We had our SW Var in today to talk about a solution to a problem that is really hurting us right now. We are a small startup company with 4 seats of SW with another on the way. We don't have a server so SW was initially set up using Dropbox which worked okay when there were just two users doing their own thing and we communicated about what files we would be working with. The third and fourth seats though changed everything as those people work on large assemblies containing nearly everything we make. So we are losing revisions by Dropbox in "conflicted copies".
One question is will SW work properly if our extensive library of parts, assemblies and drawings, which should not change, has all those files marked as read only? If they need to get changed because they have a problem you'll have to replace them with a file that is not read only and then mark it as such. This is a band aid for sure, but our business is exploding and implementing PDM right now is simply not possible. We need to get the data loss fixed right now.
In the discussion today about PDM it appears that it may duplicate a lot of what we already have. We design everything in SW and every part has our part#. We also have AllOrders which integrates directly with Quickbooks. AllOrders does what it says, Quotes, Sales Orders, Purchase Orders, Work Orders, Pick Lists, Packing List and Inventory. It tracks customers, manufacturers, multiple vendors per part etc. We already have SW and AllOrders integrated through a custom macro that imports any SW BOM at any level right into AllOrders while rolling up all the subassemblies, short pieces of wire, pipe, etc. so that AllOrders can actually order the correct number of lengths of all materials.
This works very well and all our seats of AllOrders cost less than one seat of SW! I have a previous history with AllOrders going back 10 years and it keeps getting better with great support. Our products are fairly complex for a little company. A recent report shows one skid had over 5000 parts with 500 unique part numbers. This requires purchasing parts for each job from at least 50 vendors so AllOrders has been really great. From top level model to completed orders for materials in a couple of hours. We also get the cost of a product as soon as we import the BOM.
It looks like PDM Pro can do some or all of this. Is that out of the box, or is simply capable of all this wonderful stuff with lots of customization? If we choose to go the PDM route with SW in the future what is it likely to cost to get what we have now? The PDM software and startup looks to be about $25,000. How much more gets spent getting it the way your company needs? I am guessing at least another $25,000, and possibly a whole lot more if we have to rely on outside expertise to pull it off. We are engineers not SW guys.
Thanks for any advice or comments.