In the United States this is the week of Thanksgiving Day, an annual holiday for pausing from the routines of life and reflecting on what inspires a sense of gratitude and thankfulness. I’ve been posting occasionally here for just over a year now, and I think I know some of the things Adept users will be thankful for this week. In no particular order:
Your unstructured data no longer hides like mice in the walls: Before Adept, if you didn’t know who created it, where they put it, and what they named the document, then finding any kind of information hidden in CAD files or text-based documents was more a game of hide-and-seek than a business task. And good luck if there are several people who need that same information.
Transmittals don’t bring your department to its knees: Before Adept, you had to gather up all the documents. You had to make sure each document was the current version. You had to check xrefs, assemblies, and part files. You had to create a cover sheet. And you had to hope the whole package stayed current long enough to reach the client. Now with Adept, it’s pretty much push-button.
Audits are no longer a cause for nightmares: Before Adept, the idea of an audit was akin to being invited to the Twilight Zone. Now you have a proven track record of all actions; regulatory compliance is documented; and you can dial in the actions of any particular point in time. Now you can maintain certification without wondering if it really is worth the effort.
ECN is no longer a euphemism for “kill me now”: Before Adept, Engineering Change Notices were like a tsunami of wet concrete: Painfully slow, unpredictable, impossible to manage, and ultimately unavoidable. Now you have the ability to create unique workflows that automate ECNs in a way that makes sense for your company.
CAD files are no longer the proverbial herd of cats: Before Adept, maybe you had another solution that managed CAD files for CAD users, or maybe you relied on good old Windows Explorer and hoped for the best. But whether your engineering is documented in AutoCAD, Inventor, SOLIDWORKS, or MicroStation, you are now way better off with a system that manages and tracks the complex relationships between the various parts of your engineering documentation. You know who worked on what, and when, and you can ensure team members are always working in the right document.
No more flash backs to when collaborators were executed like criminals: Before Adept, “a single source of the truth” was more of a concept for Sunday than Monday through Friday. Knowing it was hard enough, but sharing it required stealth and agility to get documents passed and checked by everyone along the approval route. Now file sharing and collaboration is automated across departments and locations.
Non-CAD users are no longer outcasts: Before Adept, when somebody in sales, marketing or documentation asked to see a CAD file they were often treated as lepers. Now these folks can view engineering drawings and models without a copy of the original CAD software, without a separate file viewer, and without you being pulled away to print manual copies. And the supply of red pens can sit in the cupboard and sleep in peace.
You have access to the vault without memorizing secret codes: Before Adept, security was either hit-or-miss in your company or a maze of scrambled data and renamed files. Now you have data that is both protected and accessible, and no IT person is required to manage access rights.
Working on the right CAD version is considered normal behavior: Before Adept, manual methods of version control were treated like the 10-page mini manual that comes with a new cellphone: In theory it seems like a good idea to follow the instructions but nobody really bothers. Now you have a central point for document access, previous versions are available, and there is a complete history of documents.
Creating file names are a snap: Before Adept, there was always that one person who just could not stick to the file naming scheme. Lacking the ability to use corporal punishment in the office, enforcing file-naming conventions seemed beyond the realm of possibility. But now you have a system in place that creates the correct files name every time a new document is created.
Randall S. Newton is the principal analyst and managing director at Consilia Vektor, a consulting firm serving the engineering software industry. He has been directly involved in engineering software in a number of roles since 1985. More information is available at https://www.linkedin.com/in/randallnewton.