Management of documents in a company or organization is not an unusual task. Actually, document management (DM) is a fairly common and necessary job. Normally, IT is the entity within companies responsible for figuring out the how, what, who, etc of DM. IT usually ends up implementing a DM solution that is in practice a “lowest common denominator” approach to meeting the requirements of as many different roles and departments as possible. IT usually implements SharePoint or if part of a specific initiative by a specific domain in the company, a more specialize document and content management system is implemented.
What usually happens next is this: engineers and product people call IT and exclaim, “The DM implemented doesn’t fit the requirements of product development, engineering and manufacturing!”. This is normally when engineers conclude they need their own DM system. I recently read an interesting article in AI’s EIM Blog titled, The Case for an “Engineering Specific” Information Management System, which explained the situation I just described. Here is a passage I especially liked:
Engineering data is an amalgamation of documents and data (with some formats found only in engineering) the interrelationships of which can be far more complex and much larger in size than common business documents. In addition to these interdependencies, this content is created by sophisticated engineering applications that can imbed objects and link to external databases that carry important information about the asset that will be used in construction and operations. And, oh yeah…this content is being authored by a team, rather than an individual, and that team is frequently separated spatially.
Both the passage and article resonates with what we see at Inforbix as our specialty: to understand the semantics of engineering and product data. Here’s a video that illustrates a typical engineering workflow using Inforbix:
Inforbix provides applications that can, on the one hand, expose data from many different sources or locations (e.g. CAD, Excel, PDF, PLM, PDM, etc) and on the other hand, provide easy to use tools that help users understand and discover the semantics of product and engineering data.
Conclusion: In the world of product data, one size doesn’t fit all; a lowest-common-denominator approach isn’t going to cut it. Inforbix provides a unique way of semantically handling rich product data sets. It helps engineers and anyone else in a company unlock the hidden value of product information. Learn more by trying our Test-Drive demo today.