4 Replies Latest reply on Feb 1, 2016 12:53 AM by Prasad Bhonsule

    How do you issue documents to a 'job' (and control them)

    Lawson Jones

      Hello All,

       

      I am currently in the process of finalising my company’s EPDM implementation (they previously did not have a document control system). One of the areas I have identified as wasteful with a system such as EPDM is the way that they issue documents to an individual job (inherited from before EPDM was used).  Documents are issued using a long drawn out process which involves a lot of manual handling which at the end of the day does not result in a better product for the client.  I would really like to hear how you manage the issuing of documents to a job while maintaining traceability of what has been sent outside the engineering office. Do you even bother?  Do you use EPDM to complete such a task?  Or some other system?

       

       

      For those interested the process which the document controllers currently follow:

      1. Engineers/Draftsmen complete drawings &/or documents, they go through a normal revision controlled workflow and are ‘Approved/Released’.
      2. Documents are then converted from their native filetype to either a pdf or dxf for sending outside the engineering office

      Then… Document Control Manually …

      1. Copy the pdf/dxf to their desktop
      2. For PDFs Document control stamp on the pdf either “Controlled Copy” or “For Quotation” or “Information Only”
      3. “Controlled Copy” or “For Quotation” documents are then stamped with the relevant job number and an expiry date (3 months from today)
      4. Save the pdf as “OriginalFilename_Rev##_Job###”
      5. Password protect the pdf to stop editing

      This creates the actual document that is sent outside the engineering office.  To transmit the document they then:

      1. Open an access database
      2. Create a new line entry (which sends an email), retype in the:
        1. Job Number
        2. Work order number, unique item identifying number, client, document action (Controlled Copy, For Quotation or Information Only)
        3. File Name/Number
        4. Revision
        5. File Type (Report, Drawing, …)
      3. Add a recipient/CC
      4. Attach all the files (manually, 1 by 1 the database doesn’t allow to select groups)
      5. Send the email to the recipient.

      And after all that its home time…

       

       

      It has been decided that they would like to keep the stamp on the documents along with the document transmittal/email which records what documents have been issued in addition to the background table which records the documents being issued and who it was sent to.  But surely there is a more effective way of keeping such information without all the manual effort? I initially thought a change state “Issue to Job” which allows for the input of data and ‘stamps’ the native file, but this would generate 100s of pointless versions of a file and doesn’t directly solve the tractabilityor allow for emails (and attachments) outside the company.

       

      Would love to hear what you do and/or recommend!

       

      Kind Regards

      Lawson

        • Re: How do you issue documents to a 'job' (and control them)
          Lawson Jones

          Bump.

           

          Does anyone maintain a record of which documents have been 'issued to a job'?

          Would really like to hear how you actually send the drawings out of the engineering office to other departments and suppliers.

           

          Kind Regards

          Lawson

          • Re: How do you issue documents to a 'job' (and control them)
            Prasad Bhonsule

            Hi Lawson, you can use EPDM to trigger a process similar to what you have described above, but not out of the box. You need programming such as an add-in to gather documents together, spit out a BOM, PDFs, create a report, and then integrate with your email to send together as a package. ie a transmittal system.

             

            My company developed a similar system for one of our largest clients here in Australia, which they've been using successfully for a number of years with EPDM.

             

            Let me know if you'd like more information.

             

            Best regards,

             

            Prasad Bhonsule

              • Re: How do you issue documents to a 'job' (and control them)
                Lawson Jones

                Hi Prasad,

                 

                Thanks for your response!  I did think that it would be possible to achieve such a task through an API however wasn't sure.  Unfortunately my API understanding is quite basic, and as such haven't spent much time programming API's myself.

                 

                How does this system that you have integrate with the user?  I'm assuming that it would be similar to other tasks whereby the person activates it through the right click menu selecting an "Issue to Job" command?

                I'm interested from the activation stage, how does the API then determine what to issue/transmit, particularly for large assemblies which contain many parts and hence drawings.  Does the API go through the EPDM BOM, where used, and contains menu and then automatically issue everything, or only selected files (similar to the out of the box print task)?  What does the report that you mention contain, or is that a document transmittal note?

                 

                I (and I am confident the document controllers) really like the concept of the system compiling the full email for the transmittal.  What does that look like exactly?  Is it purely just an email with a series of attachments?

                 

                 

                Thanks again for your response, and its great to get ideas of how other people complete the day-to-day tasks!

                 

                Kind Regards,

                Lawson

                  • Re: How do you issue documents to a 'job' (and control them)
                    Prasad Bhonsule

                    Hi Lawson, no problem.

                     

                    Just to foreshadow my points below, I should say that any development of this type is unlikely to be generic, ie not a product that you can put on a shelf and ship out. The software we developed was specifically for this customer, as I imagine any software would have to be tailored to your needs.

                     

                    The particulars of our software:

                     

                    - Integrated as an EPDM add-in, so triggered on a right-click on an assembly

                    - Choice of reports for the user (pre-set Excel templates)

                    - Based on the choice of reports, the software interrogates the custom properties of the components and chooses which ones to accordingly issue

                    - Connect to network printers to print hardcopies or PDFs as specified, also options to choose printer sheet size

                    - The report will have a list of the files that were output along with properties like drawings number, description etc

                     

                     

                    There is no email functionality in this software, as it was not requested by the client, but I would imagine, you would package as a zip and send as an attachments or email a download link.

                     

                    I hope this helps.

                     

                    Best regards,

                     

                    Prasad