In the previous blog post, I discussed the rationale and benefits engineering organizations realize by employing a formal product data management strategy and PDM software. In the final installment of Check-in, Check-out, Check-in…Why bother?, I will explain why the absence of a formal data management strategy imposes greater risk on small organizations.
Engineering organizations of any size can no longer afford the complexity and inefficiency, and especially the potential risks involved in not managing all product data consistently. Even small teams risk wasting scarce resources searching for information, ensuring all information is in sync, and that product related decisions are made based on the most recent information available to the organization.
Indeed, very small organizations and project teams can manage, at least for some time, without a formal PDM strategy because of their small size, flexible and nimble culture, and skills and capabilities of individual engineers. But, interestingly enough, these organizations are also at the greatest risk for losing critical knowledge because of the high rate of workforce mobility: as individuals move between projects and, worse, leave the company, they take their knowledge and experience with them.
The challenge of retaining and reusing organizational knowledge is universal and plagues many manufacturing organizations, both large and small. To a degree, the larger size and slower pace of large organizations, coupled with slower personnel turnover helps slow down the natural loss of knowledge and expertise. On the other hand, the informal, open, and flexible work environment that is an important competitive asset of small engineering organizations also make them much more susceptible and less resilient to knowledge attrition.
Small organizations cannot afford the waste and business risks caused by ineffective product data management practices. These organizations should consider PDM as the core of a knowledge management strategy to support high fidelity decision-making, efficient collaboration with their suppliers and brand owner clients, and support future growth.
More teams are using Cloud, Analytics, Mobile, and Social tools to speed up product development. Independent analyst firm, Consilia Vektor, explains how this changes Product Data Management (PDM) as you know it and how this can help your team work smarter.