20 Replies Latest reply on Apr 3, 2018 10:09 AM by Janet Coleman

    When to use EPDM? How to convince my boss?

    Lucas Stanis

      Hi,

      We are medium sized company but we still don't have EPDM in place. How to convince my management that we actually need it?

      Maybe some presentations, maybe should I invite Solidworks representative to show us benefits of this system? Maybe some trials or demo modes?

        • Re: When to use EPDM? How to convince my boss?
          Shaodun Lin

          Yes, absolutely, please get the SOLIDWORKS reseller near to your company and they will do the rest.

           

          Find a SOLIDWORKS Reseller | How To Buy | SOLIDWORKS

          • Re: When to use EPDM? How to convince my boss?
            Alex Burnett

            EPDM has value even for a small company. The biggest and most helpful features are version control and check-in/check-out. Another neat function is that when you're ready to release a product, the solidworks files can be issued along with the ER into a workflow state that locks them for editing. This way, a user can pull up an assembly and get the solid model of the assembly/drawings that match what was released on the corresponding ER.

             

            My vote is that you bring in a representative from your VAR to give a presentation on the value of this product. In my experience, this has saved a huge amount of time in development for our products.

             

            Pros:

                 You can only work on a file that is checked out to your account. This prevents double-dipping on changes that are needed to a file.

                 Once someone is done with a file and checks it in, the latest version is then available for you to get and use in real time. I cannot stress how much this helps on a 500+ part assembly.

                 If you have a problem with a file, you can get any of the previous versions and compare if needed to determine what the differences are.

             

            Cons:

                 You can't see changes to parts that others are working on unless they check them in. Sometimes people can have things checked out for weeks at a time and check them in all at once causing all sorts of chaos in the upper level assemblies. This can be mitigated with process training.

            • Re: When to use EPDM? How to convince my boss?
              Ian Worrall

              It's not management you need to convince, it's the beancounters. EPDM is very expensive!

                • Re: When to use EPDM? How to convince my boss?
                  Ken Maren

                  I have to disagree.   We have a lot of PDM seats of verying types and I could not imagine working without it.   I think it pays for itself just by taking IT out of having to manage folders, permissions, finding backups for lost or overwritten files, etc.  Also working locally saves a ton of time too.   That ROI writes itself.   Open a large assembly locally vs. over the network.  Save a file locally vs. over the network.   Record the time savings, and start multiplying.  It adds up really quick.   Calling something expensive all depends on how you get a return on investment.   For some, it may be expensive.   It really is subjective. 

                    • Re: When to use EPDM? How to convince my boss?
                      Dan Golthing

                      You still have to be able to justify it.  The bean counters only understand beans.

                       

                      One place I was working on a nice computer that had over the period of about three years become very slow.  I knew how much time I was wasting every day waiting for it to catch up so I requested a new computer.

                       

                      Hell NO.

                       

                      So then I started writing down every time I was waiting for the CPU.  Three minutes here, five minutes there.  Every day for a week.  I then turned that in and promptly had a new computer ordered.

                        • Re: When to use EPDM? How to convince my boss?
                          Timothy Taby

                          We had the same thing happen when they wanted to move our file server offsite as part of the business recovery plan (offsite servers make it so if something catastrophic happens they are not effected).  We spent a week with our server 100 miles away and accessing over the internet, it was taking minutes to open single parts.  I documented the times for a week and showed we spent nearly 40% of our time waiting, the sever was moved back to our facility the next day!

                           

                          Bean counters are all about the beans!

                    • Re: When to use EPDM? How to convince my boss?
                      Ken Maren

                      Lucas,

                       

                      You are first going to have to gather the issues your company is having that PDM can solve.   If there aren't any issues or potential ROI, you are going to go down in flames pushing for PDM.   Now I don't believe this for a second.   Every company can benefit from PDM.   The list of reasons is long.  My top reasons would be, versions, revisions, data searching, no file duplicates, file reference management, referencing non-CAD to CAD (manuals, spec docs to top-level assy), speed (work local instead of over network), stability (one would argue because working locally = more stable), file security, approval process.   Just to name a few of what I feel are the basic concepts.  

                       

                      I would start with your VAR.  They can give a demo of the capabilities.   You can also ask around and maybe a local user would be happy to show you how they use PDM Pro. 

                      • Re: When to use EPDM? How to convince my boss?
                        Craig Schultz

                        Adding on to what others have said:

                         

                        It’s beneficial to small companies up to the large companies (obviously).  I worked at a place where there were only 2 of us using SW.  But the time savings in creating PDFs for the floor to the DXFs for programming was worth it alone.  I also set up versions of customer parts to be driven with data cards. This allowed our intern to go through the list of custom parts to see if we already had programs, or if he needed to create a DXF for me to program.  The custom parts would range from 10 – 70 parts/order.  HUGE time saver.

                         

                        Pros/Time savers:

                        PDFs, DXFs, STEP, IGES correctly named and can be driven to specific folder all run through the tasks.

                         

                        Copy tree – this would’ve been a crazy time saver at a previous employer (who has PDM pro now) where a lot of custom parts were very similar.  No need to worry if the drawings are referencing the correct parts.

                         

                        Custom properties to populate folders, drawings, part, and assemblies driven through the data cards. It’s great for populating the info about projects into the files. 

                         

                        PDM search cards – no more digging through folders.  No more waiting an eternity to search drives.

                         

                        Working locally – no network lag.

                         

                        Everyone having the same “mapped drive” location for files.  The small shop I was at , the one guy decided to map drives o whatever letter he wanted. If you know SW, you know how much fun it is searching for parts.

                         

                        PDM search cards – no more digging through folders.  No more waiting an eternity to search drives.

                         

                        Unique part names (if wanted) which I highly recommend.

                         

                        Cons:

                        Implementing can be frustrating.  Don’t go in thinking it’s a magical tool.  Map out what you want it to do before you talk to your VAR.  Ask them if it can do what you want.

                         

                        $$$$, but if implemented correctly, that money will be paid off faster than you think.

                         

                        Take a guesstimate at how much time you and your coworkers spend creating files, looking for files, waiting on load times, and fixing errors that could be avoided.  That might help your cause with the bean counters.

                        • Re: When to use EPDM? How to convince my boss?
                          Lucas Stanis

                          Thanks for great response guys! That looks very encouraging. All those pros seems very legit and applicable in our company. I will start from making a plan what shall be achieved and what issues we have at the moment (Craig Schultz) We will take measures how much time and effort we spent on 'doing things manually'. Then we will invite VAR and compare how much of efficiency we would gain by using EPDM and whether our issues can be addressed and solved.

                           

                          Thanks again for good ideas and feedback!

                          • Re: When to use EPDM? How to convince my boss?
                            Adrian Velazquez

                            Make a list of ALL the issues or chores your users deal with right now. Then align each of them to the feature or functionality in PDM that will solve/alleviate each issue. Calculate how much time you would gain from each and how many instances you deal with per week. i.e:

                             

                            • Re: When to use EPDM? How to convince my boss?
                              David Matula

                              Is the company iso or api certified. 

                                   yes pdm is mainly for engineering but think of who else can use it.

                              quality assurance....  They may need to have rev control on documents.

                              HSE department    They could use it to track changes to their documents.

                               

                              The list can go on as the system can handle just about any type of file type.  I looked at it before SolidWorks decided to buy the company that came up with it and it was an awesome program back then.  Could handle pro e to acad drawings.  Not one program for this kind of file or another for a different kind of file.