I ran into Jim Brown recently in Boston which reminded me that his company, Tech-Clarity, produces very useful information for CADplace visitors and that I had been meaning to share some of his expertise on our pages. One of the first gems I found was this buyers guide for PDM solutions.
If you want to take a short-cut straight to Tech-Clarity, then click on the logo and go to the PDM Guide. The raison d'être of a PDM solution is to provide companies with a structured environment for collaboration in product development and manufacturing - that is to say it provides access to, control of, and sharing of critical product data.
If your company is not using a PDM solution today, then you might be managing your product development data by hand. This could be via shared folders on your server, from an FTP, or via a cloud-based storage system. Sure, that 'shares' your data, but there is no control or management of the data and costly mistakes can easily occur.
Or your company may have a PDM system that you have out-grown and you need to investigate alternatives.
In both cases, it is worth your time to understand how to evaluate your PDM purchase.
Take a structured approach to evaluate PDM solutions (image: Tech-Clarity)
One of the first things that Tech-Clairty does is to provide the "PDM Evaluation Framework". We take the liberty of providing their diagram here. Tech-Clarity covers the four items at the top of this diagram:
Any buyers guide is a tool to guide you. Tech-Clarity covers the four key areas listed above and gives you check lists for each section. While this guide is not a complete requirements list, it does provide the framework for quickly evaluating options so that you spend your time looking in detail at the most appropriate solutions. Tech-Clarity refers to it as a "PDM Litmus Test" to make certain that you evaluate products which have a good high-level fit to your company.
Finally, as is true for the selection of other tools and solutions, it is important to consider current and future needs. In this case, you should also be looking at how your PDM solution can evolve over time. Will you need potentially to move to a Product Life-cycle Management (PLM) system in 3 to 5 years? How will your new PDM solution grow with your business?
You can find out how to download the buyers guide summary and the complete buyers guide - as well as find much more useful information - on the Tech-Clarity site.