PLM was supposed to be a natural evolution, taking advantage of the information associated within 3D data to then flow into all downstream activities. PLM was created (by Dassault Systemes) around 20 years ago and the process was adopted industry-wide.
As you may be aware the industry standard definition of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is the process of managing the entire lifecycle of a product from inception to its retirement. PLM encompasses people, data, processes and business systems that providing the backbone for companies and their extended enterprise.
While nobody doubted the opportunities available in utilizing the information for downstream activities, the overall investment, along with necessary changes in company’s culture, and process curtailed its wider acceptance. Based on the above, PLM become the domain of larger companies (OEM’s).