The old adage “to fail to plan is to plan to fail” is certainly true when it comes to something as important as installing engineering document management (EDM) software. Research by Jim Brown of Tech-Clarity shows it is possible to achieve EDM implementation benefits rapidly by following a few key rules:
- Use preconfigured best practices for security, part numbering, and other common information standards;
- When possible, use standard workflows such as “release to manufacture” and “engineering change control;”
- Limit initial customization; evaluate customization needs after full initial implementation and training.
As important as it is to minimize initial customization, no EDM system out of the box will offer an exact fit for every company. Many companies have workflows which evolved over years or decades; these processes do not need to be eliminated just because of automation. Other companies need customization to help unify far-flung engineering offices and long supply chains.