My Company has been using Solidworks for a while now and we are considering changes to the way that we use/implement toolbox. Over the past few years, the company has acquired other businesses through mergers, buy-outs, etc, and we are now a team of many different people, all of who brought different ways of using toolbox.
As of now, we use toolbox in three different ways, and I am hoping to get a general conscientious on what is best, or if we should scrap all three and start a better system altogether.
Our first use is the direct way of using toolbox. This includes creating and storing configured parts in toolbox, and sharing them over our network. From what I can see, this has its advantages in the fact that BOM's can be created easily on drawings, however, when a configuration gets changed, it can be devastating to a large file and other parts. Also, the configuration information (due to laziness on our part) does not always give the needed information and lots of guess work has to be done. The other bad part is trying to implement supplier provided SolidWorks hardware, and using their part numbers as well as our own company provided part numbers.
The next way, and for myself the most confusing, is through the use of PDMWorks. With this system, it is easily to search for a part, but only if you know the part number and know exactly what that part number is going to correspond to. I am still a little fuzzy on the pros/cons of PDMWorks, but would like to know more.
The third way is to create a file on our shared network in which toolbox is used to create parts with certain configurations and then stored on this particular file. This seems to be the best (according to past discussions) for sharing/implementing hardware over a shared user environment. With this system, it seems easier to store parts in very specific file folders and search by both vender and our company supplied part number.
I will consider every and all recommendation and thank you in advance for your experience and knowledge on this subject.
Thanks for all the help;