New Industry Research From Onshape Reveals Critical Focus Areas for Product Development Teams in 2019

Companies say that improving their design process is a much higher priority than their design tools

Companies say that improving their design process is a much higher priority than their design tools

Cambridge, Massachusetts (June 24, 2019)

“The State of Product Development & Hardware Design 2019,” an independent industry research report released today by Onshape, identifies the most urgent priorities of design and manufacturing teams seeking to boost productivity and innovation.

Covering companies of all sizes, the study gathered insights from 850 executives, engineering managers, product designers, project managers, sales technical engineers, CAD administrators, and quality assurance engineers. Respondents were representative of companies using the most widely adopted professional design and manufacturing tools, without regard to specific brands.

Asked to identify their most important needs for improvement in the product development process, individual contributors – the true workhorses at a company – chose these top two focus areas:

COMMUNICATION – 89% say they want earlier and better communication between members of their extended design team. This could be addressing miscommunication or not enough communication between internal teams or with external partners – or even missed opportunities to get design feedback from contributors who could have game-changing ideas.
VERSION CONTROL – 86% say they need to reduce errors resulting from working on the wrong version of a design or receiving important information too late. These are preventable data management issues that result in costly manufacturing mistakes, and ultimately, a slower time to market.

In contrast, for managers and executives at these same companies, the top priority for improvement is visibility. 89% of those respondents say they want the ability to monitor their product design team’s progress anytime without having meetings, sending emails, or making phone calls. As in other industries, executives at manufacturing companies want real-time information and actionable data.

The independent research was commissioned by Onshape, a cloud product development platform that combines CAD, release management, workflow, and collaboration tools.

“We’re excited to share the results of our research far and wide,” says Onshape CEO Jon Hirschtick. “This survey gives product development leaders valuable insights from almost 1,000 peers on how to move their teams forward.”

“It’s surprising to see that improvements to processes are rated as higher priorities than some of the more trendy media topics like additive manufacturing and generative design,” he adds. “Better team communication, visibility and data management clearly leads to an improved design process, and those improvements are clearly a key success factor for product developers who are trying to stay on top.”

Onshape co-founder David Corcoran noted that the top priority to improve their design processes – versus any specific design software functionality or manufacturing tools – was shared across companies of all sizes.

“Engineers, managers and executives say they are still wasting too much time in the product development process,” Corcoran says. “Whether it was expressed as reducing mistakes, poor communication, inadequate visibility, too many meetings, time wasted working on the wrong data, getting important information too late, or time spent on IT and other soul-crushing overhead, the single biggest problem is process complexity and inefficiency.”

The study also covers the relationship between the adoption of cloud technology tools and a company’s self-reported productivity and ability to deliver innovation.

The full 26-page “State of Product Development & Hardware 2019” research report is available at https://www.onshape.com/state-of-product-design-report

About Onshape

Onshape is a next-generation cloud design platform that speeds up product development. It’s an all-in-one system that combines CAD, release management, workflow, real-time collaboration tools, and an API with more than 50 engineering applications. Onshape helps extended design teams work together faster and helps executives make better business decisions with real-time analytics and unprecedented visibility into their company’s design and manufacturing processes.

Thousands of companies rely on Onshape to modernize and streamline their product development cycle. Onshape users in 170+ countries have logged over 8 million hours modeling advanced robotics, biomedical devices, industrial machinery, agriculture equipment, and consumer products. With 1 in 8 sessions occurring on mobile devices, Onshape is the world's first anywhere, anytime CAD system.

Founded in 2012, Onshape has raised $169 million from Andreessen Horowitz, NEA, North Bridge, and other leading investors. Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Onshape leadership team includes the original creators of SOLIDWORKS® and other proven leaders in cloud infrastructure, data security, and mobile. For more information, contact dgarnick@onshape.com or visit onshape.com/press-room.