Top Ten Blog Articles of 2019

Dec 20, 2019 5:12:00 PM / by Randall S. Newton posted in Uncategorized

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Throughout the year Synergis Software shares how Adept users find strategic value in the product, and to improve your existing Adept installation. Some of these articles seem to be more popular than others; we think of them as our Top Ten. In 2019, here are the blog posts that you found to be the most valuable:

#10: 3D Printing Dives into Serial Manufacturing Production

For a generation, 3D printing has gradually gained acceptance as a useful tool in product development and manufacturing. More recently manufacturers have begun creating end-use parts. Now companies are starting to look beyond prototyping toward serial production. Details: https://blog.synergissoftware.com/2019/01/09/3d-printing-takes-first-steps-into-serial-manufacturing-production/

#9: The Goldilocks Approach to Data Management

One size fits all? Not in the fairy tale and not in data management. Let Adept right-size how you control, access, and share engineering data. Details: https://blog.synergissoftware.com/2016/02/04/the-goldilocks-approach-to-data-management/

#8: The Top 11 Mistakes to Avoid During Engineering Document Management System Implementation, Part 2

Engineering document management system installation isn’t rocket science, but it also isn’t as simple as downloading a smartphone app. Successful implementation requires planning. In this part 2 of a series, the installation experts at Synergis Software share their ideas on what to avoid when implementing Adept. Details:  https://blog.synergissoftware.com/2019/03/21/the-top-11-mistakes-to-avoid-during-engineering-document-management-implementations-and-upgrades-part-2/

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Gaining New Workflow Efficiency at Fluid Components International

Dec 12, 2019 11:54:03 AM / by Randall S. Newton posted in Uncategorized

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When the senior management of Fluid Components International sent Karyn Dawes and her team on a quest to replace their manual document management with a computer system, their first choice was rejected for cost and complexity. They dug deeper into the marketplace and discovered Synergis Adept. Now they have more than document management, they have a complete engineering information management and workflow solution that serves multiple departments including manufacturing.

Fluid Components International is a world leader in flow and level measurement applications for industrial process and plant applications. They offer their customers a variety of patented thermal dispersion flow measurement technologies, and claim to have the world’s largest installed base of thermal flow meters, flow switches, and level switches. With offices and manufacturing facilities in California, The Netherlands, and China, engineering processes and production workflow were becoming too complicated

“At first everything was in paper,” says Karyn Dawes, Configuration Manager at Fluid Components headquarters in California. From drawings to procedure management with paper drawing logs, “it was all a manual process.”

They were using software for rudimentary document management, a flat file system Dawes says “was becoming obsolete.” They decided their new document management software needed to do more than control CAD files. “We use AutoCAD, Word, and Excel. We needed a program that could handle all these file types. Adept was it.”

Adept has proven to be more than up to the challenge, Dawes says. “I can put anything into Adept; it doesn’t matter what file format. Adept may not see it as a supported file type, but we can still maintain it and put a revision control on it, no matter the file extension.

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Calculating the Return on Investment for Adept Engineering Document Management

Dec 9, 2019 7:08:31 AM / by Randall S. Newton posted in Uncategorized

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Almost everyone seems to know a horror story about a big IT project that became the software equivalent of a Money Pit (a house that needs one expensive repair after another). Just as new products or projects must generate a good return on investment (ROI), so must IT projects.

Synergis has worked closely with several of its largest and most experienced customers to quantify the value of Adept in an engineering workgroup. The information provided, when combined with standard industry metrics on typical engineering activities, can become a powerful persuasive force.

Much of the value of Adept is in streamlining or eliminating existing practices, and in providing new more cost-effective work processes. Quite often, the inefficiencies of existing workflow is invisible, as in “but we’ve always done it that way.”

After the interviews with customers, Synergis took their information and created a spreadsheet that allows anyone interested in Adept to study how it can improve workflow and streamline processes. The results are available in a spreadsheet available for download. There is nothing like accurate, believable numbers — especially numbers with dollar signs — to persuade decision makers to invest in a good project like adopting Synergis Adept.

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Frost & Sullivan Honors Synergis Software with Global Customer Service Award for Engineering Information Management

Jun 12, 2019 12:18:19 PM / by Randall S. Newton posted in Uncategorized

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Over the years Synergis Adept users have been very loyal to the company. They expand their use of Adept as their company grows, and keep finding new ways to take advantage of Adept as their engineering information management requirements become more sophisticated. Three times Synergis has been recognized as a leader in customer support from Helpdesk International (HDI), and rated #5 in the HDI’s Global Elite 50. Now another independent evaluation company has noticed Synergis. Frost & Sullivan has awarded Synergis Software its 2018 Global Customer Service Leadership Award for Engineering Information Management, citing the company’s “strong overall performance, focus on customers, and long-standing commitment to the engineering information management solutions market.”

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Improving Oil and Gas Industry Safety With Better Data Management

Aug 17, 2017 12:00:38 PM / by Synergis Software posted in Uncategorized

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After a series of high-profile accidents involving gas transmission pipelines, in 2014 the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) commissioned a study to see what could be done to lower the incidence rate. The report, “Integrity Management of Gas Transmission Pipelines in High Consequence Areas” included an analysis of how pipeline quality data was gathered, used, and shared. A close look at the report offers some interesting insight into engineering data management issues.

The NTSB report on Integrity Management (IM) published 33 findings; seven of the specifically mention data management issues. Following the findings, the report listed 22 recommendations to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, seven of which specifically mention data handling.

