Product Data Management – empowering small scale industries

The garment and apparel industries, whether of small or large scale, worldwide face the pressure of adapting to the changing markets, and consumer trends from time to time. Manufacturing in time, to meet the fluctuating and speedy demands, requires a sophisticated and organized system that provides timely solutions.

Producers today have a host of different software systems to choose from, like Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Enterprise Resource Management (ERP), and Supply Chain Management (SCM) to name a few. But these solutions have so far been limited to and procured by large scale industries. Product Data Management (PDM) is developed keeping in mind small textile companies and their requirements. Software like this gives them a competitive edge and help remove bottlenecks pertaining to product data management.

The process of product development requires recording and communicating details of a particular garment to members involved in it. The traditional paper based method of procuring data is time-consuming and prone to errors. Retrieving and sharing information by the conventional means lacks efficiency and are not cost effective. Product management software is what comes handy and simplifies the otherwise complex procedure. The Product Data Management software (PDM) provides just that and much more.

To an extent an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system does help achieve this but with not so much specifications and visual displays. PDM is a subset of the Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software. PLM finds its place in large textile industries, while PDM is a solution to product data management of small scale companies. PDM organizes, records, and allows communicating information related to product development and pre-production. This includes details like garment specifications, fabric particulars, and bills of materials along with images. This information can be shared between the merchandising, sourcing, product developing, costing, and knitting, weaving, printing, and designing departments.

PDM serves as a centralized system of database that provides clarity and simplicity. It promotes the synthesis and exchange of data among users who have authorized access to it. With the utilization of PDM, apparel industries can manage product development, operation, and maintenance. It also aids in maximum usage of production resources, limits the wastage of raw materials, helps in retaining the quality of the product, and enables to share information with different wings of a textile company.

Since every department is allocated different tasks and is involved in different functions, PDM software allows users to update information pertaining to their work, and responsibilities regularly, which in turn can be used by others to smoothen the manufacturing process. Hence any form of information recorded, created, or re-used helps to perform the production efficiently. Any input on a product, adds value and links the system to diverse users like the CAD (Computer Aided Designing) team, production managers, and designers to work with the latest data.

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