There are two main ways to increase productivity within an engineering team. Either you can employ more engineers, or you can optimize the performance of your existing team. Fairly obvious that extending the team takes money and time as well because new team members always have to complete a long learning curve before being able to contribute to the team. Therefore, increasing the performance of your existing team is the ideal, and sometimes the only option. One of the most effective and quickest ways to do so is to eliminate time-wasters and increase the hours spent on value-added tasks that are directly contributing to engineering deliverables.
Helping out other departments, colleagues and external partners by providing them with CAD data in many different file formats is usually not part of an engineer’s job description. Still, according to polls, engineers are spending almost 50% of their time on searching for CAD files and exporting them to various different file formats.These CAD file requests are not only coming from outside of the Engineering department, but also from engineering team members itself. This is due to the usually limited number of CAD software licenses and due to the lack of interoperability of the many different CAD authoring software applications used within the same team. This problem cannot be overcome by simply investing more in licenses. Due to the high prices, it simply wouldn’t be cost-effective and would be pointless anyway since the operation of CAD applications, requires a special skill set that cannot be acquired with a short training.
The other time waster is that engineers need to spend hours searching for CAD files, CAD data and parts for themselves, often in a file share system, excel spreadsheets, company drive, or even worse, on colleagues’ desktops.Very often they don’t find what they are looking for, so they start to recreate already existing parts from scratch. These issues could be overcome by implementing the right infrastructure, a PDM, PLM or engineering data management system, depending on the size and budget of your team.
When choosing such systems, it is crucial to keep in mind the possible future growth of your company and find a solution that is scalable and can be extended as your business grows. The other reason to choose a scalable platform is that it is simply safer. You can try out some of the features and experiment with it to make sure it is the right fit for your team. Then you can safely abort it without any major losses, or extend it with additional modules when needed. It is not only safer from a financial point of view, but it also increases the chances of a high adoption level within the users.
Our Centro solution is offering a scalable and modular solution to the above issues. It is able to extract data from all the major CAD file formats and creates a collaboration platform where everyone can find the engineering data they are searching for, without the need for an expensive CAD software or special skill set. It also allows engineers to collaborate during all phases of the product development cycle thanks to the check-in check-out capability and the enhanced file version control. If you are interested in the full list of Centro features and solution bundles, continue reading here.