How Will Your Design Team Be More Efficient in 2017?

By Daniel J. Murphy / December 27, 2016

Is being more productive one of your New Year’s resolutions?

No matter what type of work you do, whether it be financial services, marketing, or product design, improving your team’s efficiency is a mandate. Every year, your team needs to be smarter and faster. Both global enterprise companies like IBM and lean startups like FormLabs are embracing agile workflows to maximize their productivity. As those forward-thinking companies (and many others) will tell you, a big part of becoming more efficient is embracing new technology.

When it comes to evaluating new technologies that can help the Onshape Marketing team, we’re lucky to have Jeff as one of our “innovation guys.” Jeff is that colleague who every other day says something like “Hey, look at this new tool I found, we could use this for ______.” He finds new technologies from places like Product Hunt, Designer News and other sites and quickly evaluates them.

Admittedly, hearing about “innovation” all the time can be annoying. Not every new idea or product improvement is earth-shattering or Smithsonian worthy. But in reality, there are many hidden productivity-boosting tools out there for the taking. Over the last few years, we’ve adopted a half dozen or so new tools to improve our website, blog, newsletter and other marketing content. These tools automate manual processes, aggregate data and help us organize tasks, projects and issues. Without a guy like Jeff monitoring new technologies, we might not be as productive.

Let me be your “Jeff” for a moment. Consider the following questions about your typical design workflow:

  1. Is your PDM system ruthlessly controlling how you work?
  2. Is your team’s progress ever stalled by the constant need to checkout and check-in CAD files?
  3. Is there ever any confusion over which version of a design is the most up-to-date version?
  4. Do you spend too much time worrying about the risk of overwriting each other’s work?
  5. Are you sharing CAD files back and forth by email or through storage services like Dropbox?
  6. Do you spend a lot of time waiting for new CAD licenses or for your IT Department to provision new computers installed with new CAD software – or to make the latest CAD software updates?

If any of those questions strike a chord with you, here’s one more: Why are you using tools that slow down the design and manufacturing process instead of accelerating it?

Management consultant and popular business author Peter Drucker once said, “There is nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency something that should not be done at all.”

That quote really resonates with me and echoes how Onshape helps design teams focus on being designers versus wasting time with managing licenses, files and copies.

With Onshape, it’s not about hacking the system for incremental improvements in efficiency. Instead, we’ve built a full-cloud CAD system from scratch to meet the always changing, more urgent needs of today’s design teams.

Onshape offers:

  1. Real-Time CAD Deployment & Access – If you need to add a new team member to a project, you can give him or her instant access to your data on any computer, tablet or phone. They can start working right away without thinking about software installs or licenses.
  2. Real-Time Data Management – Collaborate with your design team right now, working together on the same CAD model at the same time rather than having to work serially (one person at a time).
  3. Real-Time Analytics & Controls – Executives and managers have never had a way to instantly know what their design teams are doing in real time. They do now.

Is it scary to think about moving legacy data to a new system? The learning curve to adopt new software? On the surface, it can be. But once you know what’s at stake, what the far-reaching benefits of Agile Design are, it’s an easy choice to make.

Naturally, I can’t make that decision for you. And there’s only so many Onshape videos, blog posts, eBooks and webinars you can consume. The best way to know if full-cloud CAD makes sense for your company is to test it out on a real project.

Start 2017 on the right foot with a customized demo of Onshape Professional. Interested in learning more? Just fill out this form so our team can tailor your demo to your specific company needs.

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Topics: Industry Perspectives