Why Best-in-Class Manufacturers Enlist PDM

Growing a manufacturing business in today’s market means creating quality products, faster.  Just ask Aberdeen Research; the analyst firm found that the top 20% SMBs are 35% more likely than other manufacturers to meet product development targets.

Of course, we all hope to meet out deadlines. The question is, how do those successful companies do it? Why don’t they run into the same delays the rest of us fight?

Aberdeen has an answer for that too. They found that best-in-class companies are 40% more likely than others to use product data management (PDM) tools. And more specifically, they use these PDM tools to better manage bills of materials (BOMs) and reuse design. Let’s look closer to see why.

Sandvik XM500 HD in action, featuring Ramboom’s boom. Rambooms develops with PTC Windchill PDM Essentials.

Managing BOMs Effectively

Aberdeen found that BOM management is a key process that can make a significant difference to a company’s performance.

Best-in-class companies are twice as likely to have a system of record for BOMs compared to other companies. And that impacts stakeholders well beyond the development team. BOMs provide critical data for communicating and collaborating between departments across organizations. In fact, BOM stakeholders can be found everywhere in these companies, from product development, to manufacturing, to the supply chain.

PDM provides the tools to centralize product data and manage workflows. These features promote better BOM management and the ability to meet schedule targets because they deliver information to stakeholders when it’s needed. They also:

  • Make collaboration easier.
  • Promote change management.
  • Provide a single source of product information.
  • Reduce the risk of errors.
  • Deter unnecessary delays.

PDM can maintain BOM accuracy at the source, control revisions, and maintain traceability for engineering changes.

Reusing Designs for Savings

Another key characteristic of top performers is design reuse. Compared to other companies, the best-in-class are over 45% more likely to copy features created in other models to new models, according to Aberdeen’s research. This saves significant time and cost when  compared to designing a new part, releasing it into production, and validating it for use.

PDM facilitates a reuse best practice strategy with tools to:

  • Organize and manage product data.
  • Quickly find and reuse existing designs.
  • Easily copy and rename existing designs.

For example, SMBs like RamBooms, a Finnish company specializing in booms for the construction and mining industries, have seen the benefits of finding and reusing product data, including decreased product costs.

PDM for the SMB

While PDM provides many advantages, the barriers to entry historically for SMBs have been high. But that’s changing. For example, PTC Windchill PDM Essentials offers a right-sized PDM solution that’s easy to implement and gives businesses the same advantages as those best-in-class manufacturers. And for companies that need an even lower entry point, PTC PLM Cloud provides PDM capabilities by subscription–so companies don’t need to invest upfront in hardware or configuration to get started.