Product Data Management – what is it?
Product Data Management (PDM) usually means the PIM Software-based storage of data that come from product development. As a rule, these data include information that defines and presents the product. The product development data may consist of data records (of a database system) or documents coming from development systems. In addition to the data generated during development, Product Data Management systems also store information from later stages of a product life cycle, such as information from the production or logistics.
Diagram: Product Data Management (PDM) system in conjunction with other systems.
In most cases, Product Data Management in companies is based on a product model that has been developed for a specific industry or a single business. If not manually gathered, data for Product Data Management are acquired from the following upstream systems:
- CAD (Computer-Aided Design) systems
- These systems provide dimensions, components and material forms that are automatically or semi- automatically imported into the Product Data Management system.
- PPC (Production Planning and Control)) systems
- PPC provides data from the production area, such as data on raw materials etc., to Product Data Management.
- ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems
- ERP provides business information such as, for example, prices, packaging units and similar.
- DAM (Document Asset Management) systems
- DAM supplies Product Data Management with multimedia information, such as image data and videos.
- Knowledge management systems
- Provide internal information on the market situation, development, production processes and sales.
- Other database systems
The foregoing reveals that Product Data Management is trying to generate a comprehensive picture of a product and its characteristics during the first phases of its lifecycle – aiming to provide information subsets for all downstream activities. Potential target systems include:
- PIM (Product Information Management)
- CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
- Project Management Systems
- CMS (Content Management Systems)
Besides Product Data Management (PDM) another concept – Product Information Management (PIM) – has developed over the last years; the aim of this concept is to make product information available for marketing and sales activities. A PIM-System is used as a downstream system in this context.