Product Thinking: an eye-opener for the manufacturing industry

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What is the eBook about?

Switch to Product Thinking
The transition from document to product thinking is an important step that has consequences for the way in which work is carried out. With this eBook as a guide, you can lay a foundation for introducing step-by-step product thinking in your organisation. You can read about whether product thinking is something for your organisation, why and how you introduce it later in this article.

Which products are we talking about?
This eBook is about ‘discrete products’ in the manufacturing industry. These are products that can be dissected into parts, they can be disassembled and reassembled. This is in contrast to ‘process products’ that are composed of raw materials and processed into an indivisible whole such as toothpaste, medicine, glass, etc.

Improve the business processes in the manufacturing industry
In the manufacturing industry for discrete products a number of business processes can be distinguished: Engineer-to-Order (ETO), Make-to-Order (MTO), Assemble-to-Order (ATO) and Make-to-Stock (MTS). 80% of ours form a business form with a mix of ETO and ATO. This book, therefore, focuses on these businesses.

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We hope that this eBook will help you to lay down a foundation for the successful introduction of product thinking for yourself and your company. If you need support, we are happy to help!

Ernst-Jan Huijbers General Sales Director - Cadac Group Holding Ernst-Jan Huijbers

The advantages of product thinking

Our Best Practice work methodology, our tools, Autodesk Inventor, Autodesk AutoCAD, Autodesk PDM, Autodesk PLM, etc. are the building blocks for success.

USP Advance insight

Advance insight

Advance insight of the duration and cost of the PDM implementation process

USP Up-to-date information

Up-to-date information

Better exchange of correct and current data within the design process

USP Find data at lightning speed

Find data at lightning speed

Save time and find your engineering data at lightning speed. Long search times are a thing of the past

USP Save time

Save time

Reduce routine and repetitive action

USP More innovation

More innovation

More support for the improvement process of products through optimal information provision

USP Clear management and control

Clear management and control

Manage and control design data clearly and transparently

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The principles

What it's all about...products. Products are central to everyone's life. Clear and uniform communication about products is essential for businesses that manufacture products. And for those who buy those products. In the first chapter, the basic principles of communication about products are listed clearly and explained.

Product Match

During the design process, the original question (the requirements) is functionally and technically described by means of a product match.

This product description specifies the ultimate physical properties of the product being produced. The properties of the real product must, therefore, be the same or equivalent to the functional and technical product description.


Form Fit Function

Once a product has been designed, all metadata and relations have been recorded, and 3D models and drawings have been made, one thing is certain: something needs to be changed. Product designs irrevocably lead to product modifications.

This means changes of product metadata, relations and/or documents describing that product. To be able to implement these modifications in a controlled, structured and predictable manner, there is an important basic principle that must be honoured, namely product revision exchangeability. This chapter includes: Product Change History, Product Change Request, Change Control Board, Product Change Order, Engineering Change Order and Product Release.


Structural application of product thinking, Form Fit Function, etc. opens the way to product standardisation, modularisation and configuration.

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Product Management

With product management, we mean the centralisation of the product and all related activities. This involves managing a schedule, identifying internal and external expectations and marketing a product.

These tasks are performed throughout the product lifecycle. Product management can be a separate department and/or a job in itself. Often the product manager is part of a marketing or engineering department.


During the production process a product description is converted into a physical or 'real' product. This requires knowledge of the product, applied materials and material processing. This knowledge is present in a company in two forms in general: product experience (informal) and product design (formal).

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About Cadac Group

Digitisation is in full swing in the manufacturing industry, construction and government. The way you design, build and operate is changing radically. Our experts help you embrace this digital transformation. We enable you to enter a new phase of growth. So that you are ready for the future. Whatever it brings. 

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