In a business environment, product data management is a process that involves the use of tools to create product models and analyze the manufacturing procedures as well as marketing plans that is formulated to bring a product to the consumer.
- CAD (Computer Aided Design) - CAD or Computer Aided Design tool is a great way in how to virtually build a model of an actual product. By building a CAD model, analysis can be done on the production process with a detailed account of each step. Designers use CAD to make a 3D model of the product according to the given specifications, then when changes develop, it is easily manipulated through the program until a suitable product design has been reached.
The CAD model does not only contain shapes and images, they will contain other vital data such as dimensions, tolerances, materials and processes. The data will allow for other phases of development to take place such as analyzing the comparison data, regression data, manufacturing, resources and drawing up marketing plans.
Using CAD as a tool for the initial stages of product data management helps to improve manufacturing time and efficiency. A proposed description of a product is sent to the engineer for evaluation and design, which also involves a designer and a product manager. A 3D model will be created containing all the information that would go into making the physical product such as measurements of each part that would make up the product, tolerance ranges to test the durability or effectiveness of the design, and prices for each part to name a few. The data can also be saved on a database where it could be accessed by key people who are part of the planning and production aspect. Data won’t have to be re-entered every time the same components are used. The time and resources for developing and manufacturing to marketing and bringing the product to the consumer will have been reduced, optimizing the use of the CAD data combined with analysis.
- Regression Data Analysis - The focus of regression data analysis is on a dependent variable and how it relates to other variables that are independent. Regression analysis can be used for testing market behaviours or how a market segment reacts to a certain product. The dependent variable is typically the factor that won’t be changed during testing; the only variable that will be manipulated is the independent variable. The dependent variable is the result in a control group and the independent variable is used as a “what if” variable to see what the results will or the effect it will have on the dependent variable.
The well thought out products and marketing plans are the result of choosing the right product management tools to work with.