When working with the product domain in Master Data Management (MDM) and with Product Information Management (PIM) we have traditionally been working with the product model meaning that we manage data about how a product that can be produced many times in exactly the same way and resulting in having exactly the same features. In other words, we are creating a digital twin of the product model.
As told in the post Spectre vs James Bond and the Unique Product Identifier the next level in product data management is working with each product instance meaning each produced thing that have a set of data attached that is unique to that thing. Such data can be:
- Serial number or other identification as for example the Unique Device Identification (UDI) known in healthcare
- Manufacturing date and time
- Specific configuration
- Current and historical position
- Current and historical owner
- Current and historical installer, maintainer and other caretaker
- Produced sensor data if it is a smart device / machine
There is a substantial business potential in being better than your competitor in managing product instances. This boils down to that data is power – if you use the data.
When managing this data, we are building a digital twin of the product instance.
Maintaining that digital twin is a collaborative effort involving the manufacturer, the logistic service provider, the owner, the caretaker, and other roles. For that you need some degree of Interenterprise MDM.