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Making a Positive Impact on Time to Knowledge

Aug 10, 2017 12:12:43 PM / by Synergis Software posted in Uncategorized

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It is easy to get bogged down in details when discussing topics like engineering data management (AKA product data management or PDM). Sometimes it is good to step back and look at the big picture. For me, the details of PDM are the bricks in a building; the building is Time to Knowledge.

I define “Time to Knowledge” as the time it takes someone to get the specific accurate information needed to answer a question. The typical day in engineering has hundreds of moments which trigger a Time to Knowledge event. Such questions as “What is the status of yesterday’s engineering change request?” or “Which document is the right revision, and where is it?” are specific questions that require specific answers available in your existing engineering data. If the answer is quickly accessible, productivity is enhanced. If the answer is an uncertain quest away, the human tendency too often is to find an imprecise workaround or to avoid the subject completely.

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How Well Does Your Engineering-Driven Company Protect Intellectual Property?

Jul 27, 2017 2:07:46 PM / by Synergis Software posted in Uncategorized

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There is a lot of talk these days about cybercrime. News of large-scale IT security breaches are not unusual. Blame is often assigned to the sinister motivations of rogue governments, terrorists, or anarchists. But those closest to the problem say the root cause behind most data breaches is lax internal security, not the skills of cunning hackers.

A recent survey by the Ponemon Institute claims 71% of employees have access to data they should not see, and more than half say this access is frequent or very frequent. Other findings from the survey point to lax internal security as a serious problem in organizations of all sizes:

  • 4 out of 5 IT practitioners (80%) say their organizations don’t enforce a strict least-privilege (or need-to-know) data model;
  • 73% of end users believe the growth of emails, presentations, multimedia files, and other types of company data has very significantly or significantly affected their ability to find and access data;
  • 76% of end users believe there are times when it is acceptable to transfer work documents to their personal devices, while only 13% of IT practitioners agree;
  • 67% of IT practitioners say their organization experienced the loss or theft of company data over the past two years, while only 44% of end users believe this has happened;
  • 43% of end users say it takes weeks, months or longer to be granted access to data they request access to in order to do their jobs, and only 22% report that access is typically granted within minutes or hours.

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Securing Engineering Documents in the Cybercrime Age

Jul 7, 2017 12:38:01 PM / by Synergis Software posted in Uncategorized

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These days no company should consider itself immune to the possibility of cybercrime and data theft.  Engineering documents hold the company’s crown jewels; data must always be kept secure. With careful planning you can still take advantage of the latest cloud and mobile technology; security does not mean lack of accessibility.

Outdated approaches to data management are the most vulnerable systems. There is nothing that says “STEAL ME” more than important documents just sitting naked in a file folder on the network. Once the external firewall is breached, these files become easy pickings.  A comprehensive IT security solution for engineering/manufacturing data will include the user, the data management software, and the network, as well as application layer interfaces and interconnecting systems (such as PDM to SCM).

Older PDM/PLM systems were built with data, speed, and functionality in mind; security was a minor concern limited to user access rights. Today’s global networks, dispersed workforce, and cloud and/or mobile access to engineering data completely changes the security scene.

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Five Stars: Why You Need to Plan Ahead for Adept Experience 2017 Conference

Jun 29, 2017 3:18:39 PM / by Synergis Software posted in Uncategorized

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In 1992 I went from being a full-time employee at a CAD software company to a self-employed consultant with my former employer as my first client. Several projects were on the list, but the one that I still recall with great fondness was organizing the company’s first user conference. This was before the Internet was a universal resource; less than half of the company’s customers had email addresses. So we reached out through a newsletter and with phone calls (a lot of our business was direct sales on the phone).

We expected 20-30 attendees, mostly regional. We were blown away when close to 100 people from all over the US and several foreign countries signed up. By the end of the first session, everybody in the room realized they were surrounded by friends. They all shared the same enthusiasm for the software and had the same questions about customization or the product roadmap. Over breaks and meals, they shared tips and swapped stories about how the software solved problems or created new opportunities. It was two days of high energy and excitement for everyone there.

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Greene, Tweed’s Winning Recipe for Synergis Adept/SAP Integration

Apr 28, 2017 11:13:40 AM / by Synergis Software posted in Uncategorized

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Greene, Tweed & Co. may be a major player on the global stage, but for most of its history, its engineering data had a decidedly local footprint, tucked away in different file shares around the world and typically painstakingly difficult to find and share.

That is until the manufacturer of high-performance elastomeric and thermoplastic materials embarked on a journey to deploy Synergis’ Adept Product Data Management (PDM) system to centralize its critical engineering assets, including SOLIDWORKS CAD files, and to automate approval workflows on a global scale. But Greene, Tweed wasn’t content to stop there. Its vision was to integrate the Adept PDM platform with its core ERP system to make engineering data accessible to a much broader audience.

Greene, Tweed, like many companies, sees value in syncing its core enterprise systems rather than fostering silos that prevent groups like engineering and manufacturing from readily exchanging data and working off the same page. That’s according to Steven Danasko, SAP Solution Specialist in Greene, Tweed’s IT Center of Excellence, Product Lifecycle Management, who was the key orchestrator of the project. Danasko says that beyond a desire for more centralized data repositories and integrated workflows, the Adept/SAP integration made sense from a financial standpoint because it opened up access to critical engineering data to existing ERP users without requiring investment in additional software licenses.

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