Uncertainty is the enemy of business, and Brexit has certainly challenged UK manufacturing organisations. However, more effective use of product data management (PDM) can present opportunities and deliver real benefits.

The Epitomy Platform offers OEMs a faster route to market for their products as well as their replacement parts and accessories, with scalable resources that build future resilience wherever negotiations with Europe lead.

The Brexit debate has raged for what seems like decades. Political posturing and division within countries, governments and political parties has given manufacturing leaders cause for concern.

Should they invest in production facilities, software and training – when, and how much?

Ultimately, the UK and mainland Europe will still enjoy trade. Parts and machinery will flow across borders, and manufacturers will still import and export raw materials and finished goods.

The big question is how can manufacturers cut costs, make savings and increase sales while trade agreements, tariffs and delivery schedules are in a state of flux?

Artificial intelligence, data and PDM

One heartening statistic to emerge in early 2019 is the level of investment in Artificial Intelligence (AI), data and services relating to product information.

According to Artificial Intelligence News, venture capital firms invested a record £998m in UK-based AI companies in 2018. That’s almost as much as the other major European countries (Germany, France, Italy etc) combined.

This ramp-up in tech investment is great news for the UK economy. Confidence grows as manufacturers see what benefits AI and data can give, and expertise across industry rises.

In fact, the government is also backing UK industry. The Artificial Intelligence News feature also highlights how the Business Secretary (Greg Clark) and Digital Secretary (Jeremy Wright) recently revealed a £200 million fund to establish 16 new technical centres. The investment in talent will also help to deliver 1,000 new PhDs, a move that will help the UK lead the global digital revolution in AI.

The Epitomy Platform helps to join up the dots. With new high-specification equipment, sensors and robotics come increased levels of data. That rich stream of information is valuable, especially when organisations make effective use of it in real-time.

Using PDM it’s possible to distribute product information quickly and efficiently. Teams across business share data sources and enjoy increased consistency and quality. Qualified personnel and appropriate algorithms release updated information to the users that need it as it becomes available.

Crucially, fresh production information can be distributed to customers via linked e-commerce platforms immediately. That’s a significant advantage, with an immediate boost to aftersales.

Move from static to dynamic catalogues

Part of the migration to wholly digital assets involves key sources of product information, such as catalogues that showcase details about the parts and machinery offered by a manufacturer.

Enabling engineers, designers, administrators, marketers and dealer partners to contribute controlled online updates will give potential customers the best possible digital experience.

Moving away from static parts catalogues (PDFs and printed collateral) is also essential if manufacturers are to keep pace with potential Brexit changes.

PDM enables organisations to keep vital data sources synchronised. New part information can have labels and compliance information updated immediately. Price conversions happen automatically as markets change. Logistics information can also be incorporated to help manage customer expectations.

Far from building immovable barriers to trade, Brexit is encouraging OEMs to invest in technology that improves productivity, ensures that product information is accurate and up-to-date, and allows customers to find the machinery they need – when they need it.

If you’d like to see how the Epitomy Platform can help your organisation embrace digital change and prepare for the future, get in touch to arrange a product demonstration.

Call the team on 0114 258 0404 or email enquiries@epitomy.com now.



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