Why Is Product Data Management System (PDM) Important for Every Organization?
The concept of a product data management (PDM) system is not new to the business world, especially in the engineering sector. The term PDM has been there for several years and plays an important role in the product development lifecycle and product data configuration.
Businesses involved in manufacturing or retailing operations use this PDM software more to gain more control over their product data. In simple words, a PDM system is a kind of software that acts as a perfect replacement for old-school traditional paper-based data management processes.
This blog illustrates how a product data management system can be useful and why it is essential for every organization.
What is Product Data Management (PDM)?
As the name suggests, product data management (PDM) is used for managing product data/information along with the data process throughout the product life cycle. PDM can be termed as an integral part of product lifecycle management (PLM).
PDM plays a key role in managing and organizing product-oriented information and utilizing those product data in various business operations. The product data management system collects and stores the product information in a centralized location and carries out the data optimization process.
Apart from storing and retrieving data from the repository, a PDM system performs more than that. It allows business stakeholders to access those well-optimized product data and utilize them effectively for business growth.
At the same time, the feature of PDM enables business leaders to provide access rights to the users of the PDM repository. This helps an administrator to determine and provide authority to users to manipulate data based on their role.
Why Should Companies Use Product Data Management Systems?
As mentioned above, the PDM system is a part of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) and allows business stakeholders and administrators to track the performance of product data throughout the product development process right from the concept of product manufacturing.
The ultimate goal of a Product Data Management system is to make the product data easily accessible to all the team members. And for the support staff responsible for reaching the product to the market. However, PDM does play an important role in other aspects of business operations, take a look.
- Using the Product Data Management system the occurrences of confusion among the team members will be reduced significantly. This is possible due to the centralized product data location that every team member can easily access.
- Having an effective Product Data Management system will enable developers to predict the cost analysis of the product with the aid of an automatic product cost reporting feature. This allows teams to decide whether they need cost-effective materials or alter the product manufacturing methods.
- PDM brings automation to product production, utilization of CAD techniques for product designs will save a lot of time. This allows designers and developers to focus more on other production works. With this feature, a PDM system increases product productivity.
- Unlike the traditional data management process, a PDM system integrates and collaborates with other systems easily. This allows product developers to deliver good results with more efficiency.
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Components of a Product Data Management system
Here are a few vital components that every business stakeholder should be aware of on a PDM system, take a look.
Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Management Systems
When it comes to design and any engineering process Computer-Aided Design (CAD) plays a huge part in it. CAD allows designers and developers to collaborate and share the product design easily with a better visualization. Also, it enables the manufacturing team to track and compare their process stage by state.
In a product development lifecycle, the product goes through various stages of development. Also, every member of the product manufacturing team can access and manipulate the product data/information stored in a centralized repository.
If any iteration of data goes wrong and the inability to identify the wrong iteration could end up in big manufacturing mistakes. To avoid such a scenario, revision management is an integral part of the Product Data Management system that allows business stakeholders to track and locate the recent design iterations.
Data Security Management
In today’s digital era, data security is considered paramount to all businesses. The data governance feature of a Product Data Management enables businesses to streamline their business workflow.
Also, it enables business stakeholders to provide access rights to the users of the Product Data Management based on their role. This ensures business stakeholders & administrators hold full control over the product data.
Modern businesses prefer to involve in doing overseas business through remote access rights for designers and developers. This triggers the importance of localization and a PDM system offers an excellent collaborative technique that ensures all members are involved in the product development process.
Compliance & Security
The virtual world produces a high risk of cybercrime, especially stealing users’ privacy. The Design and engineering team is well aware of the importance of having excellent security features. A product data management system offers robust password protection, encryption support, along with fully encrypted 2-factor authentication features.
The modern iterative design process requires seamless collaboration with external teams and third-party functions/systems. PDM software provides such easy integration with outside data sources and devices. This enables the engineering team to deliver tuned functionality to the ongoing development process.
Features & Capabilities of Product Data Management System
Product data management (PDM) comes with a wide range of functions and features exclusive to the software versions. According to the software versions, the automated functionality and customization features are limited.
This section listed a few of the most attractive features and capabilities of product data management software, take a look.
1. Serial Number Generator
PDM software comes with integrated serial generation software, this eases the issues of naming the files listed in the file vault. By using this feature, managers or administrators can make sure a consistent data structure is followed throughout the product manufacturing process.
Besides, business stakeholders are able to set multiple serial number generators to define each file type with standards. This will be handy for administrators to keep files organized and named/numbered correctly according to their types.
