PLM Now!

Written by: Christa Prokos

** Guest post by Michael Distler **

Stop. Wait.

Before you File > Save that motor housing or iPhone case you just designed, ask yourself if you’re about to make your file management problems a little worse. Because, instead of stashing one more revision on your desktop or in a shared folder where others may or may not be able to find it, you could vault your work in a professional lifecycle management system.

I don’t mean in a year from now after you’ve spent piles of money on IT, hardware, and consultants. I mean right now. Today.

Why everybody needs product lifecycle management

It’s always easy to save your customer requirements, CAD models, and BOMs on your desktop or in a shared folder. But finding and reusing that information later is another matter—and it gets worse as your flood of work files grows.

We’ve all lost hours searching for the latest revision of a part that needs updated. Most of us have even overwritten the wrong file or, worse yet, sent a bad drawing to production. Then there are the small time sinks too. For example, documentation and marketing could benefit from accessing the CAD geometry, so you’ll have to retrieve files for them, and perhaps make a screenshot.

Big companies don’t deal with these issues because they use enterprise-wide data management tools, like product lifecycle management (PLM) systems. With PLM, they vault everything in a well-thought out database that anybody in the organization can search, sure that they are viewing the most recent version of a design. PLM keeps track of previous versions too, to ensure accountability. And PLM doesn’t just save your work, it can also automate the approval process in a timely way—so there’s less running around getting sign off on changes.

Small or midsize companies? They often take what becomes herculean efforts such as building home grown systems or working extra hours to manually get paper work done and products out the door.  When you’re small, you don’t have the resources—or the time—to devote to deploying enterprise PLM software. So you make do, even as the problem grows with every model you save into your system.

Ironically, as a smaller company, you also don’t have time for all the workarounds you go through to make up for NOT using a PLM system.

PLM Now!

The good news is that even small and midsized companies can start using PLM today!

PTC has been providing lifecycle management software to companies for years. More than 1.5 million people use PTC Windchill. And now we’re offering a PLM cloud solution so that smaller companies can take advantage of the software—without the overhead or upfront costs and without waiting.

With PTC PLM Cloud, you “subscribe” to the software and, instantly, you can reach your secure environment via a web browser. Share data, collaborate with team members, and automate approval processes. We take care of the hardware, administration, and IT oversight.

We even offer a preconfigured version of the system based on best practices at thousands of other companies to ensure you get the most professional production-ready PLM possible right from the start.

Your future on the cloud

What would it look like if you saved that next file in your new PLM system today instead of adding it to the local file system? Watch this short demo video to find out:

Tags: CAD Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)

About the Author

Christa Prokos

Christa Prokos is a marketing manager at PTC. She researches and writes about the latest business trends and technologies impacting manufacturers, including the Internet of Things and Product Lifecycle Management. Christa has worked as a high tech marketing and communications professional since 2000. You can follow her on Twitter: @ChristaProkos.