Oct 27, 2022
5 min to read
If you develop or manage products, you know there’s a wide variety of data involved; a Product Data Management tool can often streamline the process of collecting, organizing, and sharing product information.
product experience management
Data is having a moment.
From AI and real-time data to Big Data to open data, everywhere you look, you see data. Consumer privacy laws are concerned with personal data. Medicine is awash in genomics data.
If you work with it on a daily basis, you know it isn’t just data proliferating: For every type of data, there might be hundreds of data management solutions. Product data management—with its many iterations and mountains of digital paperwork—can be especially prickly.
But product data management software is here to save your day.
The definition of product data management is a system for recording and managing design and engineering files, like computer-aided design (CAD) files, design drawings, engineering models, technical specs, manufacturing requirements, and bills of materials.
PDM can also refer to an organization’s more general system for collecting, storing, managing, and sharing data. It allows information to be passed easily from engineers and designers to production, distribution, sales, and marketing teams.
If you develop or manage products, you know there’s a wide variety of data involved: safety and sizing information, shipping times, SKUs, visual assets. When your products need to conform to very precise measurements and specifications, it’s even more important to have detailed, accurate information like pressure, voltage, and temperature-resistance specs. Ensuring your products meet measurement standards can be the difference between a usable, profitable product and a dud.
For many manufacturers and retailers, PDM is vital to building an effective digital ecosystem. But do you need product data management software?
Are you drowning in data? Awash in information? Product data management software can help you organize and distribute it, which has tons of benefits for your business, including:
Product data management definitions vary based on industry and product type, but most PDM software tools have several major components in common. If you’re in the market for PDM software, you should look for:
Product data management software collects and organizes data during the development phase, while product lifecycle management (PLM) software ensures that data is continuously updated throughout the remaining phases of its lifecycle.
The product data from a PDM system provides the foundation for PLM by creating a single source of data for synchronization across ERP, PIM, and eCommerce systems.
As the product leaves the development cycle and enters the marketplace, the initial data migrates from the PDM to the PLM. From there, it’s updated throughout the lifecycle and helps inform continued product development and strategy.
While there is a difference between PDM and PLM, the real question is which one you need. PDM is typically used during the design and engineering phases, while PLM tracks a broad range of information, including inventory, application code, sourcing, and distribution.
Can PDM alone meet your needs? Or do you need to orchestrate more complicated relationships?
We know—PIM and PLM and MDM and DAM—there are so many acronyms in data management, it can be hard to keep track.
Like PDM, product information management (PIM) is a part of PLM. But PDM and PIM do have some key differences.
Both systems help you store, organize, and manage product data. The difference lies in the data: product data management software typically works with engineering and design files, helping to optimize the development process. Once the product goes to market, PIM takes over, collecting, organizing, and distributing that data to sales and marketing teams.
In short, a PDM system supplies the raw product data. PIM systems take that data and incorporate it into your buying journey, creating rich, immersive customer experiences and streamlined sales and marketing processes. Syndication platforms take it even further, making it easier to sell on unowned channels and marketplaces. All of that helps drive higher sales, average order value, and revenue.
So, is there one data management solution to rule them all? The singular solution that eliminates the need for all others?
If you develop complicated products, you may need both product data management and product information management. Distributors and retailers, on the other hand, can likely be successful with a single PIM solution like Akeneo.
No matter what you need, we can help you find the solution that’s right for you. Request a demo of Akeneo software today and get started on your PIM journey.
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