Engineers are tinkerers by nature. They love to tweak things to see if they can “fix them” in some way. Perhaps engineers have a “tweaking” gene others lack.
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.
Does anybody actually enjoy creating and sending engineering transmittals? Possibly. But in most companies, for most people, transmittals are a tedious pain.
It starts with gathering up all the documents, making sure every document is the correct version, and making sure all the XREF images and part files are included. Even when assembled with painstaking care (a time-consuming task) there is still high risk for overlooking key components. Once the transmittal is sent, there are still the issues of tracking, managing content, and controlling access. And then, what if there is an audit?
If the most automated aspect of creating and sending transmittals in your company is dragging files around on the screen, it is time to take a look at exactly how much of a drag on productivity transmittals can be. Synergis Adept user Stan Jancovic of Taggart Global figured out once just how painful transmittals can be to the bottom line. “When we added up the cost for our engineers’ time and labor, we were spending $400,000 a year just to send transmittals.”
Collaboration in the product design space has never been easy, but it's a whole new ball game today. Gone are the days when the engineer or domain expert central to a design problem or project task was just a stone's throw away or even right across town. Today's product development teams operate as a global business, yet there is still a need to communicate and share critical documents and design files just as easily as if everyone was working from a central location.
Not only does product-related data need to be easily accessible by multiple design centers around the world, it should also be available day or night across different time zones, affording engineering teams the benefit of 24/7 or "follow the sun" development processes. The data and materials must be served up in the native languages of each country so engineers have ready access to what they need in a format they can easily understand. Collaboration on a global scale has to work similarly to collaboration with local peers so design decisions can be made quickly, without misinterpretation and without taking a toll on critical project deadlines.