In a world where client satisfaction is essential, it is important to understand and manage the product lifecycle efficiently in order to stay competitive. We can now see a digitalization of the product lifecycle notably because of supply chains integration. The idea behind this integration is to share the information to the right stakeholders so the conception of products is improved. It is important to consider the following four trends when managing the product lifecycle because they will be innovation catalysts.
Internet of Things (IoT)
In the traditional product life cycle management, the goal is to obtain a feedback from the clients to know their satisfaction regarding the products. Thus, we must wait for their comments which might take a while. With these feedbacks companies can know the possible improvement points. By using IoT with RFID sensors on products, companies can access data in real time. These sensors are cheaper and more efficient than they used to be and they give the product developers insights about the fabrication and utilization steps of the product. The database created with these data allows the implementation of improvements in a continuous innovation process. As an example, the company Virgin Atlantic uses IoT sensors on each component of their Boeing 787. Thus, the company can monitor every part to make sure they perform well and plan the maintenance of their planes.
The IoT sensors are creating a large amount of data that companies need to analyze. The traditional database tools are not sufficient for Big Data because they are not made to maximize its potential. By exploiting Big data with the right analysis tools, companies can know the real utilization of their product at multiple phases of their lifecycle. Therefore, it is possible to identify how to be more productive and where the risks are. Also, these data provide information about the operational life of equipment, which facilitate maintenance.
Device connectivity changes the way we interact with products. We can follow in real time what happens in our environment. The new generation of users is changing the way processes are seen. Millennials are rejecting formal processes: they want some interactive experiences. Therefore, the IT team must continuously update the product range so they are more efficient and bug-free. If they don’t, users will use substitute products because of their lofty standards. It is essential that these sensors get the best information possible so it can help the product developers to know the real needs of the users. Therefore, they can improve the users experience.
The rise of cloud technologies comes from the need of consolidation and sharing of information about product lifecycle. This technology allows for centralization, better control, optimal data transfer and a collaborative work between stakeholders.
By understanding the role of data and by accessing them everywhere and in real time, we facilitate the product innovation cycle. Thus, we can reduce the time that is needed for a product launch and improve the product so clients are truly satisfied. By having the data converge to the right place and at the right moment in the supply chain, companies can understand the real impact of a product lifecycle transformation and share this information with the right stakeholders.
Product lifecycle management is an always changing and complex process. For the supply chain integration to be a success, companies must be involved at every step. Digitalization and a careful listening of the needs of your customers is required to stay competitive.