In 2011 we surveyed more than 2,000 engineers working in manufacturing organizations worldwide. The results showed that manufacturing organizations of all sizes are still experiencing significant issues with even the most basic aspects of data management such as retrieving the data they need quickly, and completing everyday design management tasks efficiently. Thats a big reason why we have added a design management workshop to our Solid Edge University event this year (you can register here - the workshop is filling up fast!) The table below lists some of these key challenges, the blue bars showing the percentage of respondents reporting that this area is still causing problems for them.
Data management users survey: Issues reported for common data management tasks
We also wanted to try and find out whether organization size or product complexity had a bigger influence on the challenges reported by the survey respondents. This consistently showed that product complexity has a bigger influence, with higher product complexity leading to higher numbers of problems in all of the seven data management categories surveyed (see the chart below). For our purposes we used the typical bill of materials size that the respondents worked with as the measure of product complexity. There was little difference in the problems reported when comparing the results from respondents in large organizations compared to those working in small organizations.
Problems encountered measured against BOM size
Many of our Solid Edge users work in smaller manufacturing companies, but often these smaller companies work with large assemblies or have pressures on them to meet increasingly complex product design requirements. So my conclusion is that our smaller customers have just as much need for excellence in data management solutions as their larger cousins.
The full survey results and analysis are available from our Solid Edge SP web page where you can download the Tech-Clarity whitepaper "Best practices for managing design data". There is some terrific data here showing the impact of good data management practices on an organization's product development performance. I should mention that Solid Edge SP is a design management solution that is focused on meeting the needs of Solid Edge customers who are working with fast growing volumes of design data.
One of the attractive features of Solid Edge SP is its visual approach to managing complex data. New tools like the Content Browser and Relation Browser present data in an easy to understand visual way that enables rapid comprehension of complex data structures, resulting in less errors in design and manufacturing processes.
Solid Edge SP Relation Browser enables rapid comprehension of product and project structures
You can find out more about our design management solutions, including input from Solid Edge customers like Venture Products and Pella Corporation at our Solid Edge University event that will be held in Cincinnati June 25-27th. And as I mentioned earlier a new feature this year is a Design management workshop that will provide valuable tips and strategies to help Solid Edge customers improve their management of design data and experience success in handling increasing product complexity.