PDM Software & SME's: What It Does and How It Helps Your Business

pdm software sme businesses product data management saas program

Being a product manager is no easy task. You have to manage every aspect of the product line, from branding and marketing to manufacturing and quality control.

There are dozens and dozens of details to keep track of. You need to make sure you have the parts and raw materials to manufacture. Missteps and errors can lead to a lot of downtime.

In manufacturing, about 23% of downtime is the result of human error. You need to be able to cut that down as much as possible.

PDM software is a great solution that can help. Read on to find out what PDM software is and how it can help you in your SME.

What is PDM Software?

PDM stands for Product Data Management. There are a number of different applications for product data management.

For example, engineers can use it to lessen product design and manufacturing issues. In software development, PDM is thought of as version control. Version control is a way to manage all of the changes and updates to a product’s source code.

PDM software helps you manage both product information and process data in one centralized platform. Your CAD designs, product models, required parts to manufacture, required instructions to manufacture, additional documents and instructions are in one place.

What’s even better is that PDM professionals and their entire teams within the organization have access to these documents and instructions.

That streamlines the manufacturing process and limits costly errors. In many cases, you’re designing a product that goes through many different iterations. You and your design team can’t seem to keep track of the latest version, and the wrong specs are sent for approval.

That can lead to a lot of headaches, and it can be avoided with PDM software.

Can SMEs Benefit from PDM Software?

You might be thinking that since you have a small design team, you don’t need to worry about this type of solution. There are a lot of ways that small and medium enterprises can benefit from PDM software.

You certainly can, and here are some of the major benefits your organization can benefit from.

Easier Transitions to Manufacturing

One of the messiest parts of the product management process is handing off your design specs to manufacturing. There is a lot that can get lost in translation. Even the slightest error of one millimeter can be a big issue.

PDM software keeps your detailed instructions and specs online in one place for the manufacturer to access.

Securely Share Data with External Vendors

There will be times that you have to reach out and share data with other partners. You may have to share designs or models with raw materials vendors. Instead of sending proprietary information over email or another unsecured method, you can do so with PDM software.

That protects your designs and your intellectual property.

Organization is a Key to Success

In smaller organizations, it’s common for one person to do the work of five people. They should have five different job titles, too.

That makes it very hard for everyone to stay organized. When you’re disorganized and under the pressure of tight deadlines, mistakes will happen.

Even if you already have cloud storage for your teams to access everything, it’s still a very different solution than a PDM. A PDM organizes all of your designs and documents for you. You don’t need to store everything in the cloud and then try to organize the documents.

To manage all of the documents, you would need to have your own IT team. If you don’t have a full IT staff, you could choose to hire one or you could just invest in software.

Finding the Right PDM Solution

The next step that you have to take is to find the right PDM software for your business. How can you make sure that your investment pays off? Follow these tips to find the best PDM solution for your business.

Get Buy-In Early

Before you start talking about a big transition to a new software solution, you need to get buy-in from the people who are going to use it.

People hate change by nature, and they probably won’t see the benefits of PDM software right away. You have to get them on board early on. Tell them about the benefits and how it will help them do their jobs better and faster.

Getting their cooperation early on will make implementing the solution much easier down the road.

Setup and Implementation Time

You want to invest in a solution that won’t take long to install and set up. You also don’t want to have a software that takes a lot of effort to maintain.

You want to make sure that the solution you invest in will limit the amount of resources that’s required to run it. You don’t want to invest in software and find out that you need to invest in staff and infrastructure to use it.

Enterprise-Level Security

Security is a major concern for every type of organization, and for good reason. Businesses are under attack from hackers every day.

Your PDM software needs to have a high level of security, allowing individual users to have their own login credentials. You should be able to limit the data that each user has access to.

Manageable Workflows

You should be able to create and adjust workflows in your PDM. That can increase efficiencies in your SME business product production.

Most of the time, you think that workflows are a straight line. The reality is that they zig and zag all over the place. A good PDM solution will bring the workflows back in line.

Improve Product Management with PDM Software

Every SME business wants to find ways to be more profitable. That’s the nature of doing business. You can cut costs and increase your profits by using PDM software.

PDM software is used to cut down on errors in product development by keeping everyone organized and on the same page.

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