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This paper explores the role of product life-cycle management (PLM) systems in industry by evaluating their impact on business process improvement. In addition, future trends of these systems are also analyzed. A literature review and three case studies are used to answer specific research hypothesis, reflecting the suitability of qualitative research methods in this field. The case studies employed detailed questionnaires to support the literature review. Research findings indicate a strong correlation between PLM systems implementation and business process improvement. This is identified as a clear benefit for their deployment in engineering/manufacturing companies.