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Compared to more visible business processes, configuration management (CM) is a relatively unknown, behindthe- scenes process. Although efforts to formalize and standardize the CM process were initiated in the early 1960s, the definition for CM is continuing to evolve. The Electronic Industries Association, in their Interim Standard EIA-649, refer to CM as "a management process for establishing and maintaining consistency of a product's physical and functional attributes with its design and operational information throughout its life, using disciplined change management."
On the international scene, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has released a guideline for CM (ISO 10007) that defines CM as "a management discipline that applies technical and administrative direction to the development, production, and support life cycle of a configuration item. The CM process comprises the following integrated activities:
• Configuration Identification
• Configuration Control
• Configuration Status Accounting
• Configuration Audits.
Other industry standards and directives refer to CM as the identification, control, accounting, technical review, and auditing of equipment/systems developed, produced, operated, and supported. These equipments/systems, known as configuration items (CIs) or computer software configuration items (CSCIs), include the prime product, test equipment, associated components, and both system and support computer software. No matter which of these definitions fits your organization, they all mandate an effective CM organization and program.
The objective of an effective CM program is to provide prompt and accurate management of a product. This effort includes detailed management of bills of material; asplanned, as-built, and as-modified baselines; and the control, implementation, accounting, storage, retrieval, and reproduction of baseline technical data and management reports.
Today's products are constantly being developed and upgraded within a sophisticated manufacturing environment to gain the competitive edge by enhancing performance, reducing cost, and increasing product life. Timely updates of documentation and databases are essential to this process to provide documentation support for product acquisition, to update and distribute configuration baselines and technical documentation, to account for modifications to existing baselines, and to add new equipment to the logistic support base. This includes the incorporation of engineering changes (ECs), waivers/deviations, notices of revision (NORs), and specification change notices (SCNs), all of which result from growth in technology, procurement and production activity, and, in many cases, customer feedback.
An effective CM program provides daily technical services including configuration identification, status accounting, change control, baseline management, technical review, auditing, master document accountability, and a data library. In summation, Razor LCSIS is uniquely structured to support and enhance CM objectives in a state-of-the-art product data management system complete with electronic vaulting capabilities.
The performance of product development and engineering must include strong emphasis on customer satisfaction, improved industry standards compliance, and shortened delivery cycles. These objectives can best be achieved by having an organized, well managed PDM system that includes robust data structure, versatile workflow management, efficient communication, and accurate metrics.
LCSIS advanced tools and procedures provide:
- Improved Internal & External Communications
- Better Organizational Structure & Control
- Increased Accuracy & Repeatability
- Faster Change/Improvement Response Cycles
- Optimized Staff and Resource Utilization
- Reliable Performance Tracking & Auditing
LCSIS is adaptable to a wide range of regional and worldwide corporate information system configurations and provides the following features.
- LCSIS business rules definition for your system is completely customizable to your unique, product development process that optimizes your ability to manage configuration data in a concurrent product development environment.
- LCSIS design differs from conventional PDM systems in that it provides a modularized structure incorporating advanced configuration management tools, links to non-technical support areas, improved industry and regulatory compliance mechanisms, and reduced installation and configuration time.
- LCSIS has been designed as a scaleable and customizable system that incorporates a library of versatile workflow process templates and a user-specific viewer, plus links to a wide variety of applications.
- LCSIS provides a broad range of versatile performance metrics, audit trails, and management reports to insure the optimum utilization of corporate resources.
- LCSIS provides an effective mechanism for uniform, documented compliance with industry standards (e.g., ISO 9000), critical regulatory requirements, and corporate policies.
Strategic Benefits: Adding Value to Your Business
Improving Customer Service
- Improved Customer Perception
- Reduction in Complaints
Accelerating Products to Market
- Reduction in Lead Time
- Responsiveness to Market
Build/Keep Market Share
- Increase Order Volume
- Maintain Competitiveness
Complying with Regulations
- Improved Relations with Agencies
- Improved Agency Confidence
- Increased Productivity
- Increased Creativity
- Reduced Turnover
Supporting Disaster Recovery Plan
- Minimize Risk of Insecure Data
- Minimize Risk of No Data
Contribution to Computing Infrastructure
- Increased Information Access
- Improved Decision Support
Tactical Benefits: Improving Value to Your Suppliers and Customers.
- Faster Task Turnaround
- Automated Document Routing
- Faster Retrieval
- Increased Throughput
Enable New Activities
- Direct Responses to External Customers
- Support of Internal Customers
Better Management & Control
- Automated Status Tracking
- Automated Work Routing
- Flexibility in Balancing Workload
- Able to Track Processing Times
- Able to Electronically Assign & Distribute Work
Better Audit Trails
- Reduced Lost Files
- Elimination of Time Resolving Processing Problems
Enhanced Cash Flow
- Accelerated Bookings
- Accelerated Invoicing & Added Interest
- Discounts/Penalty Avoidance on A/P
- Estimate Impact of Accelerated Earnings
- Project Benefit of Increased Cash Flow