If you are a manager or an engineering executive, the ability to make informed decisions quickly can mean the difference between a happy customer and lost business. Red flags can arise at any time during the course of a product development project. The number of things that can go wrong is endless. When fumbles occur, however, it’s imperative to react as quickly as possible and the only way to do this is if you identify the issue immediately.
Manufacturing companies today produce a huge quantity of data, not just engineering data but information used for all the other functions that support the development of a new product. What makes access to this data and the high-level visibility it provides difficult is the fact that it’s often buried within its departments, databases and systems. Often people default to using tools such as Excel to analyze this data, though importing data into spreadsheets and spending hours staring at endless rows and columns can be overwhelming and time-consuming. Read this blog, Using Excel as a Crutch? for more on that topic.
Unleash your data
Even though these various data silos meet the requirements of their intended purpose, and benefit those individual departments, they are often disconnected from each other and fail to provide any potential enterprise-wide benefits. PDM systems, for example, work well at securing and storing IP within product data and ensuring proper version control is maintained. There are other areas of the enterprise, however, that could also benefit from this information.
Supply chain management—sourcing, procurement, and inventory management—and manufacturing planning—budgeting, scheduling, and quality assurance—are functions that stand to benefit from the use of product design data housed within PDM systems. Likewise, users of ERP systems that manage financial transactions and personnel information would benefit from PDM and MRP connections.
Unfortunately linking these data silos often requires expensive customization, additional development and ongoing, costly administration and management. What has been missing is a means for managing access to and distribution of this valuable data, including product data, in a format that’s useful to others outside of engineering and throughout the enterprise.
Gaining better visibility into all this data helps managers and executives to spot potential “red flags” and resolve issues before they sidetrack schedules and bloat budgets. SOLIDWORKS Manage can help you get a snapshot of all your data and use it to facilitate other important functions such as project management, process management, items management as well as the ability to generate reports with easy-to-understand dashboards. Let’s break each area down.
With SOLIDWORKS Manage, and its tight integration into SOLIDWORKS PDM, organizations can now plan each stage of a project, assign resources and tasks, and attach required engineering documentation within the same ecosystem used in design. Resources can be allocated to each stage of a project and tasks can be defined and assigned to project stakeholders.
With SOLIDWORKS Manage, you have complete visibility into all projects, enabling organizations to plan, manage resources, connect project deliverables and monitor status right down to the task.
With the powerful process management capabilities in SOLIDWORKS Manage, you can automate critical workflows to minimize errors and streamline approvals. Individual processes are stored as a record and authorized participants have access to information associated with this process. Effected items, documents, and CAD files can be attached to the process and tasks can be automatically created. Insight into the progress can be viewed visually, so you know exactly where you are in the process.
SOLIDWORKS Manage provides fully customizable Dashboards to visualize critical information in an easy-to-consume format for better decision-making. Dashboards are fully customizable and can be built using grids, gauges, charts, and more to capture key information about what is happening in your department or business. These graphical elements reference your data, in real time, and provide instant access to key performance indicators.
PDM is a great tool for keeping track of CAD files and creating an engineering Bill of Material (BOM), but not everything gets modeled in CAD and typically, there are items that need to be added after the design is modeled. Items such as glue, spare parts, packaging and documentation need to be accounted for, as well as overall quantities when customers order multiple units.
With the tight integration of SOLIDWORKS Manage and SOLIDWORKS PDM, all of this data is in one place, whether represented by a CAD model, document, or database-only items. Others in the organization can create a BOM in SOLIDWORKS Manage and leverage the engineering BOM by referencing the SOLIDWORKS assembly. This can be the basis for creating a manufacturing BOM, which can contain additional files, records or items that are necessary to manufacture a product.
Watch the video below to get a better understanding of how SOLIDWORKS Manage enables you see, understand and leverage your company’s data so you can make better informed decisions faster. You can also read this tech blog on SOLIDWORKS Manage.
Learn more about SOLIDWORKS DDM solutions by downloading “New Methods of Maximizing the Value of Data throughout the Enterprise” white paper.