A globally positioned company with more than 77,000 employees and several divisions as well as majority interests operates a decentralized raw materials and compliance management in order to meet the regulatory requirements for the handling of conflict minerals and recycling. The majority of the administration takes place in a PDM system for electronic components, because a variety of different raw materials are used in this area. In addition, raw materials in the electronics sector are often critical raw materials where there is a risk of the use of conflict minerals from war zones and areas with questionable production conditions. In addition, raw materials are managed in various PDM systems such as Teamcenter, Windchill and Vault. Additional raw material data is managed in the form of separate databases, Excel lists, and emails. Each sole proprietor's company is concerned with obtaining certificates and lists of raw materials from suppliers according to local specifications.


The management wants to further reduce the risk associated with conflict minerals, because sanctions in the event of an infringement would block important sales markets and trigger heavy penalties. Another goal is the use of recyclable materials to reduce the costs associated with the legal recycling obligations. For this purpose, the variety of materials used is to be significantly reduced. The implementation is intended to create synergies for the administrative burden.

These objectives are only possible with centralized raw material management. During implementation, the question arises whether material data from the previous systems should be brought together via interfaces, or whether the development departments should access a uniform PDM system with central product data management for all business areas.

The company has decided to hire a consulting company independent of the major software suppliers, so that sales aspects have not played a role in the development of solutions.


In the future, a central department for the entire company will deal with the obtaining of certificates and raw material lists from suppliers and will also cover minority interests to minimise risk. The introduction of a single PDM system was an option, but was mainly due to

  • Loss of functionality and ease of use when using a tool-independent PDM system
  • lack of user acceptance
  • high investment costs
  • high training costs
  • risky data migration of legacy and inventory data
  • deep decision on minority shareholdings hardly enforceable

Discarded. This means that the connection of existing PDM systems to a central material management system remains. The solution includes not only data storage, but also a service interface for the automated retrieving of supplier certificates. Minerals no longer have to be manually adapted to the current regulations, but are outsourced to Siemens in the form of a service. Business divisions without material management in existing PDM systems work directly in the new central material management.


After a briefing at management level, I and colleagues analyzed the existing data handling in the company divisions. Since the headquarters and raw material compliance responsibilities of the divisions were all located in Europe, deeper structures on other continents could be recorded without much effort.

Based on the requirements determination, we have created a matrix with a selection of standard solutions and visualized functionalities, commercial and other customer-specific aspects. Based on this mat, the company chose Siemens Teamcenter with the MODULE IMM (Integrated Materials Management).

We developed an overall concept from the current state and presented it to the management. The concept had the following scope:

  • Rough concept
    • Conditions
    • Dependencies
    • Risks
      • Detection
      • Review
    • Technologies/Solutions/Modules Required
    • Skills needed to implement
    • Rough concept review
  • Fine concept
    • Structuring requirements
      • Dependencies
      • Prioritization
    • Task definition (relevant for tender)
    • Evaluation of tasks
      • Time
      • Investment
      • Skills needed to implement
      • Definition of prerequisites
    • Definition of acceptance criteria
    • Definition of interfaces
    • Data model concept
    • Gantt chart for time planning
    • Budget
  • IT concept
    • IT system
      • Hardware
      • Software
      • Configuration
    • Interfaces
    • Security

The company had the option of vendor management, where we would have taken over the entire tender, selection, project planning and supplier control. However, the company then commissioned its main implementation partner for its team center landscape.

Project method

Pure consulting, no project planning and implementation.


The heterogeneous corporate structure of fully integrated business areas, multi- and minority interests with different self-determination requirements was a major challenge. The pressure towards the PDM solution used so far was enormous. The heterogeneous system landscape with many different CAD and PDM systems, completely isolated data sets and different data models have also made the solution development challenging.


Project duration: 3 months

Project team: 3 in temporary use (only on the consultant side)

Project budget: 100,000 € (only consulting & conception)


The provider-independent consulting offered the company the great added value that the most cost-effective solution with the most appropriate line scope could be implemented. The company was able to introduce additional requirements in the design process until late. The concept was the basis for a call for tenders to compare comparable tenders.

My employer

Software vendor-independent consulting company for product lifecycle management and related topics. In the course of the project, requirements were identified, the solution selection was prepared and an implementation concept was drawn up.

My role

I have identified the requirements at several European locations and contributed to solution development and concept development. I was also the interface between the customer's employees and the solution architects for the solution modules in question.