2. Native Add-in
By using the PDM software, managers or administrators are able to access various tools and systems like CAD and so. Apart from that, the presence of the native add-in feature allows managers to check and do any changes in the files. This will be helpful in the case of administrators intended to change the state of the business workflow.
Unlike other management software, the PDM system allows users to work under a specific program with all functions to streamline business workflow.
3. Unlimited Workflows
Certain versions of PDM software offer unlimited workflow and states. This enables business administrators to have full control over the business operations by assigning separate workflow for each operation.
Multiple workflows become possible in the PDM system through categories. Users of the product data management system use the categories to control workflows and set workflow by assigning which operations need to control.
4. Workflow Transitions
Unlike traditional data management techniques, PDM software offers a wide range of options for setting transitions in workflows. Here are the transition types you can have in PDM software.
- Automatic: An automatic transition can be done instantly and it is handy to sort down your files along by defining their property types.
- Parallel: Parallel transition comes to play during the collaborative workforce. By using this transition, people who are involved in the development process can approve and move the file to its next state.
- Transition Between Two States: This type of transition is so useful when you are working with a mix of files from the different workflow. By using this transition type, you can process more than one transition under the same name with some criteria and split the files between two transitions.
5. Automatic File Generation
Product data management software allows administrators to create tasks that perform automatic file imports and exports in different formats. With this set of operations, you can avoid doing repetitive tasks for creating and storing files in the right places.
Else, you can utilize the integration function of the PDM system and view a specific file by moving it from its source to the ERP system. Administrators can even share the file from the vault with their colleagues from a different location.
6. Automated Data Import/Export
As discussed above, efficient PDM software enables business stakeholders to do file transfers seamlessly. By using the automatic file transition function, one can easily transfer the files to the interconnected ERP system under specific conditions.
This automatic file transition between the file vault and ERP system will be handy for managers to do various business operations without time delay.
7. Data Security
If you are running a business, then you might be well aware of the importance of data security. A manufacturing company may have several departments and transferring files between departments is inevitable to achieve better performance.
A PDM system offers a centralized data repository where all departments can access it with appropriate access rights set by the administrator. This ensures the files are accessed and shared without being replicated or altered.
8. Tracking Copy/Move Tree Functions
Effective PDM software provides the option of moving or copying the existing file along with the tracking features. The commands ‘copy tree’ and ‘move tree’ can perform such operations and help administrators to move files from one location to another and keep the tracks for future references.
It doesn’t matter what version of PDM software you are going to use for your enterprise, it will always be helpful for your business operation and your production team. In most cases, business stakeholders prefer PDM software for better automation and customization.
Advantages of Having an Efficient Product Data Management System
Well, adapting to effective product data management software will offer a wide range of benefits to the organization’s growth. This section briefs some key benefits that an organization can enjoy through PDM software, take a look.
Single Source of Truth (SSoT)
A PDM system provides a centralized database for storing, manipulating, and retrieving product data. By doing so, it acts as an SSoT allowing all the team members of an organization to access the single version of the file.
When compared with the traditional model of the data management process, a PDM system does an excellent management process with reduced cost. In addition, the system follows a standardized format which allows administrators to distribute data among systems in a uniform format.
Improves Data Quality
A PDM system eliminates the risk of human errors due to automated processes. Also, this reduces the time consumption for data handling and data maintenance. Due to accurate and up-to-date data log maintenance, new products can reach the market much faster.
Monitoring and tracking the product data throughout the development process becomes much easier for managers. Having more managerial control, administrators are able to streamline the business workflow and provide greater guidance to the team members & support staff for product completion.
A PDM system allows remote team members and manufacturing team members to work collaboratively by sharing sensitive information easily. This enables the manufacturing team to complete the complex data sets quickly and easily.
By using an effective PDM system, administrators can easily integrate with 3rd party systems or devices. This helps designers to collect all the scattered details of the products together and to create an intuitive design.
Apart from easing the product designing process, PDM software simplifies the importing and exporting operations of different data types.
PDM software introduces automation and decreases human interactions in the data management process. This significantly removes the time consumption of rectifying human errors and allows team members to focus on production.
Without any doubt, one can say PDM software increases productivity by organizing the workflow of various departments like manufacturing, marketing, sales, and support teams.
The product data management system offers a centralized data repository for storing, managing, and effective distribution of product data throughout the product manufacturing processes.
By deploying effective data management software, manufacturing companies can save a lot of time and cost. It is one of the essential business management tools for companies/organizations that are keen on enhancing their business operations.