Product management software does far more than store drawings and meeting notes. It provides functionality like automated workflows, version control, and dashboards. What are the benefits of adopting product management software?
Product management software dramatically improves productivity in organizations that adopt them. For example, no one has to pull together document files and send them to a client. They’re available through the product management system’s interface, assuming the person is allowed to access it.
Managers can track who is working on what and the phase of any project. This gives them more time to solve problems and secure the resources people need since they don’t have to ask for status reports or hold as many meetings.
There are fewer phone calls and emails reporting on the status of projects because critical notices are sent out automatically to those who need to know. The best product management software generates task lists for everyone in each workgroup, and they can select what they do.
Managers can reassign work or determine what is necessary to speed things up, but they don’t have to go through the ritual of assigning work to the team each morning. When managers want input on proposed changes to a design, marketing materials or procedure, they can send out a request for input and let the system collect the feedback for later review.
The Reduction In Mistakes
Forget Six Sigma. Lean is the new go-to solution for everything. Do more with less. Product data management systems allow you to achieve this is a variety of ways. When everyone is working off a common data set, there is less time wasted accessing various tools to find the information they need.
You eliminate mistakes like someone modifying version B of the drawing after someone else released version C. More importantly, manufacturing isn’t working off of old drawings. Instead, the people on the line can pull up the drawings, work instructions, and test plans as required. They’ll only see the latest approved version.
Furthermore, access controls may make it impossible for them to pull up the wrong files in another product because they don’t have access to it. They won’t download a file and upload it, overwriting someone else’s drawing updates, because they don’t have permission to do that. Now IT doesn’t have to waste time recovering over-written files or something accidentally deleted by someone who wanted to see it.
Reduced Skilled Labor Costs
Several companies found that they were able to do more with fewer data managers, configuration managers and drafting managers after adopting product management software. The automated workflows in the system notified everyone required to approve the changes to a drawing or parts list.
When a part became obsolete, every other product that used the part was flagged for review so that managers knew to find an acceptable substitute part. Now you don’t run the risk of running out of a critical item because the part list wasn’t updated last year when the vendor stopped selling it. Nor do you have to beg someone to find the only remaining inventory and expedite it for delivery.
Supply chain management becomes much simpler. There are still decisions to be made about how much overage to buy and when products are to be built, but you don’t need as many people working to determine the quantities required.
Drafting managers may assign work based on skill sets and workload, but they can reassign work as required and know when something is behind. The ability to pull reports from a single, consolidated product management tool lets managers know the latest and greatest version of the product and the status of any changes.
Companies are often able to reduce their administrative overhead when they adopt a product management system. Others see management shift from responding to emergencies to proactive planning. This allows managers to devote time to planning, risk mitigation and identifying opportunities for improvement.
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