For Aerospace & Defense (A&D) companies, this transformation presents challenges that are complex – but achievable. As historically engineering-centric organizations, A&D firms have started structuring and federating their engineering functions and technical product data around Product Data Management systems (PDM). Configuration Management (CM) is being used to integrate elements including manufacturing, on-board procurement, customer support and services, suppliers and customers – thus fueling the journey towards extended enterprise-wide, end-to-end, collaborative CM. Our experience with clients undertaking this CM journey highlights six questions that arise consistently for executives in different roles.
1. What benefits can I expect from CM?
2. How can we create a product structure that’s right first time and doesn’t inhibit industrial flexibility?
3. I feel CM’s getting out of control: on the one hand, it’s mobilizing too many costly skilled people doing administrative tasks; on the other, I feel it’s not being properly managed. What can I do?
4. Our CM process generates lots of data. How can we manage and use it so we always know the overall status of our program/products?
5. There are many different models for integrating the ‘extended enterprise’ of suppliers and partners. Which one should I choose?
6. My company’s strategy is to achieve 50% of revenue from services within three years. How can I manage product configuration information to support my service offer and achieve this goal?