8 Replies Latest reply on Oct 3, 2011 1:09 PM by Amos Avery

    EPDM Advantages and Cost Savings

    Amos Avery

      I am the EPDM admin for a small company (9 licenses).  We love it and use it for workflow and file management.  Our parent company wants to purchase EPDM but needs help justifying it.  Our respective VAR's have provided plenty of cost justification materials but it's hard to know if any of it is real or just wishful estimating.  I've prepared a list of EPDM Advantages that we have seen and sent them out to my users for feedback.  I thought I would make the same request here to get more data points. Can you please spend a few moments to think about how life was before EPDM compared to how it is now and give me your best guess of how much time per week it has saved you in the following areas?  I know this may be difficult so just give a guess and I will work up an average based upon the responses.  If you have another way that it saves you time or money, please add it to the list of advantages of using PDM.

       

      1. Our process is defined (time saved by doing things the same way every time)
      2. Our process is followed (time saved by eliminating mistakes and missed steps in the process)
      3. Our process is documented (time saved by knowing exactly who did what and when without having to dig for it)
      4. Our process status is visible (time saved by not needing to ask someone the status of a document)
      5. Fewer interruptions during the day (time saved due to automated email notification of work steps rather than face-to-face handoffs)
      6. Clear definition of work (time saved by knowing what to do without having to ask)
      7. Fewer printed drawings (how many fewer documents have been printed per week because they are now more easily viewed via PDM?)
      8. Old versions saved (time saved by not needing to manage copies of design iterations)
      9. Design reuse (time saved by more efficiently starting a new design with a similar one)
      10. Search (time saved by having instant and more extensive search capabilities)
      11. Access control (time saved managing which users can see which files via simple workflow state changes   rather than file folder placement or other Server access control tools)
      12. Automated processes (time saved by having document control functions including PDF generation be automated and self service)

       

      I will report back on our internal survey as I get feedback to add to the discussion.

        • Re: EPDM Advantages and Cost Savings
          Tim Webb

          Amos,

           

          I recently provided a similar metrics to my management and had to do a lot of homework to get my numbers so I don't think I can take that learning opportunity from you but my answer is going to apply across all your bullet points.

           

          I have implemented EPDM at 4 corporate locations, ECO system to control engineering changes, DCO system to control changes to ISO procedures, email notifications, infrastructure enhancement, etc.

           

          Conservative ROI 285% from saving merely 30 minutes per day per person in the vault. The more tasks we automate, the higher the ROI. I had our financial analyst analyze my process and numbers and he believes it is more like 300%. With our O/H rates, this equates to nearly $250k per year.

           

          For every $1 we spend on development, we get $3 back in time saved.

          Hope this helps.

          Tim

          • Re: EPDM Advantages and Cost Savings
            Amos Avery

            Received this response from our former engineering manager (who helped justify and purchase EPDM for our team).

            1. Our process is defined (time saved by doing things the same way every time) 30 min/day/person
            2. Our process is followed (time saved by eliminating mistakes and missed steps in the process) 5+ hours/month/person
            3. Our process is documented (time saved by knowing exactly who did what and when without having to dig for it) 1 hour/week/person
            4. Our process status is visible (time saved by not needing to ask someone the status of a document) 30 min/day/person
            5. Fewer interruptions during the day (time saved due to automated email notification of work steps rather than face-to-face handoffs) 1 hour/day/person
            6. Clear definition of work (time saved by knowing what to do without having to ask) 30 min/week/person
            7. Fewer printed drawings (how many fewer documents have been printed per week because they are now more easily viewed via PDM?) 15 min/day/person.
            8. Old versions saved (time saved by not needing to manage copies of design iterations) 2 hours/month/designer-engineer
            9. Design reuse (time saved by more efficiently starting a new design with a similar one) 2 hours/month/designer-engineer
            10. Search (time saved by having instant and more extensive search capabilities) 10 min/day/person
            11. Access control (time saved managing which users can see which files via simple workflow state changes rather than file folder placement or other Server access control tools) 10 min/day/person
            12. Automated processes (time saved by having document control functions automated and self service) 40 total hours/week (1 job position)

             

            If I did my math correctly, this comes out to about 3.3 hrs/day time savings plus 1 FTE (a document control person).

              • Re: EPDM Advantages and Cost Savings
                James Pepper

                Amos,

                 

                Concerning point #12 ("automated process" saves 40 hours per week):

                 

                Sadly, EPDM does not come with any useful automated workflows. In fact, the learning curve and editing time to achieve a working workflow involves dozens of hours.

                 

                And even then, EPDM workflows are not "set it and forget it," unfortunately. "Someone" (me, in my case) must continue to address unforeseen problems and new conditions that require more editing.

                 

                And that is where it really gets messy because workflows are so **** hard to troubleshoot and edit. You can't actually see a file move through the workflow and any file that has not gone all the way through will prevent you from making certain changes. For example, you can't delete a workflow if there are any files going through it, and you have no way to quickly list those files and change their status.

                 

                I currently have a central workflow with two "orphaned" states that aren't connected to anything because somewhere there are test files going through them. So I just broke the connections and created new states.

                 

                All this means a lot of time on the clock for "someone."

                 

                I really like the "potential" that EPDM workflows have, but they are far from user-friendly at this stage.

