Single point of truth is still a key missing point…

Posted on March 12, 2013

single database and spreadsheets are not helping ! It seems like this sentence comes to my mind pretty much everyday. And we don’t have a 100% valid solution today to provide to our customers as they still use Excel files or Access databases spread into their organisations and not connected to each others. As I alread

just integration won’t solve it all

A few month ago I was writing about integration because I could meet more and more prospects telling me that they have the right interfaces for their users they just miss the connections from one job to another. And coming with a complete PLM solution, I felt like I had no point showing them the solution as they just wanted to invest in integration. But integration is not connecting simple stuffs. Who uses standards in the industry? And Once again I’m not talking about complicated stuff like STEP. I’m just talking about simpler things like requirement management, simple BOMs. How many times have I had someone telling me: “we have a pretty standard spreadsheet for our BOM”. No you don’t! I’ve heard this many times and they were all different. So the phrase “shit in, shit out” is also true for integration. Make sure your data as the right format and is clean and then integrate.


I wrote an article in french about this a few year ago. I was explaining why PLM was a sum of other tools like MDM and BPM. And recently I was being interviewed by a company who needed some consulting on how to structure their product management. And one of the person asked me: “what do you think is the difference between PLM and MDM?” It was honestly a strange question, I would understand a question like “do you think PLM can be used as an MDM?” because PLM and MDM are on different levels, PLM is more functionnal and less IT it gathers various tools to enable the automation and overall IT support for the business rules related to product data management during its whole lifecycle. Then yes, PLM could be a single point of truth and take the role of an MDM, but then you would fight with ERP.

Then, I think MDM is n interesting topic and should not be studied without looking at who is using the data and what other solutions are interacting with it. As we can see today with Aras Innovator, we have HR departements asking us if they can manage yearly performance review within Aras. And of course they can, is it related to product? it could be but it’s not the point. The point is that the mix of a convenient technical architecture with a correct business model makes it possible. But don’t forget to think about how you could us standard formats.

Yoann Maingon

Yoann Maingon is an Entrepreneur and a PLM enthousiast. He is our main blogger at Minerva as he has been publishing articles about General PLM concepts and Aras Innovator for more than three years.

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