• This infographic shares the importance of developing a cohesive digital thread when developing formulated products in the consumer packaged goods industry. The digital thread should be driven by customer requirements and incorporate the recipe / formulation, specifications, packaging design, compliance information, claims, cautions, ingredients, labeling, artwork, and more to provide a full view of the product and it's design history. An effective CPG Digital Thread relies on an integrated Product Innovation Platform to connect product data from early in the front end of innovation through development, … [ read more ]

    The CPG Digital Thread (infographic)
  • Join Tech-Clarity's Jim Brown on this webinar sharing  recent survey results from almost 200 Consumer Packaged Goods companies, delving into their quality issue and how top performing CPG companies achieve better quality without suffering from excess internal cost. Learn the process, organizational, and technology approaches that Top Performers leverage to overcome their challenges and drive cost-effective quality. This Business Review Webinars event is brought to you by Dassault Systèmes BIOVIA. Register for the June 20th webcast now (free of charge, registration required). All registrants will … [ read more ]

    Cost Effective Quality in CPG (webcast, survey results)
  • On Thursday June 8, 2017  please join Michelle Boucher as she conducts a live interview with Mark Turner, Technical Manager for Development IT at Alcon, a Novartis Division. They will focus on key topics for medical device companies, including the Case for Quality. During the discussion, Michelle will share research on medical device industry trends. She will also discuss the implications for the Case for Quality and offered advice to efficiently manage regulatory compliance. Throughout the discussion, she will have an interactive conversation with Mark Turner. Mark will reveal how Alcon addresses their … [ read more ]

    Live Interview – Medical Devices: Making the Right Choice — Your Case for Quality
  • This eBook shares survey results analyzing companies' ability to hit new product development (NPD) targets, then offers seven practical tips identified by the research as best practice processes, organization, and technology leveraged by the top performing product developers. The research provides recommendations to companies based on the approaches taken by the Top Performers, those that are able to outperform their competitors in revenue growth, margin expansion, and delivering innovative products to market. Please enjoy the summary below. For the full report, please visit our sponsor Autodesk (free … [ read more ]

    7 Ways to Outperform Your Competitors in NPD (eBook, survey results)
  • Medical Device companies have the opportunity to leverage digitalization and the digital enterprise to develop innovative products and bring them to market quickly. Watch this edition of Tech-Clarity TV to learn about the digitalization opportunity and stay tuned for the rest of the series detailing specific business improvement opportunities including: Digital design Digital design transfer Paperless manufacturing The video shares how medical device manufacturers are embracing digitalization and gaining significant benefits including faster time to market, increased quality, and improved … [ read more ]

    The Digitalization Opportunity for Medical Device Companies (video)

Supporting Business Strategies with Engineering Data – PLM? PDM? CPDM? EDM?


A quick peek into some research on … how effectively managing engineering data can improve engineering efficiency. Beyond just efficiency, the study looks at how solutions that manage engineering data – whether you call them PLM, PDM, cPDM, EDM, or any other acronym – can play a critical role in helping manufacturers realize their business strategies.

The Research Findings

Past Tech-Clarity research, including Tech-Clarity Insight: Innovating Through an Economic Downturn and Tech-Clarity Insight: Engineering’s Role in Surviving a Down Economy, make it clear that manufacturers are facing difficult times. Although there are positive signs about the recovery, there are lingering impacts on today’s manufacturing business including:

  • Companies have to innovate to capture their share of a smaller market (some say they have to increase market share just to stay still due to lower overall sales volume)
  • They need to bring products to market faster in today’s competitive, global environment (even before the downturn)
  • They are running lean (and recent studies including one from Aberdeen Group indicate that they plan to add resources back in slowly)

What does that mean? As the recently published report Tech-Clarity Insight: Managing Engineering Data – The Role of Product Data Management in Improving Engineering Efficiency says, “manufacturers need to be able to design and develop products extremely efficiently to get the most out of their engineering efforts.” Perhaps that’s always true, and somewhat obvious. But what can they do about it? The report reviews the experience of three manufacturers, including AMETEK (rotary and linear motion control products and electronic instruments), SchuF-Fetterolf (industrial valve company specializing in the design and manufacture of process critical valves), and Visa Lighting (manufacturer of performance decorative lighting). The research finds that managing engineering data has a positive impact on:

  • Gaining control of product data
  • Collaborating across sites and sharing information
  • Automating (and streamlining) product-related processes
  • Leveraging PDM beyond engineering data

In turn, these improvements drive business level results including increased engineering efficiency and faster time to market. Looking back at the challenges companies face in a tough economy, these are important benefits!

Implications for Manufacturers

The research indicates that solutions to manage engineering data drive important business benefits. Product Data Management (PDM) is an important discipline and software enabler in manufacturing companies today. Regardless of whether the PDM is a part of a larger Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution or a simpler solution that focuses only on the PDM aspects, it is a must for manufacturers today. Manufacturers that haven’t invested in these solutions have a choice to make. They can choose a PLM solution from vendors like Dassault Systemes, PTC, or Siemens PLM. They could choose to get PLM from an ERP vendor such as Oracle or SAP. Others will choose a more focused PDM solution. Which is right? It depends on the business strategy and what the company wants to accomplish – now and in the future.

PLM is expanding to cover a lot more than data management, as I discuss in What I Learned: PLM Please Take 3 Giant Steps Forward. For some companies that fits their strategy well. For others (including some interviewed for this paper) that seems like too much for them. Instead of investing in PLM and using a subset, they chose to work with a simpler solution. Solutions from companies like Arena Solutions or Synergis Software can offer a lighter weight solution for these companies to meet their PDM needs. To be fair, some of the large PLM vendors also offer a simpler solution (although that is too much to get into here). They may not have all of the capabilities that the larger PLM systems do, but if the business isn’t ready for PLM they can offer a long-term PDM solution or a stepping stone to get data in order on the path towards a more broad PLM strategy. Regardless of what path they choose, the study is further evidence that manufacturers are getting real value from PDM.

So that was a quick peek into some recent research on the importance of managing engineering data well, I hope you found it interesting. Does the research reflect your experiences? Do you see it differently? Let us know what it looks like from your perspective.

Please feel free to review more free research and white papers about PLM and other enterprise software for manufacturers from Tech-Clarity.

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