PLM alternative

Hi all,
I am new to the solidworks world, especially when it comes to working in a
team environment. We don't have a PLM, so we have files, well, everywhere.
Is there some rules of thumb that we should really stick to when it comes to
modifying models, etc.? How far can we go without buying a PLM?
Thanks in advance,
Stephen Chai
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Stephen Chai
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PLM, PDM . . . so many acronyms, so little patience. Well I for one believe that your payback with PDM is directly proportional to the number of engineers and designers who share project work. The fewer the number, the lesser the payback. There IS a price to be paid for implementing such software, of course, over and above the cost of the software. There is also a price to be paid for NOT implementing such software.
Whether you can easily do without PLM (as I conceive of PLM as opposed to PDM) probably depends on how you need to use the SolidWorks DATA (e.g., bill of material and revision data primarily). If your company management wants or needs a tightly integrated system for inventory control, JIT manufacturing and/or as-built record tracking for repair purposes then you need PLM -- period -- or else you need someone there that can do some fairly involved database programming for you and maybe API programming as well. OTHERWISE if you DO have users who learn very well up front what one should and should not do in order to keep files in good order and you DON'T have a lot of need to have multiple people working on the same files then you can probably do quite well without PDM or PLM. If designers DON'T share project files at all then you can probably do well without either regardless of the users' level of expertise. If you have raw users (and you admit to being a newbie yourself) AND you don't already have good procedures (not only for document control, but also for handling SolidWorks files) AND you have any need to share project files among different users then you probably need to implement at least PDM if not PLM.
Hope that helps.
Mark 'Sporky' Stapleton Watermark Design, LLC
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Stephen Chai wrote:
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Just a little reinforcement for what Sporky said. He gave you a good long answer. My short answer is that we found that PDM paid off when we only had two engineers sharing project work.
Jerry Steiger Tripod Data Systems "take the garbage out, dear"
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Jerry Steiger

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