Product Variant Management

Manage complex variants and configurations at scale. 

Embracing Product Diversity Across the Product Lifecycle

Product diversity has been the enemy of operational efficiency – complicating processes, introducing the potential for errors, and adding development and quality related costs. However, in today’s highly competitive global marketplace, the ability to meet varied customer preferences or unique requirements of emerging markets is key to revenue growth.

PLM provides broad coverage for product variability management, enabling manufacturers to ‘engineer for choice’. The geometry, the embedded software, the different “bills of information,” and all the configurable logic is executed using a single source of data with department-level execution.

Grow Market Share by Delivering Targeted Products that Meet Customer Needs

Traditional approaches to manufacturing make the production of variants and configurations more complex. Product diversity breeds increased inventories, reduced economies of scale, service inefficiencies, manufacturing errors, and increased risk of non-compliance.

With PTC’s PLM, time to market is dramatically reduced as developers reuse previous designs. Manufacturing performance becomes seamless with configuration specific process plans and work instructions. First time fix rates increase with engineering providing product specific information to technicians. Taken together, PTC’s product variant management capabilities enable manufacturers to more efficiently pursue new market opportunities while lowering overall lifecycle costs.

Product Variability Management
Managing Controls, Platform Modules, and Configurations

Managing Controls, Platform Modules, and Configurations

Platform strategies begin once a decision is made to define products in a new or different way. They are built from a base product platform containing the key features and functionality common to all planned variants.

With product variability management from PTC, you can strategically design, create, manage, and validate product variants. Platform options, choices, logic, and configuration rules are directly linked to the bill of material (BOM), 3D visualization, and CAD data to deliver a robust modular solution. Platform information can be fully lifecycle-managed, making it easily available to validate the product and share it with other enterprise tools such as ERP and CPQ.

Key Product Features

Consistently manage product variants to meet the varied requirements of market, geographical, and customer-specific demands.

  • Option Pool/Option Set: Provide enterprise management and visibility to options and logic, removing the need for spreadsheets

  • Advanced Logic: Describe more complex variable logic for configure-to-order needs with range-based variables, case tables and more

  • Configure Variant BOM: Create configurations for order specific variants or use these to describe stock offerings based off a common platform

  • Independent Assigned Expressions: Update customer offerings without requiring engineering to make logic only updates to BOMs

  • Export Logic, Rules and Structure: Share common platform logic to ERP and CPQ systems enabling common definition and change management of logic

  • Product Family Matrix: Quickly see how configurations are planned and make updates as needed

  • Change Management: Synchronize changes from design through to plant specific production information managed in ERP systems with local and global rule effectivity management

  • Variant Baselines: Used with the product family definitions to manage the development of prototypes and validation of variant specifications

Customer Stories

See examples of how your peers are using PLM for product variability management.

BMW: Delivering Customer Focused Products on a Global Scale

Hear how BMW delivers increasingly complex, personalized vehicles faster than ever with greater variety and capabilities.


Groupe Beneteau — Engineering for Choice

See how Groupe Beneteau uses product variability management to enable mass customization of its boats, resulting in increased market share.

Watch the Video

Learn More About Windchill, PTC’s PLM Platform

Explore PTC’s flagship PLM product Windchill, a comprehensive proven solution to help grow your business. Used as the foundation to the digital thread for your organization, Windchill transforms the way global teams manage product variability at scale to customize multiple product lines.

Windchill is a trusted, extensible and scalable platform for global collaboration and innovation, with more than 1.5 million seats deployed.


Talk to an Expert

Give stakeholders throughout your organization quick and easy access to product data. Windchill, PTC’s product lifecycle management solution, helps break down organizational silos leading to:

  • Improved time-to-market
  • Decreased costs
  • Improved product quality
  • More time for innovating

Windchill offers organizations the performance and scale they need to manage large data sets and with subscription pricing, you only pay for what you need. Plus, with easy integration to the ThingWorx IoT platform, data from smart, connected products in the field can be leveraged for a digital twin.

Ready to learn more about what Windchill can do for you? Submit the form and we’ll be in touch!

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