Service Lifecycle Management 101

A customer purchased your product. Is that the end of your relationship or the beginning?

To stay competitive and keep customers satisfied, companies are finding they need to provide more value. Instead of treating a product sale as end point with a customer, successful companies are thinking about how to provide value to customers as their product is used, for as long as it is used, to maximize the value and relationship with the customer.

Service Lifecycle Management (SLM) is a way of managing the lifecycle of a product, as it is used by the customer, to maximize the value of that product. SLM gives companies a competitive advantage in by perpetuating the relationship with a customer and creating value over the lifetime of the customer’s products.

SLM gives companies new ways to add value for products, such as:

  • optimizing performance with smart connected products
  • minimizing downtime with predictive analytics
  • provide access to accurate and relevant documentation, illustrations, and part lists
  • improving service response time and first-time fix rates
  • optimizing service parts availability and pricing
  • paying for product performance with product-as-a-service (PaaS) models

What is an SLM solution?

An SLM solution helps organizations deliver new value to customers by leveraging embedded software and connected systems to manage the events and performance of product being used by a customer.

Typically SLM solutions add value by reusing existing engineering and CAD data, automating accurate service and parts documentation and illustration, connecting to smart products in the field, predicting product service events and failures, and optimizing service and parts operations.

With the additional opportunity created through an SLM solution, companies gain greater insight into how products perform with customers, when products need service, and how to best service products.

How does implementing an SLM solution increase profits?

Engaging with customers beyond the point of sale opens up new opportunities for companies to provide value, and this value can be monetized into new revenue streams.  Moreover, existing parts and services operations can be shifted from a cost center to a profit center by leveraging SLM and maximizing efficiency.

Smart connected products give companies new ways to provide valuable features to customers, who may opt to pay more for these benefits over non-connected products.  High brand affinity is often attributed to products with accurate and relevant product and service information, which can be created efficiently and automatically.  Companies can reduce service and parts costs through service optimization, and capture new revenue opportunities created by product value though PaaS offerings.

Should service companies be using PLM and SLM together?

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is typically used to manage all stages of product development with a specific focus on engineering and product revision.  PLM often helps manage a cycle of continuous improvement, whereby products are created and sold, then improved to be created and sold again.  Service Lifecycle Management extends this cycle, by information about the product journey after its sale and during which a product is used by a customer. 

Before SLM software existed, companies had to focus on operational efficiencies and service management as separate entities from the rest of their business. Companies can finally approach service operations as a means of collaboration between product development from PLM and product performance from SLM. Implementing PLM and SLM solutions together gives companies the power to have a complete process in how a product is made and how it is used by a customer.

Which SLM solutions does EAC provide?

EAC Product Development Solutions has many Service Lifecycle Management solutions depending on your company’s needs. We would be happy to help you find the right-sized solution for your team. Reach out to our Director of Information Services, Mike Simon, or browse our website for more information.

Creo Illustrate

Creo Illustrate simplifies your 2D and 3D illustrations by creating them from CAD data, and it provides a wealth of features including: art styling, BOM management, illustrated parts lists, callouts, service procedures, and 3D animations.

Arbortext Editor / Styler

Arbortext Editor / Styler helps your authors create structured content and technical publications used for service procedures, illustrated parts lists, operator and service manuals, work instructions, help and training, and other technical publications based on XML standards such as DITA, S1000D, and DocBook.

Windchill Service Information Manager

Windchill Service Information Manager allows you to organize and manage service content, reuse common content, managing content translation to multiple languages, and create automated technical publications.

Windchill Service Parts

Windchill Service Parts allows you to build service bills of material and spare parts for every product configuration and enables the automated delivery of illustrated parts lists throughout the product lifecycle.

Arbortext Publishing Engine

Arbortext Publishing Engine powerfully and intelligently publishes accurate and relevant product and service information to a variety of formats including PDF, HTML, and EPUB, and can be scripted and extended to publish to other formats and systems.


InService provides service teams, dealers, distributors, and customers a parts and service portal with accurate and timely product and service information in both online and offline formats. Users have access to product information and parts illustrations to help them with service procedures and order parts.

ThingWorx Studio

ThingWorx Studio allows you to easily create engaging AR experiences by leverage existing 3D content and connected product performance analytics, and deploy those experiences to those engaged with your connected product.


ThingWorx is an industrial internet of things (IIoT) platform that allows you to build smart connected products and interact with those products with smart connected operations. Connected service with ThingWorx allows you to connect and observe product performance, enable predictive analytics, and assess service needs for optimizing product performance and first-time fix rates.

we have the right-sized SLM solution for you, check out our options.