For every minute spent trying to find a file or correcting data that was overwritten or lost – engineers are losing valuable time. It has been reported that on average, engineers waste 15% of their time managing data. While managing data is a non-value-added task for them, the mismanagement of data in the engineering and design field causes issues in various areas with the top three being (1) finding data that you need, when you need it, (2) design reuse, and (3) collaboration. This sees engineers spending at least one workday per week on non-value-added tasks.
Finding data that you need, when you need it
The constant need to sift through folders to find what you need, when you need it is a daunting task. A recent report by Jim Brown states that companies waste an average of 20.3% of their technical resources’ time on nonproductive data management tasks. The folders which are saved on shared network folders potentially contain hundreds if not thousands of files, and in some cases, files could be lost, stolen or corrupted – which not only leads to frustration but increases the time wasted.
Secondly, while it may seem like a great idea to use existing designs as a starting point when starting a new project or design, the process is not always sufficient. The reality is that Windows Explorer was not made for engineers and so the process of copying a design using Windows Explorer is not efficient. Thus, time spent using Windows explorer limits an engineer’s productivity.
In terms of collaboration, there is a need to work together easily as engineers. However, using shared network folders leads to issues such as overwritten files and duplicated files. This raises the question “which one is the most up to date?” which could see engineers spending up to hours looking for the latest file. The risk of accidentally working on the wrong copies of a design is always high during projects. As if that was not enough, another common issue is missing files altogether.
Data management challenges affect businesses in many ways, costing businesses time and money and also wasting the talent and skills of engineers. Research has shown that there is value in investing in a formal data management solution such as Product Data Management (PDM). Product Data Management solutions include design collaboration and product development management, the benefits range from improved design workflows, enhanced interdepartmental collaboration and streamlined processes.
To catalyse design collaboration and promote improved design workflows, leverage the full power of cloud based data management to your advantage.
Written By: N. Javu | Baker Baynes PTY Ltd | 20 March 2020