How to Lead the Next Generation of Product Development

Managers, directors, or VPs of product development must ensure that their teams produce functional, reliable, ergonomic, aesthetically pleasing, manufacturable, and marketable products cost-effectively. Every. Single. Time.

No pressure, right? But wait, there’s more.

The typical product development process, from design through manufacturing, produces staggering amounts of data, often from disparate applications. A mechanical design project may contain thousands of files, including part, assembly, and drawing files; simulation files; and manufacturing (CAM) files. Legacy files also need to be easily accessed for reuse. Further, daily communication files such as spreadsheets, PDFs, and emails (among countless others) must be managed. How do you quickly and effectively capture, manage, and leverage this data for the benefit of the company?

Due to the Great Resignation, attracting and retaining the right talent has become an ongoing concern, adding another layer of complexity for product development leaders. Location is now rarely a deciding factor in hiring, so enabling flexibility regarding location has become an imperative as businesses must create new ways to find, keep, and motivate employees. The best talent wants to work with the most innovative companies. Further, employees empowered to maximize their potential and continuously improve their skills are happier and less likely to leave a company.


3DEXPERIENCE® Works is a business innovation portfolio that connects all the people, data, and applications in an integrated environment, enabling all key stakeholders to participate in the product development process. It leverages the cloud-based 3DEXPERIENCE platform and combines the power of SOLIDWORKS® with industry-leading tools from Dassault Systèmes.

Here are a few ways 3DEXPERIENCE Works helps product development leaders.

Streamlines Decision-Making

It can be challenging for design and engineering teams to communicate with non-technical stakeholders, who are often decision-makers at the executive level. These stakeholders, however, need to have a complete understanding of product designs to provide vital feedback and sign off to move projects forward.

Without a precise understanding of engineering’s objective, tensions can quickly build, causing potential communication breakdowns and slowing the decision-making process to a painful crawl.

Leveraging the cloud-based collaboration tools on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform enables non-engineering decision-makers a “window” into the design. Regardless of technical ability, team members can interrogate models on the cloud-based platform at their leisure. It helps them participate in real-time reviews without any requisite 3D CAD knowledge.

Enabling non-technical owners/executives/managers to participate early in the design review process skyrockets collaboration and productivity on the front end. Everyone is on the same page. Decisions are made faster. It is easier to communicate concerns, identify issues, and propose resolutions. Potential issues are uncovered earlier in the process, preventing downstream delays.

Even suppliers and customers can be allowed permission-based access to contribute to the secure product record.

Simplifies Data Management

Knowing who is working on what project, when each phase of a project is due, why delays occur, and how to manage all the data are just some of the daily challenges faced by product development leaders and their teams.

The 3DEXPERIENCE Works portfolio is purpose-built to manage the product development life cycle. Easy-to-use apps enable teams to contribute their departmental expertise at optimal junctures in the process. Because the tools are integrated, it is easy for everyone involved to quickly get status updates from a dashboard view.

This is excellent news for SOLIDWORKS users and other small to midsize businesses who don’t have the time or money to implement a complex data management system. 3DEXPERIENCE Works tools enable you to say goodbye to data extractions, screen captures, emails, Excel spreadsheets, and a hodgepodge of different departmental tools. The platform automatically keeps an audit trail of both engineering and communications data, helping to minimize errors and communication miscues.

Cloud-based PLM solutions are increasingly the preferred way to manage product development data. Smaller companies can invest in only the tools they need and scale as business grows. 3DEXPERIENCE Works has a single product definition at its core. That means anyone in the company can view, modify, and contribute to one continuous workflow based on their function and access rights.


Secures Cooperation

We have discussed how designers and engineers can benefit from an integrated environment. But what about manufacturing?

It is still fairly typical for small to midsize manufacturers to rely on emails, faxes, and phone calls as the primary vehicles to communicate with customers. However, just as designers do, manufacturing can work from the 3DEXPERIENCE platform that is automatically in sync with product development. This is true whether products are produced in-house or with outside suppliers.

Design engineers and manufacturing have a history of strained relationships. Not being on the same page can hurt productivity, resulting in higher product costs. The cloud-based platform’s tools enable you to create project Communities where you can securely invite everyone on the project, including customers and suppliers, to collaborate.

Real-time design for manufacturing (DFM) advice from the shop floor or suppliers avoids potentially expensive downstream issues. Plus, all communication is captured on the platform, so traceability is built right in. Availing everyone involved in 3D reviews is like sharing a common language.

When designers and engineers are connected to manufacturing earlier in the process, late-stage product issues become a thing of the past.

Gets Everyone on the Same Page

Being a product development leader is not easy. It is a difficult, delicate, and nuanced balancing act of communicating with the executive team while leading your design, engineering, and production teams who are in the trenches building products.

The 3DEXPERIENCE Works portfolio of design-through-manufacturing solutions makes it easier to leverage your team’s respective expertise. Basic data management is integrated on the platform, and you can add more functionality as your company grows and needs change. Plus, you have access to purpose-built tools for product development that are available to all key stakeholders, from executives and design engineers to shop-floor personnel and suppliers.

If you want to learn more about efficiently managing product development at your company, contact your local reseller for more information and see how 3DEXPERIENCE Works solutions can connect all aspects of your product development process.


Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. offers complete 3D software tools that let you create, simulate, publish, and manage your data. SolidWorks products are easy to learn and use, and work together to help you design products better, faster, and more cost-effectively. The SolidWorks focus on ease-of-use allows more engineers, designers and other technology professionals than ever before to take advantage of 3D in bringing their designs to life.