Integration is one of those hot topics that has everyone in IT buzzing. Even so, most companies don’t practice anywhere close to what they preach when it comes to syncing up enterprise systems.
Greene, Tweed & Co. may be a major player on the global stage, but for most of its history, its engineering data had a decidedly local footprint, tucked away in different file shares around the world and typically painstakingly difficult to find and share.
That is until the manufacturer of high-performance elastomeric and thermoplastic materials embarked on a journey to deploy Synergis’ Adept Product Data Management (PDM) system to centralize its critical engineering assets, including SOLIDWORKS CAD files, and to automate approval workflows on a global scale. But Greene, Tweed wasn’t content to stop there. Its vision was to integrate the Adept PDM platform with its core ERP system to make engineering data accessible to a much broader audience.
Greene, Tweed, like many companies, sees value in syncing its core enterprise systems rather than fostering silos that prevent groups like engineering and manufacturing from readily exchanging data and working off the same page. That’s according to Steven Danasko, SAP Solution Specialist in Greene, Tweed’s IT Center of Excellence, Product Lifecycle Management, who was the key orchestrator of the project. Danasko says that beyond a desire for more centralized data repositories and integrated workflows, the Adept/SAP integration made sense from a financial standpoint because it opened up access to critical engineering data to existing ERP users without requiring investment in additional software licenses.
There was a time when decisions about product data management software (PDM) were based solely on the needs of engineering. The primary goal of these engineers and designers was to automate file management beyond poorly followed rules about saving files in Windows. The preferred PDM solutions often emphasized check-in and check-out issues for CAD files, and did not necessarily take into consideration the wider uses of product data, let alone the important data beyond CAD files.
Today the decisions about how to select a product data management solution has moved up the org chart, beyond engineering. PDM is recognized as an enterprise automation solution, not a departmental file manager. The typical decision-maker of a PDM solution today is looking for a way to support the entire product lifecycle process, and wants a high return of business value for their investment. These people see PDM as an enterprise-wide solution that can be a right-sized alternative to expensive PLM installations.