Modern Cloud Tools put Engineering as the Hub of Design Collaboration

Product development today is a highly collaborative endeavor. Key stakeholders from different departments throughout an organization—not just those in engineering—need to have the ability to weigh in on proposed designs. By doing so, they can provide valuable feedback at the earliest possible stages of the proposed design and throughout the development cycle to assure the creation of highly optimized products.

Collaborating across complex processes and supply chains requires considerable effort. Engineering sits at the very heart of this effort, playing a key role in pushing design processes forward and connecting teams. After all, engineers are responsible for much more than finding a feasible design that satisfies form, fit, and functional needs. Engineers must find designs that align with the overall goals of the company. This can be a complex undertaking, requiring designs that satisfy many, often conflicting, requirements.

What is engineering’s role in enterprise collaboration? How do you enable the fulfillment of design requirements that span the enterprise? And, what role do your engineers play in that process as an enabler? Chad Jackson, Chief Analyst and CEO of Lifecycle Insights, answers those questions and more in the video below.

Highly complex products demand more modern collaboration tools

As products become more complex, the need for effective and efficient design collaboration increases. No longer dominated by mechanical components, today’s smart products include a complex mix of electronics, embedded systems, and Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity.

As a result, engineers must navigate a complex and interconnected web of design disciplines to provide the functionality demanded by today’s market. They must work very closely with stakeholders in other domains to ensure that final products function as a cohesive whole. Modern design requires a high level of communication, collaboration, and consensus across internal engineering and external stakeholder teams, while still demanding deep technical expertise in specific fields.

Despite the increasing need, a surprising amount of friction still exists in design collaboration. Engineers face a range of challenges when trying to share designs with non-engineering stakeholders

Fortunately, there are now solutions that help mitigate many of these collaboration challenges. They enable engineers to seamlessly exchange ideas and designs with all design participants—both technical and nontechnical—so valuable feedback can be obtained and designs can truly be optimized based on everyone’s input.

Taking collaboration to the cloud

Modern, cloud-based platform greatly simplify and streamline these necessary interactions between various design stakeholders. In doing so, they also increase the security of valuable IPs, as well as provide access to high levels of computational power for applications such as simulation.

When engineers are working in a cloud-based environment, they can simply upload models, regardless of the authoring CAD system, and provide access. Engineers across the company and supply chain can access models in this cloud environment through their internet browser, eliminating often error-prone data translations and painstaking efforts to fix broken geometries. Anyone given permissions can modify the design and multiple stakeholders can simultaneously view, comment and make changes. By doing so companies can accelerate development by connecting everyone through a cloud-based platform that is accessible at any time and from anywhere.

Another benefit of cloud-based development platforms is all product data is always tracked so data management is nearly transparent. No expensive server or IT person needed. With your product data managed in the cloud, every change is tracked as it is made in real-time, allowing multiple users to collaborate on the same design simultaneously. A real-time, always-accurate, single source of truth empowers efficient design collaboration.

Learn more about how you can put your engineers at the hub of enterprise design collaboration in this eBook by Lifecycle Insights

Originally posted in the SOLIDWORKS Blog.

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