What Kept Document Management Pros Awake at Night in 2016?

As the semi-official guest blogger for Synergis Software, I was recently granted a sneak peek at the analytical data for this blog in 2016. What did I learn? I was a bit surprised to learn most regular readers of this blog read the entire article (measured by time on page). I get less time-on-page for my news articles elsewhere than for my commentary here. Such a stat tells me people who come here are passionate about engineering data and document management and are looking for useful information.

I also learned the most-read articles in 2016 can be organized into two broad themes:

How others use Synergis Adept

This could be characterized either as “best practices” or as “what the guy like me somewhere else is doing.”

Current risks and challenges

Engineering document management is not trivial, easy, or static; new challenges in the field are significant.

In tribute to the retired David Letterman and his nightly Top Ten lists (which we also paid homage to in 2016), here are the top ten Synergis Adept Blog articles for 2016. If you want to know what kept document management pros like you up late this year, here’s what they were thinking about:

Number 10: “Make sure you understand the risk of not having a solid data management plan” (What is your company’s risk in the new data management age?)

Number 9: “We were losing one hour per man per day in searching for files that were not centrally located.” (Seahorse Bioscience reins in unruly engineering documentation practices)

Number 8:  “Just as there are best practices in engineering, there are best practices in helpdesk support.” (When helpdesk says it’s got you covered, who’s covering helpdesk?)

Number 7: “If you need some help convincing the Powers That Be in your organization about the importance of data management, here are five New Year’s resolutions to get the conversation started.” (New Year’s resolutions to start the EDM conversation)

Number 6: “When a person retires after 20, 30, or more years of service in one company, an enormous amount of practical, hands-on experience and knowledge—what experts call tribal knowledge—walks out the door and never comes back.” (Rescuing tribal knowledge from the generation shift)

Number 5: “The reality of legacy business data is all about time, energy, and focus.” (Understanding the business value of legacy data, part 1)

Number 4: “Greene Tweed, like many companies, sees value in syncing its core enterprise systems rather than fostering silos.” (Greene Tweed’s winning recipe for Synergis adept SAP integration)

Number 3: “With more than 20 years of experience, Synergis has settled on a KISS approach. Not KISS as in ‘Keep It Simple, Stupid!’ but as in ‘Keep It Simple for Success.’” (The KISS guide to PDM implementation)

Number 2: “Companies that use PDM tools rate them of high importance and high usage. The only surprise … [is] less than 30% of all CAD-using firms are also using PDM.” (Survey update confirms strong interest in CAD data management)

Number 1: “You might be having PDM nightmares when you realize surveys show up to 40% of office worker’s time is spent managing unstructured data, and 20% of an employee’s time is wasted searching for a document.” (Top ten list of PDM nightmares)


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.

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