Exactly the same as when using CAD data in principle. Change to a workflow appropiate for the document you are managing and change put the correct workflow assignation through the document name and extension. VOILA!
Nothing changes on the background, it's exactly the same. No shady things about it. I even have used dummy formats just to get "documents" go through workflows and only use their data card (e.g. .GFVIOLI files), all the information is in the data card and can define as many dummy formats as I want to control different processes within the company with different informations showing up in the data card. So, as I said, NOTHING changes. (if you don't count on add-ins in the software that opens the file, but there's an adding for most common used programs including Office programs).
PDM can be used as an integral part of PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) i.e entire product lifecycles can be optimized for suitability, Reliability, and Profitability
We can make Standard templates for Microsoft Office, Excel and can use the same with custom properties filled through data cards in a file
With this product related info like Specification Sheets, Packaging Data, Inspection Plans, Control Charts, Process Sheets, Check Sheets, Reports, Images, Costing Sheets, Vendor Management and much more other than CAD Data can be safely vaulted in PDM and follow a certain workflow for certain groups of users, departments and can be accessed from anywhere in the world via WEB server
I hope this will provide you more insights for using PDM in a better way