Gartner defines PLM (product lifecycle management) as a process, philosophy and discipline supported by software for managing products through the stages of their lifecycles from concept through retirement. Arguably, it is the PLM software that gives structure and control to the process and philosophy and that enforces the discipline required for excellence.
Product lifecycle management helps your organization manage a product all the way from conception to disposal.
In our estimation, that makes state-of-the-art PLM software a requirement for any product oriented company, but most companies don’t have the resources or expertise to conduct a full head-to-head PLM comparison. Two companies that are on the short list for most discrete product companies are PTC Windchill and Autodesk Fusion, both leaders in PLM. Admittedly, we’re partial to PTC Windchill because of our existing relationship, but our PLM comparison will be fair and impartial.
The PLM Comparison
IoT Support: Advantage PTC Windchill
PTC Windchill includes tools to help gather and analyze data from products in the field to help improve product design. In addition, Performance Advisor automatically alerts PTC about any issues with your Windchill solution. While Autodesk Fusion monitors equipment in the field, its Fusion Connect doesn’t self-monitor and alert about any issues internal to the PLM software.
New Product Introduction: Advantage PTC Windchill
Both solutions cover PLM basics, but PTC’s product goes well beyond the basics with the addition of a modernized UI that makes working with the solution a pleasure. Other key advantages include integrated ALM (Application Lifecycle Management) that helps ensure product and applications continue developing in lockstep and its ability to switch seamlessly from a drawing-centered approach to a parts-centric approach.
Bill of Materials: Tie Game
Both solutions offer advanced BOM management capabilities. Autodesk Fusion includes multiple configurable versions of a BOM that let users decide what information they want to see—or leave out. Product roll-ups include the traditional cost roll-up, but Autodesk adds additional factors such as weight.
PTC Windchill, on the other hand, offers superior parts classification, sorting and searching capabilities, helping to reduce the proliferation of duplicate items and improving engineering productivity.
Product Data Management: Advantage PTC Windchill
Both systems include Product Data Management capabilities, but Windchill’s offering is more robust, befitting its long history in the area.
PTC Windchill includes functionality to support centralized data vaults with controls, document controls and check in/check out capability for Microsoft Office documents, embedded 3D viewing and markup for non-CAD users and strong security.
Autodesk has most of the same functionality—except the non-CAD markups—but Windchill’s advanced UI provides the edge.
Quality and Risk Management: Advantage PTC Windchill
Autodesk Fusion includes robust quality capabilities, including CAPA, up-front inspection reporting and specification and process tracing for compliance—helpful in medical device, food and beverage, aerospace and other industries. But it provides little or nothing in the way of risk management.
PTC includes all this, plus tools to predict reliability and maintainability, failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA), and multiple advanced statistical analysis algorithms to predict and manage risk.
Cloud Deployment: Tie Game
About 70 percent of PTC’s new Windchill customers opt for cloud deployment, but the company offers its customers a choice of deployments. The cloud allows for easier collaboration, increased availability and easy integration with other applications, whether in the cloud or on-premise, but allowing on-premise deployment may be helpful for companies with many additional applications or sites they need to integrate.
Fusion is only available in the cloud, and like many cloud-based apps it is very open about its pricing. While ultimately both apps have comparable price points, some companies find the up-front openness around pricing reassuring.
However, 3HTi provides guidance that is likely to be even more accurate than self-pricing estimates garnered from public pricing. We understand the way software pricing works, and we know all the hidden “gotchas” that most people overlook when estimating the cost of their initial deployments.
Industry Expert Endorsements
Many companies rely on recommendations and insight provided by industry analysts and other experts. Industry analysts from IDC to Gartner and many lesser-known firms consider PTC Windchill to be one of the top—if not the top—PLM solution available.
PTC Windchill also wins independent industry awards, including the prestigious Frost and Sullivan’s Global IoT PLM Technology Leadership Award in 2015. Frost and Sullivan cited PTC Windchill’s commitment to innovation and creativity. They also noted PTC’s ability to quickly identify its customers’ needs and translate these into industry leading solutions. Coupled with PTC’s strong financial performance and the breadth of its product offering, these characteristics make PTC Windchill a clear category winner.
PTC Windchill has won multiple industry awards in leadership and industry leading solutions.
Autodesk is a frequent winner of the “One of the Best Place to Work” award, but the product itself has not received notable awards or recognition from industry analysts.
Given the analysis above and the strong votes of confidence from industry experts, PTC Windchill seems to be the clear winner for most—but probably not all—deployments. It still makes sense to go through due diligence when making any software selection. Working with a knowledgeable third party during the selection process can help streamline the process and ensure you make the right choice.
Recap: PTC Windchill PLM Benefits
The strong PLM functionality Windchill brings to the market helps companies of all sizes improve their products and increase the productivity of their engineering teams. As a result, they enjoy:
- Faster time-to-market
- Increased productivity
- Better design efficiency
- Improved product quality
- Lower cost of new product introduction
- Insight into critical business processes
- Better reporting and analytics
These benefits help to show the clear advantages of PTC Windchill over any other offering in the market.
Why Choose 3HTi and PTC Windchill
3HTi has been in business since 2002 and has strong, continuing relationships with its customers. The employees at 3HTi are highly experienced professionals who can help each company select and implement the right PLM solution for its needs. We are experts in 3D CAD/CAM/CAE, PLM and even 3D printing. We are an authorized PTC Channel Advantage reseller, and 3HTi has successfully deployed more cloud-based Windchill installations than any other reseller … or PTC itself.
If you would like to learn more about PLM solutions and how 3HTi can help your company implement a solution to achieve the benefits listed above, contact us today.