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Cloud-based Solutions to the challenges of Product Data Management

When it comes to collaboration amongst your design team, you have likely experienced how a file-based CAD stand-alone data architecture can severely limit teams from working together efficiently and effectively. 

Rapid and clear communication is key within a team that is aiming to design a new product. When working in a file-based CAD system, users will typically resort to ad hoc solutions such as email and shared USB drives to share design data, because the system they are working in lacks a built-in means to distribute and track product design data. Serial emails create version control headaches and often lead to misunderstandings, rather than a quick, common consensus on design choices that is desired. 

Unfortunately, the purchase of add-on PDM software intended to address these issues is not a cure-all. Add-on PDM merely replaces one problem (version control) with another, by imposing administrative check-in and check-out responsibilities on users and denying them real-time access (leading to blocked access and significant idle time). 

Good data is critical to rapid product development and clear management oversight. With file-based CAD, this same lack of timely data that hurts worker productivity also prevents managers from getting the real-time data and insight they need to optimise operations and plan a path to growth. In our experience, this leads to managers having no way of knowing the progress of their team’s projects at any given time. In some cases, we’ve even seen managers employing extreme workarounds to maintain control and insight into the current state of their project: such as stopping all work (!) and requesting that engineer’s check in all their design files for approval. 

But these productivity-killing steps only temporarily alleviate the issues and only provide a single snapshot of your present design situation. 

Fortunately, when using cloud-native product development tools, there’s no need to wait. 

Closer integration of CAD & PDM is one of the key advantages our users find from choosing a cloud-native product development platform. Indeed, Onshape was created with the primary goal of ensuring that all users have access to data whenever they need it. 

For front-line personnel, Onshape’s “single source of truth” allows designers and engineers to view design documents from any location, allowing them to stay productive no matter where they are. 

An added benefit in the current climate is that companies are no longer forced to choose candidates who are in close proximity to their operations – they can now hire the best person for the job, no matter where they are based, having full confidence that all employees can enjoy unrestricted access to the data and information they require to do their job effectively. 

As well as these benefits to the overall team, we also observe productivity improving for individual team members because of the way that multiple users can access and collaborate on the same document concurrently. Hear more from Onshape customers FHE, Hefring Engineering and Premier Custom Built talking about how Onshape provides them with PDM without the pain: 

In summary, Onshape’s cloud-native product development platform gives managers and executives access to the real-time data they need to boost productivity, make informed decisions and expand their business. With better awareness of project status as well as insights that help eliminate bottlenecks, companies using Onshape are in a better position to expand and grow.  Learn more about how Onshape helps overcome the common issues with PDM. Our presentation will discuss: what PDM is & how it works, and how new cloud technologies incorporating PDM help better manage mission-critical data and improve oversight of your product development processes. Register at https://www.leapaust.com.au/event/webinar-how-onshape-helps-engineering-teams-solve-problems-with-product-data-management/

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