SWMC: A Message from the Coal Face on Working in the Cloud

The last blog on the SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual Lighthouse customers’ feedback is focusing on the aspect of working on the cloud. Read part one to learn about the conceptual design process. Read part two to hear how customers are using social collaboration. Now, let’s see what they have to say about the cloud:


William MacLeod, Kennedy Hygiene Limited

Working with the cloud gives you the comfort that you can access your ideas quickly and easily.  Kennedy is based in London, but when I go to Paris office, I do not know what they are going to talk to me about. Now I can quickly show a concept and feasibility without having to prepare anything beforehand. It’s good to have the cloud for when you need to access anything remote and work where you need to. Let’s just say I might be given a week to look at a concept before production detail design.  Within that week I can probably look at five concepts with SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual, where previously, I might look at three.

Mike Buchli, Karl Schmidt and Associates

We look at the security aspects of cloud computing in a couple different ways. Because of how mobile we are and because of the international business we do, we already have email, we have texting, we have Skype, we have Dropbox, we have 6 other 7 other things that we do. If you really break it down into the simplest form, all of our data being spread out over 6 or 7 different applications becoming less secure then if we went to one source where all the data is stored. Just because it’s a free to use a tool to get by, does not guarantee that your data is secure. And there are certain things that we do that having IP in one source makes it easier to keep track of and make sure the security is good for us. Versus, “oh well this guy over here decided he is going to put it in his free account because that is what he wanted to do.” So it really, for us, SWMC makes the security side easier than what we traditionally have done.

What SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual has done for us as a company? It has really helped us create a true 3D experience for the customer as we do sales and revisions. So we actually have the ability now to create a 3D layout initially, when all of our competitors are doing 2D up front. From there we can go to the collaboration page or the community and allow the customers to login and look at all the images and give feedback in real time. Since we work nationally and internationally it’s a lot easier to have the collaboration in real time versus get on a plane or do a GoToMeeting. It’s all in one place and all available 24/7.

So to give you a good example and understanding where Karl Schmidt has come in the last year or so…Traditionally when we did a sales layout, it was done in 2D, like all our competitors, and a medium sized system could take up to six weeks to do. A year ago we transitioned to SOLIDWORKS and we went from 6 weeks down to 2 weeks to do the same iteration. Huge jump. Huge performance. With SWMC, we have now gone from 2 weeks to, in some cases, hours or days. So when you look at that with an 8-month sales cycle on average like we do, and you are going from 6-weeks to 2-weeks to days, it’s a pretty phenomenal thing. You know sometimes we sit in the engineering meeting and we talk about it like “wow we can’t believe we have actually done what we used to do in twelve months.” You go from being with the pack to being way ahead of everyone else and it just ‘happened.’

Adam Mitchell, Pickering Interfaces

Working on the cloud will be a big help within the Pickering Interfaces company because we have offices all over the world, working in different time zones. We have PCB designers, project managers and sales, and technical support, who each need to have important input and the way we currently do this is a big headache. We use another piece of collaborative software but you can’t do what you can do with SWMC and the communities. You cannot get the designs up and look around them, you can only put the photos up, and nobody else can do anything with them. With SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual, if they have the SWMC license, they can change the design anywhere in the world. A design can be worked on in the UK and can also be worked on in the Czech Republic at the same time. If they need to view and/or make changes in the United States or elsewhere, they can do that as well.


Click here to learn more about the connectivity within SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual or click the below image to read the white paper to find out how transparent data management facilitates innovation in conceptual design.




Stephen Endersby

Stephen Endersby

Product Manager at SolidWorks
Stephen Endersby

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