Technical Document Management (TDM)

Product Data Management (PDM)

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)

Business needs

Business objectives established by the board and managed by functional managers within the technical space are recognizing the need for joined up design + data management processes to ensure expensive resources are working in a co-ordinated manner. Lowering costs, yet delivering enhanced quality, productivity and better end products or projects are the consistent, unremitting challenges facing many businesses.

Almost all business depends on Information Technology to a greater or lesser extent. Organisations in the technical space, possibly involved in the design and definition of products, buildings, assets of any type have relied on advanced computer software to both analyse components or parts and communicate design concepts to clients for years.

The ever advancing capabilities of today's design and analyse software and the relative ease of executing sophisticated assessments and design comparisons have resulted in a huge increase in the volume of data, number of files, drawings, contracts creating both storage and security issues, never mind the burden such advanced, more intense activities present to users.

Design iterations, pricing information from internal systems or third parties, marketing assessments., etc can all be computed readily in much shorter cycle times, producing enhanced products, buildings, equipment at lower costs, with the target of ceasing market share by staying ahead of the curve. Investment in new discrete design and analyse software is a relatively straightforward process, i.e. a small number of discrete high end workstations and software that normally does not require substantial IT resources.

However, data management systems that serve either a workgroup or a complete division in multiple locations present a very different prospect for IT in terms of the availability of the appropriate resources with the necessary experience.

The "one-off" nature of data management implementations creates both a substantial test for the business and risk. Whilst the board and management team require timely IT investments to deliver early returns, ordinarily, IT is faced with a conundrum, either "back pedal" owing to resourcing challenges, or execute with little past relevant and appropriate experience. Both options are likely to pose substantial risks and possibly cause either the project to be abandoned or failure to delivery on the agreed business objectives.

Resources
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