Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
My e-mail pen pal at Synergis Software flopped this fish on my table for consideration: Synergis surveyed some 1,500 people working in an engineering or manufacturing environment. Every seventh one said that they are unhappy with their current PDM (product data management), PLM (product lifecycle management), or data management solution and are looking to replace it. Fascinating.
But not that much of a surprise. Lots of PDM and data management systems in particular grew in-house over the years. They use an ad hoc assortment of re-purposed tools — say, an Access database, e-mail, and shared network folders. They worked OK at first but, as needs and file loads soared over time, management, collaboration, and good old insight into exactly what’s in there and where swamped the homebrewed solutions. Or maybe the PDM system that came with their MCAD software is limited to the chosen few, and PLM can be a bigger, rigid solution that is unaffordable or overkill for nimbler engineering outfits. But whatever. The point is that there’s a high level of dissatisfaction out there with how files are managed.
You’ve no doubt guessed that Synergis would like you to scope out their Adept PDM, PLM, and document management system. So, why check out Adept?
Well, Adept grew organically itself, but with a difference. The company started out as an Autodesk VAR. Its clients needed help managing CAD files — version control and stuff like that — so they and Synergis worked together to build the components of a product and document management system. What they developed is a system that operates like engineering and manufacturing companies work. Nearly 20 years later, Adept, with on-going user feedback, has grown into a full-fledged product, document, and workflow management system that’s scalable from the workgroup to the enterprise to the supply chain.
What’s Adept got going for it? Briefly, Adept is now tightly integrated with AutoCAD, Autodesk Inventor, MicroStation, and SolidWorks, and its visualization and markup capabilities can handle pretty much any engineering and business file type you stumble across. Its integrated workflow capabilities flex to automate your engineering change and business processes. And its secure vaulting system provides all the versioning, check-in/check-out, and other features you’d expect, and it keeps an audit trail for each document, making, say, ISO compliance that much easier.
While that’s all fine and dandy, the truth is that switching from one PDM or document management system to another is a drag. Adept, however, has earned a reputation for making the transition quickly — in a couple of weeks rather than a few seasons — and that is said to include moving data as well as training administrators and users.
So, where does this all leave you? With more questions, no doubt. You can start getting some answers from the link over there. It takes you to a newly built web page that has a bunch of links to greater details — reads, videos, etc. — on the capabilities that Adept has to offer. There’s an interesting video overview of what Adept can bring to a manufacturing company, and there’s an optional form you can fill out if you need a pointed question answered. To sweeten your invitation to inquire more about Adept, Synergis Software is offering a 30% savings on licenses from now through June 30th.
Thanks, Pal. – Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering