How Product-Centric Document Management Is Transforming Manufacturing

Thanks to e-commerce, manufacturers now have the entire world as their marketplace. Unfortunately, so does the competition. If you were a specialty manufacturer in the 2000s or earlier, staking out a convenient location was the best way to gain an advantage. Now, competitive edge comes from improving operational efficiency.

Even something as simple as digitizing and automating the way you manage product documents can speed up processes, cut costs, and help you stand out from the pack. But how do you manage these files across numerous departments and platforms?

Product-centric document management is a strategic process manufacturers use to organize all documents related to their specific products or product lines. Implementing this management style can improve efficiency and data visibility, but it’s challenging without the right technology. Let’s explore why product-centric document management is so important and how to find a software partner that simplifies the implementation process.

The Cost Of Poor Product Document Management

Information such as technical specifications, design documents, and production plans are usually scattered across various databases and departments, which can cause manufacturers to run into several issues, including:
No department can work with a product in a vacuum, but data silos make cross-functional collaboration difficult. When employees across different departments need information from others to do their job and don’t have access, it can result in a loss of productivity. For example, if the development team needs sales data to inform decisions about future designs, a report could take days or even weeks. These delays and bottlenecks happen daily across every process in the product’s lifecycle, eating into overall profits.
  • Lost opportunities
In addition to information delays, many manufacturers suffer from data blindspots. Team members in one department may need specific information from another but not even know it exists and is possible to request. For example, customer support may unwittingly possess insight about a much-needed product feature based on feedback they’re receiving. But if there’s no information sharing between customer support and the product development team, the entire company could miss out on developing and selling a cutting-edge solution.
When documents are scattered across multiple platforms, it can be difficult for stakeholders in each department to know which version is the most recent. At best, this can result in miscommunications, but at worse, it can cause costly production mistakes. For example, the factory may go into production on a product order based on outdated computer-aided design (CAD) drawings, not realizing that they have recently changed. Not only does this waste time and money, but it could also result in lost reputation if the company fulfills the order incorrectly.

What You Need For Product-Centric Document Management

Product-centric document management will resolve most of these issues, but it’s impossible without the proper solutions. That’s where product lifecycle management (PLM) comes in. PLM platforms are a new generation of database software that helps manufacturers unify every aspect of their product and process data management in one solution. The cloud-based software updates in real-time, so stakeholders can access a single source of truth for all product data.

PRO.FILE a Revalize brand is a state-of-the-art PLM solution designed for the needs of manufacturers. The software creates a “digital thread” that automatically links documents to their corresponding product profiles, so all information is readily accessible in one place. Built for easy configuration, PRO.FILE allows users to integrate the system with their other software and achieve ROI in record time. In fact, 90% of PRO.FILE users can fully set up the system within 20 days, while many competitor products take months or even years to implement.

Technology and efficiency are quickly becoming the primary differentiators in today’s competitive manufacturing field. Even minuscule time and cost savings from automation can add up to dramatically higher profits over a year, enable you to keep prices low and respond to your customers quickly. If you want to gain a real competitive edge, Cre8tive Technology & Design can help you implement PRO.FILE. Schedule a demo with one of our experts to see what PLM can do for your organization.

Posted in Blog PLM