Developing partnerships that bring together intuitive consultancy skills, an understanding of emerging technologies and in-depth knowledge of manufacturing systems is the best route to getting true value from product information.

Integrating systems and making use of increased connectivity are also essential cogs to keep such collaborations moving forward. PIM (Product Information Management) can be central to driving through change that makes the best use of a manufacturer’s digital assets.

Merging old and new data sources, then passing that knowledge to the right worker and customer groups will help to extract further benefits from any available product information.

It doesn’t stop there. Ensuring that any ongoing changes to the data are updated to all relevant users in real-time is vital to an organisation’s profitability.

Taking the journey to digitalisation

How manufacturers optimise the potential of their data is, for many, a challenge. Investment in new systems and hardware is only part of the solution. Working practices and employee mindsets much be changed, and consumers’ habits better understood.

PIM and effective use of data is now central to many organisations’ drive towards digitalisation. With increased volumes of data generated it must be managed and put to work. PIM systems help to acquire data from multiple sources, organise it and then publish the relevant details to give a consistent, up-to-date stream of accurate product information to multiple channels.

PIM and effective use of data is now central to many organisations’ drive towards digitalisation.

For some the transition has not been easy. Resistance to change, suspicion of new technologies, concerns about online safety and a reliance on inflexible legacy systems has held them back.

For many years too much information has existed on paper, in outdated formats and in silos only accessible by certain personnel. That’s no longer fit for purpose. Creating manual links to older systems has drained resources and taken personnel away from other areas of the business.

Such barriers have held back innovation, kept administration costs stubbornly high and restricted customers’ online access to product details that should and could have converted to increased sales.

There has been a need to change thinking for some time.

New business models for Industry 4.0

Moving to a digital business model is essential for manufacturers looking to maximise efficiencies and increase sales – especially exports.

Industry 4.0” presents exciting opportunities to organisations willing to embrace change and deploy cloud-based […] systems.

 

Sustaining isolated systems is no longer an option for forward-thinking manufacturers. Integration across business functions is imperative. That means channelling information from all areas, analysing the “Big Data” collected, and making faster, more informed decisions.

What has been labelled “Industry 4.0” presents exciting opportunities to organisations willing to embrace change and deploy cloud-based control systems that offer resilience, scalability and security.

The benefits are far reaching, not only across departments but across continents.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is all about introducing smart technology where it can make a difference, and then distributing real-time data across those devices to boost productivity and reduce costs.

From design department to marketing office, factory floor to logistics and sales channels, machines will communicate in some form. That exchange of information will inform decision makers at all levels of the organisation, in different countries if necessary.

With the right manufacturing rules and workflows in place, the most appropriate changes can be implemented to satisfy demand not only within the production facility, but also out in the global market place.

PIM should be the beating heart of any manufacturing organisation’s data management strategy. With a system fine-tuned to respond to changing business requirements and emerging customer needs, the journey along the digital transformation route can be made much smoother.