Data Management – Making sense out of Big Data
It is no secret that managing Gigabytes of CAD data can be tough. Especially if you’re a new comer to a company that contains years of legacy data, you’ll probably be spending at least 2 hours a day on non-essential task, which is sorting out your files.
What’s more, every department in a company (or dare I say every employee in a company), has their own way of sorting their files. Yes, a company may enforce a rule that any files checked into the server of the company follows a certain nomenclature, but who is going to enforce it?
Poor Data Management leads to many issues such as:
- Poor Decisions based on faulty or poor information
- Duplicated efforts because one users did not know that the work he is doing was already done by someone else and it was in the company’s data storage
- Lost of sales because customer’s cant get the information in time and leaves in frustration
- Lost of productivity as employees disturbs other employees for data that is already there but can’t find them
According to a report by IDC “The High Cost of Not Finding Information” (2001):
“The IT Manager of one Fortune 500 firm estimates that by improving search and retrieval systems…, the investments would be recovered within a month and would contribute to a $2 MILLION monthly productivity gain thereafter.”
“An enterprise employing 1,000 knowledge workers wastes $48,000 per week, or nearly $2.5 million per year, due to an inability to locate and retrieve information”.
This is where a data management needs to be more than just a security centre. It needs to be an intelligent vault. Introducing an intelligent PDM system, called SOLIDWORKS Product Data Management (PDM). And these are the 7 steps that makes PDM intelligent:
Nothing screams horror than sifting through an assembly with 1000s of parts just so that you pull it out replace with another. Another concern would also be to pinpoint where a particular standard part is used (Important if you need to replace a part thought to be standard with a revised version).
The default Microsoft search function may not be able to help you find you the parts you want as search function are based on how the OS indexes the files. With SOLIDWORKS PDM, all your CAD files are promptly indexed to make the search function more powerful and accurate. With the ability to give you where the files has been used and the history of the file, you can quickly and efficiently get the information you need!
If you are in an organisation whereby a few engineers work on a same project, you would most likely fall in the trap of working on a file in which someone else is working on at the same time. At the end of the day when it comes to putting it all together, nothing fits! Back to the drawing board….
PDM controls the flow of all the documents, making sure each users knows the status of the file. If one person is working on a file, others may still view it, but not work on it until the initial user is done. Think of PDM as your friendly traffic police, making sure the flow of documents keeps moving without a hiccup.
Sometimes when a particular step goes idle, due to:
- Awaiting confirmation on the green light
- Awaiting confirmation that a correction is needed
- Awaiting for other departments to make a move
The user may also forget about his/her own movement in the project, and they are not aware of the status of the steps mentioned above.
With PDM, the process workflow defined in the PDM system keeps you updated about what steps are currently in progress and who is in charge. Built in is also the Notification Capability, which reminds the person-in-charge to keep the process going, so that no time is wasted!
The biggest concern about any data management solution is whether:
- Is it easy to manage?
- Do I need to hire an IT person to constantly look over it?
The answer is YES to the first and IF YOU WANT on the second. With its easy to use interface and tight integration with Microsoft Search box, you will feel at ease using the PDM functions. Its tight on security, and can bolster compliance with the following regulatory requirements:
- US FDA 21 CFR Part 11
- European Union RoHS
Be assured that the PDM solution will keep your data safe, organised and compliant.
One of the biggest roadblocks to adopting a data management systems is the fear that users may not get used to the system, which locks them out from the pool of data. Well that is not the case with PDM. With its tight integration with Windows, accessing files is as easy as using Windows explorer, opening folders to access the files. With its structured way of checking in/out of files, you will be assured that any files being opened or entered the vault is following company protocol.
It’s a step-by-step method which keeps all your files organised and populated with essential date.
File history is always difficult to track unless the right discipline is instilled in the user. By default, most users when it comes to editing an old file will just save the new version over it, completely destroying the older version of the file. What happens is that:
- Nobody knows what changes were made
- Nobody knows who made the changes
- And if the new version is not acceptable and need to revert back, its not possible! (Time wasted in recreating the old version)
So why not let PDM do that with you? It keeps track of the entire history of your files, AUTOMATICALLY! Let engineers do the designing, and PDM on the file management.
Here is the best part of PDM, which is automated revision nomenclature. Every company would have their own way of naming their files. Usually the name of the file would have the name of the part, with the date of designing that part and so on. The tough part is getting everyone to use the same naming convention, or getting new users to get used to it.
With PDM, you can set the naming standard you would to achieve, and for everything that goes into the vault, PDM will guide the users step-by-step on the proper naming convention. Not to mention, even revision numbers will automatically be added if there is any revision to a file.
Measuring the ROI for a data management system is not precise science, but the benefits of PDM can be both tangible and intangible such as:
- Increased Sales due to faster follow-ups with customer
- Decreased time spent in answering questions and request for help
- Less need for desk employees
- Decrease in duplicated efforts – leading to less time wasted
- …and many many more!
In fact, several studies over the years shows that the ROI of using a data management systems is between “38% to over 600%, depending on whether the new information or content management system is an incremental improvement over an existing one or is an entirely new system replacing previously manual process” – IDC
If you would like to know more about PDM, please feel free to contact us at +65 6372 1416 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, and our EPDM experts would be happy to help!