PDM or PLM?

Last week I said that companies don’t buy PLM software.  They buy a solution to a problem.

What if your company’s only problem is managing CAD files?

Why is managing CAD files a big deal?

– Studies have shown that engineers can spend up to 25% of their time looking for information [files].  You would like to reduce that time significantly.

– You want to control who has access to files.  Access to released documentation is different than access to designs in progress.

– Your company is ISO compliant.  Software like PDM or PLM can reduce audit times by an order of magnitude.

Some thoughts on requirements…

High on your requirements list is that the document management package be integrated with your CAD package.  A solid model consists of assemblies, sub-assemblies and parts [multiple files].  If they are all on your CAD station, the CAD software can find them [they are associated].  If another engineer is going to work on your CAD model, he needs to have access to all of the associated files.  If they are not on his workstation, he will spend time looking for them or redraw them [time wasted activities].  PDM/PLM software that is integrated with your CAD software can manage these associated files.

PDM Solutions

Start with a solid requirements document and look at your options.  It may be a good move to start with PDM and migrate to PLM in the future.  PDM software can be priced at less than half the price of PLM software.  If your company is not very large, that may be a good place to start.  I can help you sort this out.

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