A Controlled and Protected Partner and Supplier Collaboration Environment – A Commentary by CIMdata

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As products continue to become more complex, it’s essential for product development companies to rely on advanced expertise from suppliers for sophisticated components and subsystems. But managing the collaborative interaction among all the companies involved in a product’s development, manufacturing, and support can be challenging.

Traditionally, OEMs have invited suppliers inside their firewall, allowing them to directly incorporate components into the product data repository. While this approach makes integration easier, it also requires the OEM to put extensive controls in place to protect their product data and IP, or risk exposing them to serious risks.

To address these challenges, many companies are turning to the concept of a secure, neutral collaboration hub. This hub is a separate data repository where both the OEM and its suppliers can submit product data for integration. This approach reduces the risk of IP loss or theft because only the data intended for sharing is in the hub repository.

One such solution is Eurostep’s ShareAspace, which provides a controlled and protected environment for partner and supplier collaboration. With ShareAspace, integration of data from the OEM and suppliers follows an agreed collaborative process that is independent of the processes each company follows internally and independent of the IT systems they use.

This hub-based approach also adds flexibility, as collaborating partners can change and replace their internal systems without affecting the collaboration process. It also allows companies to collaborate with a larger number of suppliers, including second and third-tier suppliers, without exposing themselves to unnecessary risks.

If you’re looking to improve your company’s collaboration with its partners and suppliers, consider implementing a hub-based approach like ShareAspace. By doing so, you can better manage the collaborative interaction among all the companies involved in your product’s development, manufacturing, and support, while also protecting your product data and IP.

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