Which management tool is better? It’s a fac that companies designing their products need to consider their functional and organizational priorities when choosing a good information management tool.
These priorities can be defined by multiple factors, such as:
- The volume of information to handle
- The work teams involved
- The budgets, etc.
But, also, for concepts that may be somewhat more difficult to identify, such as the information silos present in the organization.
These strongholds of information are decisive for the success of the implementation of any management tool based on product information. That is why, through this post, we are going to explain the main differences between two management tools, which are normally difficult to differentiate between them: We are talking about PLM and PDM management systems.
So… What is a PLM management tool?
The management tools called PLM (Product Lifecycle Management = Management of the life cycle of a product) are a transversal process to the organization that allows the monitoring, control and surveillance of the life cycle of a product.
The operation of this management tool is strategic and very broad since it must organize all the parallel software tools and centralize the databases used in the product development process in a company. The process goes from the conception of the idea, through its design and manufacture.
Therefore, PLM covers the entire life of the product, ensures uniform information and corrects possible errors: from its concept to its manufacture and distribution. In addition, it ensures the correct provision of techniques and data in all intermediate stages. You can also identify the obsolescence of products for sale.
To achieve this, this management tool receives feedback and support from other software systems used in the organization of product information, such as the company’s own ERP software, a BPM (Business Process Management), a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) or a PDM.
What is a PDM management tool?
PDM (Product Data Management = Product Data Management) the main objective of this tool is document management or data administration.
Its objectives are more specific, aimed at the correct management of metadata and files linked to the design of products developed by a company. It is especially useful for engineers as it stores the CAD files or 3D models of the product and the relationships between them.
The PDM management tool ensures that product data is error-free, centralized and easily accessible from all teams involved in the process. It also ensures that the storage system is secure and guarantees the privacy of the company.
Is a PLM or PDM management tool better?
We cannot define which software is better or worse to implement in your organization. This will depend on your objective: What do you need it for?
If your goal is product lifecycle management, then you will need a PLM.
If your goal is to manage all the documentation and versions generated by your designs, then your option will be the PDM.
How to act when you don’t know which information management tool is the right one?
In the event that you do not know what your organization really needs, the best option is always to go to specialists.
We believe that this discussion about the possible implementation of a PDM or a PLM is obsolete since the industrial world is immersed in a decisive moment, in which, supported by technology, it can reach levels of efficiency and productivity never seen before.
In this context, perhaps the main value that systems integration can bring to companies is helping them to be more agile so that they can adapt more quickly to an environment that is increasingly changing and demanding. The implementation of one of these described systems will imply the breaking of the silos of information since they favour the integration of the different departments.
I recommend you read the document “How Document Management can help break down organizational silos”, which explains how, within a digital transformation, the implementation of a document management system facilitates the transfer of information in organizations, avoiding rework,… copies of unnecessary paper, improvements in decisions by having the correct information and favours new dynamics of collaboration in organizations.
Document management in a company lies in transversal processes, so the selected system must be integrated with the different systems from engineering to the plant.
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