What is product data management?
Product Data Management (PDM) is a process by which the data related to a product are maintained. Software tools are used to maintain the information related to a product. Information such as drawings, materials used in the product, the parts and the part numbers, the vendor supplying that part, that cost associated with a product part, and the number of such parts used are some of the data pertaining to a product.
Use of product data management software helps a company to track down the specifications of the product, its cost and associated information. This gives them an edge when they want to produce another product with a slight modification to the earlier. This also helps them to find out the cost of the product and make changes to the design so that cost is reduced further. Creating the product information, changing them, and archiving them are part of the product data management process.
Such product data management can be considered as a central repository when information related to any product can be accessed by all the departments in an organization. Users who deal with the product such as product managers, sales personnel, marketing personnel, quality assurance staff, and engineers will find this central repository more useful. They can easily access the CAD models for the products and any product history if available.
Apart from the details of the product, some details like when the product was released, who accessed the data at what time, product version, owner of the drawing, and bill of materials are also maintained. These data that are secondary information to the product are called the metadata.
Since all the information related to the products is available in the central repository, it is easy to find the cost of a product and even the parts that are necessary to create such a product. The vendor information for different parts is also available which makes it easy to launch another product in a short duration avoiding a lot of hassles.
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