Making sense of PDM
Information management

Co-managing the roll-out of product data management (PDM) for a Swedish machine producer


Support for product data management (PDM) had been identified as key to securing the benefits of the modularization and standardization of our client’s product.

The lack of an effective process had limited the effectiveness and efficiency of both R&D and order development, and represented a significant barrier to meeting an anticipated increase in volume. 


Arthur D. Little was assigned to support the development and implementation of better PDM processes, based on the findings of its pilot project for the client.


The project consisted of four strands: 

  • Refine the product model and define new processes and roles
  • Train staff in new processes and roles
  • Help build the first product using the new system 
  • Initiate and communicate change within the organization


Arthur D. Little led the project and worked collaboratively with the client in a project team drawn from mechanical and electrical engineering, internal IT and the external software vendor. The success of the project relied heavily on securing support from key internal and external stakeholders.


Our work delivered a secure and effective way of describing, working with and reusing standard variants and modules. 


As a result, the engineering lead time for standard systems was reduced to 5 minutes, allowing 80% of engineering time to be spent on development and 20% on order delivery. 


Based on the results of the roll-out project, the client decided to implement the new system for live orders.