4 Bottlenecks that Onshape Eliminates for Product Development Teams

From ideation, prototyping and testing, to launching a product, the development process can take months or even years to complete. Being a leader in today's relentless business environment requires being on top of project deadlines at all times and proactively taking steps to avoid the harsh consequences that come with a slow product launch.

There's no hidden secret to achieving peak efficiency, but providing your team with the right CAD and PDM tools can significantly enhance communication, allow you to track your progress, and drive continuous improvement in the quality of your products.

With Onshape bottlenecks can be turned into strengths and your competitive advantage.

Bottleneck 1: Limited and Inflexible Access

Accessibility Issues

The restrictions and inefficiencies of file-based CAD software is increasingly out of step with the needs of today’s digital workers. Design files are stored locally, or manually uploaded to a PDM server making them hard to access and perpetual licensing options are inflexible and not cost-effective. Remote work is common, but when there's no - or slow - remote access in place, users are cut off and productivity suffers. The lack of access to design data and modern tools causes delays, missed deadlines, frustrated teams and impatient managers.

Design Transparency

In contrast, Onshape simplifies access to CAD and PDM for global and cross-functional design teams. Users can be added or removed instantly, and shared into projects with granular permissions, giving secure and quick access to those who need it. Convenient mobile Apps provide better access and more flexible work environments. And there is more. Unique to Onshape is the transparency it provides, with analytics that deliver clear insights into the who, what, where, and when of access to design data.

Bottleneck 2: Delays with Complex Project Management

Waterfall Methods

Originating in the 1950’s, the Waterfall method is a traditional, sequential approach to managing product development processes. While Waterfall once offered structure and discipline to complex project management, it is now widely criticized for its inflexibility. With teams waiting for the preceding phase to finish before starting their work, problems are often discovered too late, making it challenging to incorporate feedback and address issues promptly. As a result, the Waterfall method is now associated with expensive delays, limited innovation, and is seen as an outdated bottleneck to progress.

Agile Methods

Originally developed for software in the early 2000s, Agile methods have found their way into design and manufacturing because they are proven to be more iterative and transparent. This allows for faster collaboration and decision making in spite of the increasing complexity in today’s products. Onshape combines modern CAD and built-in PDM with advanced collaboration tools, so teams have access to design data in real time. By providing a flexible product development platform, teams can adopt new and better ways of working.

Bottleneck 3: Ambiguity and Miscommunication

Versioning Issues

Keeping everyone informed and aligned on the correct design revision is often challenging due to rapid iterations, the diversity of roles involved, and the potential for communication gaps. Although many teams try to get ahead of versioning issues by integrating a PDM, these add-on solutions can cause delays because of slow check-in and check-out processes, hindering more than helping. PDM solutions based on files inevitably lead to uncoordinated efforts, miscommunication, and missed deadlines.

Single Source of Truth

Onshape pioneered a file-less approach to CAD and PDM with cloud databases, eliminating the need for complex file naming conventions and check-in and out processes. With Onshape, versions are simply bookmarks in the design timeline, allowing users to roll forward and backward in their detailed history. Furthermore, built-in change detection, alerts, and visual cues, keep teams informed, ensuring the correct revision is always in use. Having a ‘single source of truth’ makes it much easier for teams to collaborate, manage, and share CAD data without versioning issues.

Bottleneck 4: Intellectual Property (IP) Loss

Data Loss

Data loss is a significant problem for companies and can happen at any point in the product development cycle. Whether it’s caused by a software crash, accidental deletion of data, software/hardware failure, or some other anomaly, data loss can drastically slow down the product development cycle.

In some cases, IP loss can be the result of malicious or careless actions such as design data being stolen or leaked through complex supply chains. With a file-based CAD system, the lack of traceability for IP can leave companies in the dark, with no clear visibility into the status and security of their critical data.

Data Integrity

Moving to the cloud, your team won't lose work. Onshape has a solid record of 99.9%-99.99% uptime. Built on Amazon Web Services (AWS), Onshape eliminates the need for design teams to manage files, servers or software updates themselves reducing the risk of human error and data loss. In fact, Onshape captures every edit, by every user, so there is always a complete history of all the actions made in the design. Additionally, Onshape's data backup and recovery systems guarantee the availability of your design data, even when unforeseen incidents occur.

If you’re looking to improve the operational efficiency of your teams, you have to replace their existing tools with modern solutions. Acknowledging that time spent on software hassles and non-design related tasks accumulates is the first step towards removing bottlenecks in your team's design processes.

Discover new and better ways of working by exploring Onshape’s professional CAD capabilities, built-in PDM and convenient mobile Apps. Let us help you, talk to an Onshape expert today.