Four Challenges Engineering Document Management Software Solves — Plus One Solution

Engineering document management software benefits

Engineering document management software helps organizations manage documents electronically. The software enables users to:

  • Retrieve information faster
  • Store files in a secure environment
  • Share documentation
  • Manage document revisions and approvals

Many engineering document management software solutions on the market today are geared toward specific industries and company sizes. Arena provides a suite of cloud applications that help manufacturers manage product data, including engineering documents. Arena product offerings are suited for manufacturers; high-tech electronic creators, medical device manufacturers, clean technology companies and more.

Engineering document types and how they are managed

Manufacturing organizations have reams of product documentation — CAD drawings, product specifications, assembly instructions, standard operating procedures (SOPs) and many others. A majority of engineering documents need to be reviewed, edited, and made accessible to other departments in the organization. How and where the information is stored becomes increasingly important.

In many organizations, files typically are saved in disparate locations and access to documentation is restricted departmentally. Engineering drawings are created in CAD tools, like SolidWorks, and captured in associated CAD vaults. Assembly instructions and SOPs are detailed in Word documents saved on a network drive. Printed copies of test reports are filed in a colleague’s desk drawer. Does this set up sound familiar to your organization? When files are stored in different tools and multiple places, it makes it difficult for employees to get their jobs done. They have to search in unfamiliar tools and several locations for documentation often resulting in frustration and wasted time.

Engineering document management software is a piece of the PLM puzzle

If you are looking for a solution to help manage documents, engineering document management software as a standalone offering is a powerful application. When the software is combined with other functionality (e.g. BOM and change management, CAD tools, ERP software and other PLM related applications) its value extends across the organization.

Managing all aspects of the product record; product documents, bills of materials, engineering changes, and financials with connected systems better prepares organizations to meet demanding product deadlines and cost targets.

Arena does engineering document management

Arena PLM allows teams to store and manage product data like part specifications, design requirements, CAD drawings, assembly and test procedures and other engineering documents. Documents can be organized by user-defined categories and powerful search capabilities enable you to locate documents with ease.

You can also manage your bill of materials and engineering change orders with Arena PLM. Engineering documents can be associated with changes so you’ll know your internal team and external partners will all be working from the correct document revisions.

Arena PLM sits at the epicenter of the broader product lifecycle management (PLM) landscape and connects with systems like CAD, EDA, PDM and ERP. You can easily maintain a single version of the truth and reconcile information between multiple tools.

Four challenges engineering document management software solves

It’s unlikely a document management system or dedicated resource is present at the time a manufacturing company is founded. But as a company grows, it’s vital to the success of the organization that all product documentation is well tracked and maintained.

Document control managers and those responsible for managing and controlling product documentation will find engineering document management software solves four significant challenges.

Challenge #1: There isn’t enough time in the day.

Do you have to dig your way through stacks of paper, scour your email inbox or navigate the file directory structure on the server to find a document? All of these practices can be extremely time consuming. Engineering document management software provides quick access so users can find what they need when they need it, saving them time to do real work.

Challenge #2: There’s only one of you.

As the person in charge of document control, coworkers seek you to get their hands on files. If engineering documents are currently stored on a server, are you wasting time figuring out who does and doesn’t have access to specific folders? And those non-CAD users who need to see engineering drawings have a difficult time finding documents in the CAD vault. Who will they ask for help? You.

Rather than constantly helping others get access to the documents they need, document control managers can focus on other job responsibilities when engineering document management software is in place. The software enables information to be easily accessible to others in the organization. And unlike a CAD vault, which tends to be a limited departmental system, non-CAD users will find engineering document management software easy to use.

Challenge #3: Email and phone calls aren’t hacking it.

Are you chasing down approvers to obtain sign-off on product changes? Constantly emailing or making phone calls to notify or remind approvers to review a change takes time away from your regular job.

Engineering document management software coupled with an automated change process helps changes move along more efficiently and provides real-time status details. You’ll know exactly who has signed off and who still needs to review without picking up the phone or sending another email.

Challenge #4: Your confidence level is less than 100%.

When you finally find the document you’ve spent hours searching for, are you confident that it’s actually the current version? Or is there a more recent version somewhere else like in your email inbox or on the network drive?

A good engineering document management software system lets users manage the lifecycle of the document. With strict revision control settings you can capture history details like what was changed and when. You’ll be certain you have the most recent version all the time and your efforts can be spent on getting a change implemented instead of worrying if you have the right documents to put the change order together.

Engineering document management software addresses your challenges

Manufacturing companies have significant challenges getting their product built and into the hands of consumers. With an engineering document management software system in place, you can manage and control product documentation without blocking access. You’ll eliminate the confusion and chaos of duplicate data — providing access for everyone in the organization to the current product documents and information they require to complete their job.

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