What is PLM or Product Lifecycle Management?

Discover Odoo PLM with great benefits

What is PLM? PLM is an abbreviation for Product Lifecycle Management. Or managing the life cycle of your productsThis is also referred to as version management or engineering changes. In this blog we will help you decide whether or not to use Odoo's PLM module. 

When do you use PLM?

PLM is fully integrated within Odoo with the production and inventory app. A lot can change during the life of your products. Moreover, it is not always the end product that changes. In the Odoo PLM App, you can also include changes in the bill of materials or the production process.

The Engineering Change Order (ECO, another abbreviation) indicates exactly what has been changed in the bill of materials (BoM, Bill Of Materials), whether quantities have changed and whether parts have been added or removed. The ECO also clearly shows the status of the new version, including all changes.

An ECO is therefore a document that defines the changes and displays a list of affected products or parts. The ECO also requires approval from users involved in or responsible for implementing the changes. So quite a mouth full.

The bottom line: in one document you have a complete overview of all information. If that is your wish, or even your necessity, then using Odoo's PLM App will be helpful. 

Odoo ECO Kanban view

How do you use PLM?

For small companies, the standard design of Odoo often meets their needs. In that setup there is one group for all changes, with various stages within it. Affected users can be added as a follower and will be automatically notified of changes in the ECO. 

After the final approval of the ECO, the version number on the product will be increased. The changed BOM or routing is applied from the moment of approval or from the effective date entered. Clear and efficient.

Odoo ECO view

A larger company, or a company that requires more distinction between the different types of ECO's, can create as many ECO types as needed. By linking an e-mail alias per PLM type, a new ECO can be created with a single e-mail. It is also possible to communicate about specific ECO's

The chatter function is filled with correspondence, such as questions, attachments, and approvals. Users who receive a message from an ECO are even automatically added as a follower so that they are automatically informed. The chatter function can also include tasks that are already planned with the recipient. Add an automated action to this yourself, and the user will also be notified by e-mail of the task to be performed. Attaching an ECO has also been thought of. It is possible to set a mandatory or an optional approval (from a team). Prefer to allow someone (or a group) to post comments only during a certain stage of approval? This is also possible. This way you keep everything under complete control.


PLM, Product Lifecycle Management, helps you manage the lifecycle of your products. It also helps you plan the design of new products or processes. The PLM module is fully integrated with production and stock within Odoo. With a new version, a subsequent version number is automatically assigned to the bill of materials or the product.

If an effective date has been entered for the new BOM, the production orders will be created from that date according to this new BoM. The engineering change order (ECO) is one clear document that bundles all information. Thus, information related to new product releases, changes and affected components are collected in one place. Approvals, attachments, correspondence, tasks with deadlines and all changes in a BOM are clearly arranged. An overview of the ECO in one screen: orderly and effective.

The design of the module is flexible and can be carried out according to company size. Use the default setup for smaller companies, or create your own PLM types with their process steps and approval flow. By linking its e-mail alias for each PLM type, it also becomes incredibly easy to inform all parties involved about the correct ECO. Communicate via email and everything will be saved in Odoo. Full control and easy to find everything: that is the PLM module from Odoo.

Are you interested in Odoo or the PLM module? Please contact us. We are happy to answer your questions. 

What is PLM or Product Lifecycle Management?
Erwin van der Ploeg July 4, 2018
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