Unlock the Value Hiding in Your Product Data

Distributed data management gives you the tools to make better decisions faster

DOWNLOAD WHITE PAPER to learn how SOLIDWORKS® Data Management Solutions can help you:

  • Extend the reach of PDM data beyond product development
  • Enable different disciplines/departments to access product data
  • Manage projects using actual data (associated records, files and deliverables)
  • Establish a standard enterprise-wide approach to process management
  • Expand upon data in PDM database to manage associated records or items such as BOMs
  • Obtain better visibility into your data with interactive dashboards and create customized reports
     

Manufacturing enterprises have many assets, ranging from skilled, knowledgeable employees and intellectual property to production equipment, technical systems, and distribution networks. However, in today’s fast-paced digital age, a manufacturer’s most valuable asset may arguably be the voluminous data housed within its departments, databases, and systems. Although most enterprises recognize the benefits of managing, mining, and utilizing data to improve efficiency and achieve a competitive edge, these efforts have largely focused on managing and leveraging data within the departments and for the applications from which the data emanates. This has led to the creation of department/function-specfic data management silos, such as product data management (PDM), manufacturing resource planning (MRP), and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. 

Even though these data silos meet the requirements of their intended purpose, and benefit individual departments and discrete business functions, they are often disconnected from each other and fail to take advantage of the potential enterprisewide benefits associated with greater interconnection and data distribution. For example, PDM applications work well for securing and storing the intellectual property within product design data and ensuring that the correct version of a product design is released to manufacturing. These systems can also automate product development workflows, including product design/approval/release and engineering change order (ECO) processes. Yet, product design data can also be applied to MRP requirements. Supply chain management— sourcing, procurement, and inventory management—and manufacturing planning—budgeting, scheduling, and quality assurance—are functions that stand to benefit from accessing and utilizing the product design data housed within PDM systems. Likewise, users of ERP systems that manage financial transactions, stock keeping units (SKUs), and personnel information would benefit from PDM and MRP connections.

Making connections and supporting communication in the areas in between these data silos, while possible in the past, has not been easy or inexpensive, often requiring customization, additional development, and ongoing administration. Because these systems are separate and distinct, users of one system will not necessarily be able to access or use another data silo due to differences in user interfaces, format, terminology, and even how terms are defined. Furthermore, managing projects and processes that are not directly related to each data silo but utilize the data contained within can be either problematic or impossible. Thus, configuring, generating, and publishing reports that would be beneficial to an enterprise’s strategic decision-making process but not associated with an existing data silo capability presents a challenge that’s not easily overcome. What’s needed is a means for managing access to and distribution of data, including product design data, in a format that’s useful to others across the enterprise.

This paper explains how newly introduced distributed data management (DDM) solutions can help.

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