A New Generation of Decision-Makers for the New Year

In the past engineering groups made decisions about product improvement software internally. A CAD manager — often just another one of the engineers who got stuck with double duty — would read about a file manager or a CAD add-on that offered a bit of increased utility. The decision to purchase would be localized to the department, and the productivity gains were limited to which employees installed the new utility on their workstation.

For the most part, those days are gone. There is general consensus that software purchases are an organizational initiative. Productivity improvements are purchased to impact more than just one group or department. PDM (Product Data Management) software is now recognized as an enterprise automation solution, not a departmental file manager.

Product development leaders now hold their software to higher standards. There has been a change in thinking from individual achievement to a focus on enterprise business initiatives surrounding all of product development, not just engineering and design issues. To make the cut in this era, a PDM system must be able to:

  • Manage file relationships for parts, assemblies drawings, configurations;
  • Control access (check-in/check-out) of all design data, both in 2D and 3D;
  • Perform complex versioning and revisions;
  • Control access (check-in/check-out) of all design data, both in 2D and 3D;
  • Integrate with CAD tools and other technical and graphics-based software;
  • Unite the wider enterprise document management functions with engineering;
  • Provide an automated and robust audit trail.
  • Play nice with other enterprise systems such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and supply chain management (SCM);
  • Guide and protect key business processes including quality management, approvals, and regulatory compliance;

Today’s PDM decision-makers want software that creates a competitive edge. They want to streamline business processes and automate existing workflows. Eliminating wasted time searching for all kinds of product data is also essential. They want a high return of business value for their investment, and are willing to take enough time to find the right solution.

For many, Synergis Adept has turned out to be the right solution. There are now more than 700,000 Adept users, in thousands of engineering companies around the globe. Consider these examples of how Adept has taken engineering companies to a new level of productivity:

Dow Chemical, a multinational Fortune 100 company, has replaced 24 existing document management systems with Adept to manage their As-Builts and Capital projects.

SchuF-Fetterolf manufactures precision valves on four continents for use in a wide variety of industrial and manufacturing settings. Adept provides constant access to the same data for all engineering teams.

Greene, Tweed and Company is a manufacturer of high-performance elastomeric and thermoplastic materials. Adept automates their global approval workflows and integrates with SAP ERP to make engineering data accessible to a much broader audience.

TransCanada Pipelines uses Adept to modernize and extend its network of natural gas pipelines and distribution stations in 14 US states.

When local engineering teams were the decision-makers, the emphasis was on the efficiency of file management. A new generation of decision-makers seek a more holistic approach, where product documentation is directed by business processes and revenue goals. Such rudimentary PDM tasks as file check-in and check-out are still necessary, but in this New Year seem mundane compared to the possibilities available in enterprise PDM systems like Synergis Adept.


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.

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