Thirty years ago, the head engineer of a Fortune 500 company called to request our help with a recent disaster. “We just manufactured a $250,000 paper machine from the wrong version of a drawing, and it ended up as scrap”, he explained. “We can’t continue working without some kind of document control. Can you help us?” We were a startup at the time, and that one call landed us the client who commissioned our first-gen document management solution.
The best part of my job is connecting with customers—whether it’s a quick hello or a deeper dive into how they’re using Adept. In every call, I hear genuine stories about Adept’s role in achieving revenue goals; how it serves as the hub in an essential global document management rollout; or how Adept is praised as the easiest enterprise software to use, setup, and implement in the corporate tech stack.
These customer stories also inform us about what we are doing well and where we need to improve. They reward us with an understanding of our undeniable role in a company’s growth strategy, and how important it is that we get it right.
Throughout the year Synergis Software shares how Adept users find strategic value in the product, and to improve your existing Adept installation. Some of these articles seem to be more popular than others; we think of them as our Top Ten. In 2019, here are the blog posts that you found to be the most valuable:
#10: 3D Printing Dives into Serial Manufacturing Production
For a generation, 3D printing has gradually gained acceptance as a useful tool in product development and manufacturing. More recently manufacturers have begun creating end-use parts. Now companies are starting to look beyond prototyping toward serial production. Details: https://blog.synergissoftware.com/2019/01/09/3d-printing-takes-first-steps-into-serial-manufacturing-production/
#9: The Goldilocks Approach to Data Management
One size fits all? Not in the fairy tale and not in data management. Let Adept right-size how you control, access, and share engineering data. Details: https://blog.synergissoftware.com/2016/02/04/the-goldilocks-approach-to-data-management/
#8: The Top 11 Mistakes to Avoid During Engineering Document Management System Implementation, Part 2
Engineering document management system installation isn’t rocket science, but it also isn’t as simple as downloading a smartphone app. Successful implementation requires planning. In this part 2 of a series, the installation experts at Synergis Software share their ideas on what to avoid when implementing Adept. Details: https://blog.synergissoftware.com/2019/03/21/the-top-11-mistakes-to-avoid-during-engineering-document-management-implementations-and-upgrades-part-2/
When the senior management of Fluid Components International sent Karyn Dawes and her team on a quest to replace their manual document management with a computer system, their first choice was rejected for cost and complexity. They dug deeper into the marketplace and discovered Synergis Adept. Now they have more than document management, they have a complete engineering information management and workflow solution that serves multiple departments including manufacturing.
Fluid Components International is a world leader in flow and level measurement applications for industrial process and plant applications. They offer their customers a variety of patented thermal dispersion flow measurement technologies, and claim to have the world’s largest installed base of thermal flow meters, flow switches, and level switches. With offices and manufacturing facilities in California, The Netherlands, and China, engineering processes and production workflow were becoming too complicated
“At first everything was in paper,” says Karyn Dawes, Configuration Manager at Fluid Components headquarters in California. From drawings to procedure management with paper drawing logs, “it was all a manual process.”
They were using software for rudimentary document management, a flat file system Dawes says “was becoming obsolete.” They decided their new document management software needed to do more than control CAD files. “We use AutoCAD, Word, and Excel. We needed a program that could handle all these file types. Adept was it.”
Adept has proven to be more than up to the challenge, Dawes says. “I can put anything into Adept; it doesn’t matter what file format. Adept may not see it as a supported file type, but we can still maintain it and put a revision control on it, no matter the file extension.
Almost everyone seems to know a horror story about a big IT project that became the software equivalent of a Money Pit (a house that needs one expensive repair after another). Just as new products or projects must generate a good return on investment (ROI), so must IT projects.
Synergis has worked closely with several of its largest and most experienced customers to quantify the value of Adept in an engineering workgroup. The information provided, when combined with standard industry metrics on typical engineering activities, can become a powerful persuasive force.
Much of the value of Adept is in streamlining or eliminating existing practices, and in providing new more cost-effective work processes. Quite often, the inefficiencies of existing workflow is invisible, as in “but we’ve always done it that way.”
After the interviews with customers, Synergis took their information and created a spreadsheet that allows anyone interested in Adept to study how it can improve workflow and streamline processes. The results are available in a spreadsheet available for download. There is nothing like accurate, believable numbers — especially numbers with dollar signs — to persuade decision makers to invest in a good project like adopting Synergis Adept.
Over the years Synergis Adept users have been very loyal to the company. They expand their use of Adept as their company grows, and keep finding new ways to take advantage of Adept as their engineering information management requirements become more sophisticated. Three times Synergis has been recognized as a leader in customer support from Helpdesk International (HDI), and rated #5 in the HDI’s Global Elite 50. Now another independent evaluation company has noticed Synergis. Frost & Sullivan has awarded Synergis Software its 2018 Global Customer Service Leadership Award for Engineering Information Management, citing the company’s “strong overall performance, focus on customers, and long-standing commitment to the engineering information management solutions market.”
Each year at our annual Adept user’s conference, Adept Experience, attendees tell us that the time they spend networking face-to-face with other Adept users is far and away the best value of the event. So in the spirit of continuing that sense of community and sharing, we set up an open Adept community forum. As important is it is for our users, it’s a way for our developers to interactively relate to our customers all year round.
So, If you’re an Adept customer interested in extending your knowledge of Adept or if you’re a non-user and want to know what our customers are saying about the product before you buy, here are five great reasons why you need to join the community forum now.
Connecting with other Adept users
The single biggest advantage of the Adept community forum is the ability to connect with other Adept users—from newly implemented users to experienced superstars—all in one central hub. People can share ideas and tips with others or ask and answer questions to a simple or complex question, allowing you to extend Adept in ways you’ve never thought possible.
Toray Composites is a world leader in a strong growth area, the manufacture of carbon fiber composites for industrial applications. The company has used Synergis Adept for years, helping it to streamline workflow and coordinate teams on three continents.
Toray has been producing carbon fiber composite materials in the USA for more than 20 years. It has become a leading producer of advanced materials for the aerospace industry and other industries including energy and sports equipment. Boeing is a leading client; carbon fiber composite makes up 50% of a Boeing 787 by weight.
Toray Composite's Journey to Selecting Adept
After years as a CAD and engineering manager for other companies, Phil Fitzgerald was hired by Toray as both document administrator and CAD manager. In 2006, Fitzgerald won approval to find a new document management system for engineering. After examining alternatives, Fitzgerald narrowed their focus to two products, Autodesk Vault and Synergis Adept. Fitzgerald shared his Adept journey at the Adept Experience user conference in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. You can watch a video of the presentation on the Synergis Software YouTube channel.
Engineering document management (EDM) systems are a big investment. But while a poorly planned and implemented EDM rollout can cause lost productivity and delays, a successful implementation can help your organization streamline workflows, cut costs, and much more—in other words, the benefits greatly outweigh the risks.
In this second installment of the Top 11 Mistakes to Avoid, we’ll be covering the final six mishaps our Applications Consultants see companies make during Adept implementations—and how to avoid them. Head to Part 1 for our first series of must-have tips. Let’s dive in.
Mistake 6: Confusing functionality across products
Choosing the right software solution—and vendor—for your organization requires extensive research, time, and attention. All too often, those performing the software evaluations are tasked with this project on top of an already jam-packed list of daily responsibilities. Keeping track of which solution does what without a score card or requirements list can be challenging. Without documentation on each solution, it can lead to some confusion on which software does what across vendors.