Information in a company is produced by multiple departments and stored in continuously edited documents. With a PIM they are managed in a centralized system
When it comes to managing information in the company, it seems obvious that it is something reserved for the IT office.
But that’s not quite the case. Follow me.
Let’s focus on information related to your products
Certainly a type of information is the domain of the management system. They are those transactional , necessary to produce the goods (components, suppliers, costs), to sell them (prices, markets, sizes) and to move them (dimensions, weights).
But there are also those necessary to design, build, maintain and update them, which are the domain of systems PLM (Product Lifecycle Management).
Finally, there are the information to communicate to the world , towards the outside of the company: the characteristics of the product, how it is made, how it works, how to use it, how to interact with it, why choose it, why it is better or worse than others, etc.
Have you ever wondered where this information is within your company?
Let’s start from the beginning: who creates them? where are they born?
Some information is produced by the designers and developed by the technical office: characteristics, values, performance, etc.
Other information is created by marketing, for example: images, descriptions, pluses, associations by family, model, by area etc.
Marketing then, having to communicate to the world, relies on translators to version the contents in language.
The information relating to pricing is in the domain of the commercial.
The manuals office then generates information on how to use the product correctly, how to mount it, use it, repair it, recycle it, etc.
We stop here because you have already put your hands in your hair: more than a company it looks like the Tower of Babel!
What causes this chaos
The chaos comes from the fact that each of these departments handles information in its own way and maybe holds it tight and struggles to share it.
Typical example: “when you need them, come and ask them!”.
There is no coordination, no connection, no synchronization.
But even if all your colleagues were little angels and were full of goodwill, do you know why things wouldn’t turn out the way they should anyway?
Because typically those who create information, those who generate data, go and deposit it within a document. It seems obvious, but this is the source of all troubles, it is original sin!
Here, we found out where the information is: it is contained in the documents!
Now think about it: even if all the documents turned out perfectly, if they were shared, if everything were ordered like in a wonderful library, cataloged, etc. you would have solved only part of the problem.
In fact, documents are bad containers of information.
And I’ll explain why.
Because there is always a need in the company to disassemble and recombine information for the most varied uses. You take a text here, a table there, the image from the internet (so I’ll do it first!) And create a new document.
It seems the most natural thing in this world. But in reality with this activity, which goes by the name of “copy / paste, you are entering toxic data into the company.
Who assures you that the data you took from that Excel sheet has not already been modified by the technical department?
And in any case, even if everything is correct (the result of the patient work of checking and rechecking), will you remember to update the data that the technical office will modify tomorrow on your document and on all other documents in which it is present?
While at the same time maybe other colleagues have used parts of your document to make others etc.
Don’t you think of the “wireless telephone”, the game you played as a boy? From the first in the row a sentence began and after several passages of voice, a different sentence arrived at the last one according to the arbitrary interpretation of the various passages. This is exactly what happens in the company.
And it is that generates the toxic data that goes around the offices.
So what should we do?
Let’s imagine for a moment that our document (a technical data sheet, a price list, a commercial offer or a manual) is like a device, a machine.
The machine is made up of pieces (components).
The pieces are produced by various suppliers.
The pieces arrive from the suppliers in the warehouse and are coded and stored according to a certain logic so that they can be perfectly identified and found.
Based on a project (a bill of materials), the pieces = components are assembled to produce the artifact.
Some components are common to many artifacts, think of screws and bolts or handles or switches, but they are assembled differently depending on the BOM.
Now let’s go back to the document.
The document is also made up of pieces : the title, the subtitle, the paragraph, the table, the drawing, the note. Pieces that could be picked up from an organized warehouse where they have been deposited, coded and maintained by those who generated them.
A logical, intuitive process. But how to do it?
Technology and the support of a long experience come to us.
The technological base is called PIM (Product Information Management) a sort of information management, which allows us to organize and store all information and to manage and maintain it.
Managing and maintaining them means many things:
give it a label
make sure that there are no redundancies
keep track of all the steps,
recognize access priorities
be ready and open to withdrawal for use on any channel
A good PIM must then be able to accompany this information intact until its final use: publication on a document (paper, web or digital).
Once you do this, the company will no longer have toxic data. Everything will be under control and will flow like oil.
Those who create data will only deal with this and will have the commitment to store and maintain them.
Those who create documents will only have to worry about taking the pieces from the warehouse and aggregating them according to the project.
Those who need information for the most diverse reasons will always know where to find them. If a datum exists it is there, and only there … and it is the right one!
All for one, one for all!
What are you waiting for? Contact us for more information!