What a PCM system Provides

A PCM application is a software application that help answer cost questions faster than before:

  • What if I change the Product Design? Will the cost go up or down?
  • What happens to the cost of my design if make a material change from aluminum to steel?
  • What will happen to unit cost if we make 5,000 instead of 500 per year?
  • What if I use an Injection Moulding Process instead of a Die Casting process, will this reduce my cost?
  • What will happen to the cost if we move the manufacturing of our product from Dartford to India?

Previously, most software applications that attempted to provide the cost of a manufactured part required large amounts of data input each time a new quote was required. Furthermore, these products could only be used by a handful of specialists that required extensive training to be productive with the application. Most PCM systems are an entirely different cost management solution.

PCM is a product generally designed to be used by people throughout your company, should require very little training to become proficient. PCM systems provide a cost estimate in real-time simply by opening a 3D CAD design, picking the type of manufacturing process from a drop down menu, entering the volume of production, and selecting the virtual factory or manufacturing unit (VMU) that will be used to generate the cost. Groups or departments that would find great value in using a PCM include:

  • Design Engineering
  • Manufacturing Engineering
  • Manufacturing Process Planning
  • Cost Estimation, Value Analysis/Value Engineering
  • Purchasing, Procurement, Sourcing
  • Program and Project Management

These people are required to answer cost questions like these every single day. How those questions are answered will ultimately impact the profitability of your products – quite possibly in a negative way. Today, your employees are flying blind. Most companies do not have a product cost management platform available to them. As a consequence, they make their decisions based on the traditional criteria of Form, Fit or Function. What would happen if throughout their day, as they were making those trade-off decisions, they could immediately know the cost of that decision?

The Product Cost Management software platforms exposes this hidden economic opportunity by providing product cost visibility and by answering cost questions early and continuously during the product development and production delivery process. By answering these cost questions in real-time, a PCM enables users to quickly understand the cost consequences of their design, manufacturing or sourcing decisions. They can find the least expensive solution while meeting their various functional requirements. Users are still free to make their own decisions; a PCM is simply answering the very difficult question of what is the cost impact of each decision they make.