Develop3D Live 2018 – Data Management Session

Develop3D Live 2018 – Data Management Session

I was invited to speak at Develop3D Live 2018 about Data Management. If you followed my blog earlier, you might seen articles about Data management 2.0 before Develop3D Live. Check my earlier blogs here and here.

This 1.5 hours sessions combined four presentations made by Joe McBurnie, Mike Payne, Neil Cooke and myself. Each of us presented our perspective on data management in engineering and product development. I wanted to share some key elements of these presentations.

Joe McBurnie of CSI shared he 30 years perspective on the evolution and usage of different tools for data management and process of digitizing of data. According to Joe, for a very long time, manufacturing companies and engineers are using wrong technologies to manage data. Knowing the history is hard to argue – Excel, Office, MS Access, SharePoint – this is only short list of products and companies. Right technology is PDM system relying on database – maybe not the most modern technological choice and proven and can help manufacturing companies to rationalize data management.

Mike Payne of Kenesto brings a perspective of document creation and management. His main point – documents aren’t going away any time soon. He brings an example of how CAD vendors have tried to eliminate drawings for the last few decades and why it failed. Kensto is cloud based file manager allows you you to track files and revisions.

Neil Cooke of Onshape shared new announcements and capabilities of Onshape in Data management such as elimination of files. Onshape uses cloud databases to store all information. It allows lot of flexibility and control that cannot be achieved using files. The following few slides shows key elements of Onshape data management.


In my presentation, I shared ideas and vision how data management will help digitally transform manufacturing industry by collecting information about products, contractors, suppliers and using it to create an intelligence. As a first step in this process, OpenBOM allows you to digitize such an important element of product development as part catalogs and bill of materials. Common industry practice is to use Excels for BOM management and/or exchange of data. OpenBOM can be used as a tool to start you digital transformation. My full presentation is here.

What is my conclusion? Everyone needs to manage data. But nobody wants to be responsible for data management. Traditional pain of data management in product development and manufacturing organization is related to the need to manage data either in Excels or CAD files. It is hard and inefficient. Therefore, to make it easy is the first step in manufacturing transformation. Expanding data management to help companies to communicate and work efficiently together is the second step in digital transformation. The third and one of the most important is to create an intelligence to support decision support. Think about future digital navigation for each company helping to decide what part to use, what contractor to work with and how to optimize the product for cost and other criteria. The future of manufacturing intelligence starts now. Just my  thoughts…

Best, Oleg

Want to learn more about PLM? Check out my new PLM Book website.

Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of OpenBOM developing cloud based bill of materials and inventory management tool for manufacturing companies, hardware startups and supply chain. My opinion can be unintentionally biased.


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  • Joe McBurnie

    Thanks Oleg, it was a pleasure to share the stage with you and the other guys. My main point is for companies not already on the PDM/PLM road map to start moving away from Windows and Office applications for managing their data. Whether you host your own server, host it in the cloud or go for a full cloud based solution you should start now!

    My other point is to always balance working in your business with working on your business. In order to be more competitive or maintain your competitive advantage, you need to continuously improve your market offering and the efficiency of your business. Cheers!

  • beyondplm

    Joe, The pleasure was mine! Thanks for your comments! The most difficult competition is a competition for people mind and status quo. After all people are “bad” and afraid of changes.

    Look forward to stay in touch and continue our discuss on variety of topics we touched during D3DLive in Warwick.

    Best, Oleg

  • Mr S J Mcburnie

    Next time I will bring along the specification I wrote in 1992 for the first PDM system I produced. It was typed on a 386/sx25 PC with 2MB of RAM and printed on a dot matrix printer.

    I networked 5 PC’c together with our HP-UX 345 Workstations. It was a 10-Base 2 network and I remember it taking me a good amount of time and effort to edit the NDIS drivers for the Western Digital network cards to get the working.

    I left the company I produced it for in 1995 and they used if for a further 7 years after that.

    It’s all less of a black art these days and yet so many organisations are still not managing data and process any better than they did in the industrial age.

    Rgs 🙂

  • beyondplm

    Great story! thanks for sharing!