One industry event worth following for companies attempting to keep track of their (engineering) digital files, documents, databases and other related information is a get-together of software developers in the Product Data Management market. This is a rapidly evolving area with a sometimes quite confusing overlap with Enterprise Resource Planning systems and world wide web technology. Industry watchers can catch some of the tends at the annual conference of PDM vendors from April 7-9, 1998 in Florida, USA. Trends which are cited as key include increasing supplier segmentation, a greater overlap of ERP and an increasing impact of the Web. It is reckoned that PDM vendors are now becoming more responsive to the needs of users, but that there is still a pronounced shortage of skilled people.
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