and support of PLM 360. This support ranges from scalable services packages that get clients started with the system to professional consulting in business processes, technical issues and integration and project management consultants. Training and consulting are available during implementation and on an ongoing basis.
Autodesk offers a free, three-day trial of PLM 360 to prospective clients. The trial consists of a limited version of the system with a pre-built environment that provides the end-user experience without the administrative abilities to configure the product.
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