Throttle up an Adept Disaster Recovery Plan

Disaster recovery (DR) planning is a bit like purchasing those pricey, added insurance addendums when planning a once-in-a-lifetime trip—it’s distasteful to shell out the extra cash to prepare for the unlikely, but with so much at stake, it’s hard to ignore the risks.

Many companies—like too many travelers—are still doing too little to protect their key systems despite the well-publicized fall-out from catastrophes like Hurricane Katrina or even from human error, which is the biggest culprit of data loss and downtime. Data compiled by Infrascale revealed that 40% of organizations ranked their ability to recover operations after a disaster as fair or poor and that it takes almost 18.5 hours, on average, to recover after a disaster. That might explain the high price tag associated with inadequate disaster recovery practices: Research pegs the average cost of one hour of downtime at $8,000 for a small company and up to $700,000 for a large enterprise. Read More

What We Learned from You this Year

It’s the end of another year, and it gives us all pause to reflect on our accomplishments or lack of reaching our stated goals… and of cheering on the successes, and boo-hooing the experiments that utterly failed.

As writers, we can make educated guesses on what topics we think you’d like to read about. Some of our blog posts were clearly winners, others not so much. But in the end, it’s all about getting into your head. Trying to understand what attracts you, what engages you, and what you’re really seeking to understand about this messy world of engineering document management/PDM/PLM.

So looking back on the blog posts of 2015, we’ve put together a vague picture of you, our reader. And as the sibling of a psychotherapist and someone whose spent a lot of time trying to get your attention, I’m going to share what we have learned about you. Read More

Aberdeen: Paper-Based Systems are no Way to Run Quality Management

A recent report from leading research firm Aberdeen Group says too many small and medium sized manufacturers are relying on outdated and inefficient paper-based methods to run their quality management. The result is lower productivity, significantly less visibility into product development, and increased likelihood of making a mistake that can alienate a customer or raise the wrath of a regulatory agency.

Quality management affects many aspects of the manufacturing process. It monitors materials and parts usage from the supply chain, it supports regulatory reporting, and it often is a key aspect of a process audit trail. When some parts of product development are automated (such as design or Bill of Materials generation) and other parts are not, it causes an inefficient workflow that slows down important and timely inquiries, and it makes it more difficult to document the full spectrum of product development. Read More

From Silos to Reservoirs

The phrase “information silo” is often used to describe when departments can’t or won’t play nice with sharing needed data. But I’ve never read of a similar metaphor to describe the opposite, when companies root out all the inefficiencies and everyone has the direct access they need to do their jobs. So let’s call it “information reservoir.”

Silos and reservoirs are two very different types of infrastructure. If the existing infrastructure is Windows Explorer or a product data management (PDM) program that only works on CAD drawings, then not only are you definitely stuck in silo mode, you have much to gain by investing in an engineering document management system (EDMS) that works equally well with geometry, words, and numbers. Read More