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Exploration of a Pre-PDM Workflow for Small Businesses Who Can't Afford PDM

Question asked by Keaton Warn on Aug 31, 2019
Latest reply on Sep 12, 2019 by Justin Pires

If you guys are interested, I want to do a video series on my approach and how it could help other small & sole proprietor businesses with engineers who use SolidWorks. However, before I do that, I want to know more about your experiences and practices on how you've dealt with documentation control problems.


As someone who has worked for a small business the past couple of years, I've had to discover and promote best-practices for how to manage engineering documentation. The company I worked for has had anywhere from one to four engineers on staff at any given moment and about thirty total employees. Due to budgetary constraints beyond my control (inherent in a small business where cash is often tight), we could not implement PDM when we should have. (After two years, I was able to convince them to implement it and they are now using it to expand their capabilities to more complicated products. Progress!)


During the roughly two year period between starting as an engineer there and winning the battle to buy PDM, I had to explore a number of ways to manage our documentation so it wouldn't be lost or corrupted. With the help of one of the other engineers, we were able to create and maintain a system that, while not as slick as PDM, fulfilled our requirements. It mitigated problems stemming from misplaced/replicated/erroneous documentation coming out of the engineering department.


What would you like to see me cover, and what issues should be addressed?


Right now I am exploring this as a pet project. Please do not be mistaken - this is not designed to be a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, I want to explore common problems that individuals and small businesses have with SolidWorks document control and how to help fix these problems if they cannot afford PDM.