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Product Data Accessibility

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Issue in Focus: Product Data Accessibility: Getting Value from All of Your Product Data explains the importance for manufacturers to be able to access and share product data, regardless of whether it is centralized in a system like PDM or not. Explains that accessing product data and centralizing it are not absolutely linked, and describes emerging technologies that can help.

Please enjoy the free Executive Summary below, or click the report title above to download the full PDF (free of charge, no registration required).

Table of Contents

  • Introducing the Issue
  • Access All of Your Product Data
  • Virtually Consolidate Data from Disparate Locations
  • Liberate Product Data from Disparate Applications
  • Aggregate and Use All Product Data
  • Conclusion
  • Recommendations
  • About the Author

Introducing the Issue

Can you picture your business in the following scenario? You finally have all of your product data in one central location. Your engineers are trained to store data in the right location and they follow all of the rules for file naming, check-in, check-out, and other data management essentials. Your product data is shared throughout the business and everyone has access to it that needs it. At that moment, the pain of wasted time looking for the right product data has subsided.

If you are an Engineering manager, you may have had a fleeting moment like this. But for most, it never happens. The reality is that many companies don’t have centralized product data, and even those that do typically have a lot of product-related data spread out across the business that isn’t centralized (and most likely never will be). But accessing accurate, up-to-date product data is vital to the health and profitability of a manufacturing company. For example, Tech-Clarity’s The Business Value of Product Data Management points out three primary themes related to getting value from product information:

  • Control and secure product-related data
  • Improve the ability to quickly find and reuse information
  • Share product knowledge with other departments

Centralizing and controlling product data can provide a lot of value. But managing product data takes an investment of time, resources, and money. What if you don’t have a centralized system such as Product Data Management (PDM) to manage your data? And even if you do, how do you find product data from all of the places in the business, including information in office productivity tools and enterprise applications? You still have to find and share product data to make the right decisions that lead to profitable products. Manufacturers should be able to access all of their product data, not just the data they have centralized (if any). They also need to be able to aggregate it across different locations and view it as a whole regardless of what system created it.

Today’s manufacturers operate in fast-paced, competitive, global markets and simply can’t afford to waste time searching for data – centralized or not. This paper is dedicated to the pursuit of accessing product data – finding and sharing it – regardless of whether it is centralized and managed by a PDM system or not. The good news is that accessing product data and centralizing it are not absolutely linked, and there are emerging technologies that help engineers access data without having to consolidate it in a central location. These solutions – aimed at product data accessibility – hold the promise to stop engineers from wasting so much time looking for data, make data more available across the business, and make design reuse feasible (which in turn drives up quality and efficiency while it drives down cost).

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