PLM vs PDM differences similarities integration

PDM vs PLM: What is the difference?

What is a PLM Software?

Before deciding between a PDM vs PLM, it is crucial to understand what both software do. We have touched on what a PLM is in the post explaining the difference between PLM and PIM. PLM stands for Product Lifecycle Management, and it is a software meant to facilitate taking a product from design to manufacturing.

PLM substitutes Excel Sheets and emails for a centralized solution that allows collaborative work on the most up-to-date version of data. A PLM software allows for fewer mistakes, increased productivity, and more efficient collaboration. It manages communication, workflows, and processes.


READ: A broader definition of what is a PLM and why it is essential for fashion brands?

What is a PDM Software?

PDM, or Product Data Management, are software responsible for the publication of product data. Different from PIM, it works with data and not with product information.

PDM stores and organize product data, including CAD files, BOMs, permits, and so on. It enhances collaboration with designers and manufacturers and decreases data loss. PDM coordinates data for the product development stage and stakeholders.

The term PDM was coined ten years ago and today you will hardly find a PDM solution dedicated to the fashion industry. PLM solutions in general will always have a PDM capability included.

PLM vs PDM: What are the Differences?

At first glance, the two tools might look very similar. How can you decide on a PDM vs PLM when both work with product development and aim to minimize costs and loss of data risks? However, whereas PLM manages the workflows and changes, PDM stores and organizes data. In essence, PDM manages the files that move through the PLM processes and system, in which the product development happens.

PDM vs PLM: Who is it For?

PLM users are product developers, designers, technicians, buyers, purchasing managers, suppliers, CEOs, and creative teams. PLM software span through the organization to ensure an efficient product development process.

A PDM is crucial for engineering and designing teams that work with a large amount of data tied to specific programs (CAD files, for example).


A PDM is a more manageable solution that can be useful for companies working with an impressive quantity of data still not ready to move to PLM. A PDM shows what has changed and a PLM enriches the information with how and why.

PDM vs PLM: Which One is Better?

So, what should you choose between a PDM vs PLM? The answer is ideally both.

A PDM might seem like a fitting solution to organize data amongst the design and engineering team, but it can be limiting. The product data has to move past the specific department and reach buyers, sources, suppliers, and sales and marketing. The PDM provides up-to-date data and works as the source of truth.


PLM takes the data and ensures effective workflows amongst the different parts of the product development process. The efficiency of a PLM is dependent on the quality of its data.


When combining PLM and PDM, you get the best of both worlds. Delogue PLM has implemented a PDM in its structure to guarantee clean data that is easy to work with and share across departments. Bringing together the organization and database of a PDM and the versatility and flexibility of a PLM, Delogue allows you to minimize mistakes, reduce costs, and improve efficiency and productivity.