Is PLM getting more affordable?

Is PLM getting more affordable?


My attention was caught by article – eBook: Putting PLM Within Reach. The write-up introduces Jim Brown’s ebook. The e-book is free sponsored by PTC and it speaks about PLM purchase decision process and what advantages SaaS (subscription) business model can bring to PLM. Have a read and draw your opinion.

These are three changes in the PLM landscape that are easing the adoption of PLM: 1/ Payment models are becoming more flexible; 2/ Most vendors now offer at least a partial cloud solution, which can reduce deployment resources; 3/ Operating costs can now more closely match business needs

I was intrigued by the following numbers mentioned in the article:

About one-half of PLM implementations cost less than $250,000. About two-thirds are implemented in less than a year.

It reminded me my recent article – Cloud PLM license cost and lessons from Uber. My assessment of PLM license cost was six figures which is in the same range mentioned above. Subscription model is getting significant attention from vendors and users.

I found an interesting reference of very early analysis of PLM cost comparison made by Aras’ Marc Lind on Ray Kurland blog back in 2010. The article speaks about open source software (OSS) and subscription models. Navigate here to read more.

Q: Please explain any pricing advantages of OSS PLM.
What might the customer overall costs be, compared to a standard vendor offering? Lind: Here is a good write up that describes cost of ownership comparison between Aras and other PLM solutions.


It made me think about trends of software cost and reminded me my earlier article – What can make PLM system affordable. I picked up few data points about how technology changed the cost of things. It is pretty amazing numbers. I found a chart about price of software very remarkable.


I didn’t find a chart to compare prices of PLM implementations 20-30 years ago and now. Maybe you can help me to find it. However, I know many companies that will stop and think twice before paying $100K price for PLM project.

What is my conclusion?  PLM software is becoming more affordable. Even so, I believe there is a significant gap between current cost trend for PLM software subscriptions and demand of manufacturing companies and hardware teams. The demand for free and affordable software is here. In my view, the answer will come from cloud technologies, resource utilization and multi-faceted business models. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

Want to learn more about PLM? Check out my new PLM Book website.

Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of openBoM developing cloud based bill of materials and inventory management tool for manufacturing companies, hardware startups and supply chain. My opinion can be unintentionally biased.


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