Article: article from journal or magazin.
Product data management—exploratory study on state-of-the-art in one-of-a-kind industry
Computers in Industry
Advanced manufacturing companies are facing a shift in their focus of development efforts. Improvements on manufacturing itself and on operations management are, in many cases, pushed already to the extreme. Only small adjustments and investment-based development work exists. Against this facet, the underlying hypothesis of the paper is that the near future winners are companies mastering information/data/document management, while the ultimate goals of the development remain the same: increase productivity, reduce lead times, shorten design cycles, etc. The paper studies empirically the state-of-the-art of information systems supporting the delivery process in one-of-a-kind companies. Eight case studies based on interviews show that current applications seldom provide flexible means to maintain coherently all of the product related information during the main phases of products life-cycle. All of the studied companies, which operate on global markets, are increasingly focusing on documentation management with multiple ways, as the study found in-house development work, companies waiting for suitable tools and simple ad hoc solutions. Finally, the implications of networked information technology on the controllability of the delivery process in a one-of-a-kind environment is discussed.
Networked information technology, Product data management, Controllability, Computer supported collaborative work, Life-cycle approach, One-of-a-kind industries
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