                 

                "Pepperink"

                  • Re: EPDM Advantages and Cost Savings
                    Amos Avery

                    "Pepperink",

                    I agree that working with Workflows can be tedius.  I've endeavored to make ours more understandable by doing a few things.  First, I made a training document for each user that has a graphical representation of the two key workflows I developed (Design Control and ECO).  Second, I named the key states in the Design Control Workflow with numbers at the beginning of the state names (e.g. 1. Concept Design, 2. Assigned to Detail Design, 3. Awaiting Approval, etc.).  State names for the ECO Workflow start with letters (A., B., C., etc.).  This way the states sort alphabetically if you choose to sort the state column in explorer.  A user can very quickly see where in the process each file is at, using the training doc as a guide.

                    As far as orphaned states, I've used workflow links to temporarily transfer files from one Workflow to another and get them out of useless states.  Using the Search tool to find files in a specific state will make a list of files you can edit.  Setting up the temporary link to the "right workflow" should make it fairly easy to change their status all at once.

                    I really like the control that is available with Workflows.  It would be nice if EPDM came with some more fully developed workflows, but I appreciated the effort required to build mine from scratch as I became acutely aware of every level of control necessary to build a functional Workflow.  My reseller and this forum were invaluable in that effort.  A more developed example would have saved some learning time.

                • Re: EPDM Advantages and Cost Savings
                  Amos Avery

                  This response was from a Designer who is responsible for ECO processing.

                  1. Our process is defined (time saved by doing things the same way every time)5 min per week.
                  2. Our process is followed (time saved by eliminating mistakes and missed steps in the process)5 min per week.
                  3. Our process is documented (time saved by knowing exactly who did what and when without having to dig for it)5 min per week
                  4. Our process status is visible (time saved by not needing to ask someone the status of a document)5 min per week
                  5. Fewer interruptions during the day (time saved due to automated email notification of work steps rather than face-to-face handoffs)1 hr per week
                  6. Clear definition of work (time saved by knowing what to do without having to ask)5 min per week.
                  7. Fewer printed drawings (how many fewer documents have been printed per week because they are now more easily viewed via PDM?)None. I see things better on paper than on a computer screen for some reason. Not sure why.
                  8. Old versions saved (time saved by not needing to manage copies of design iterations)Nothing recordable for me. Although, I can see this for the engineers more.
                  9. Design reuse (time saved by more efficiently starting a new design with a similar one)We could do this before.
                  10. Search (time saved by having instant and more extensive search capabilities)1 hr per week at least. The more scattered around your stuff is the more time you save.
                  11. Access control (time saved managing which users can see which files via simple workflow state changes rather than file folder placement or other Server access control tools)Nothing recordable for me.
                  12. Automated processes (time saved by having document control functions automated and self service)Nothing recordable for me.

                  This translates to about 29 minutes (.483 hrs) a day in time savings.

                  • Re: EPDM Advantages and Cost Savings
                    Amos Avery

                    This response was from a Design Engineer:

                    • Our process is followed (time saved by eliminating mistakes and missed steps in the process) - not much time for me (I'm not too involved in most ECOs). Definitely a good thing when doing new parts too, but it isn't so much a time saver as just a good way to make sure we don't cut corners.
                    • Our process is documented (time saved by knowing exactly who did what and when without having to dig for it) - I haven't used this functionality much at all. Again, nice to be able to do it, but I haven't personally had the need.
                    • Our process status is visible (time saved by not needing to ask someone the status of a document) - 5 minutes a week?
                    • Fewer interruptions during the day (time saved due to automated email notification of work steps rather than face-to-face handoffs) - 5 minutes a week? I find that getting a pile of emails ends up being just as much of an interruption. If there was a way to, at least as a standard, only send out the notifications once a day maybe this would be better. Obviously if it was an urgent document/drawing you could force it or just walk.
                    • Clear definition of work (time saved by knowing what to do without having to ask) - eh... not too much here. Our daily meetings do a better job of that and sometimes the email notification I get isn't the clearest.
                    • Fewer printed drawings (how many fewer documents have been printed per week because they are now more easily viewed via PDM?) 5 minutes a week and maybe 15 pieces of paper a week.
                    • Old versions saved (time saved by not needing to manage copies of design iterations) - 10 minutes a week. Having easy and instant copies of old revisions is one of the biggest improvements from last year to this year.
                    • Design reuse (time saved by more efficiently starting a new design with a similar one) - 0. Need to figure out how to leverage PDM to help with this.
                    • Search (time saved by having instant and more extensive search capabilities) - 20 minutes a week? Best EVER!
                    • Access control (time saved managing which users can see which files via simple workflow state changes rather than file folder placement or other Server access control tools) - zip
                    • Automated processes (time saved by having document control functions automated and self service) - 5 minutes a week?

                    This adds up to about 10 minutes a day (.167 hrs) in time savings.

                    • Re: EPDM Advantages and Cost Savings
                      Amos Avery

                      This response was from the current Engineering Manager:

                       

                      I think 2 hours a week is a good average time savings for me.

                       

                      This adds up to 24 minutes a day (.4hrs) in time savings.

                      • Re: EPDM Advantages and Cost Savings
                        Amos Avery

                        This last response was from another Designer:

                         

                        Here's a stab at it.

                        1-4, 6,8 2-3 min savings

                        5,7 3-5 min savings

                        9, 11 so far kind of a wash

                        10 the biggest time saver at 5-7 min

                        12 add 2-3 min

                         

                        This adds up to about 20 minutes a day (.33 hrs) if you use the low end and 33 minutes a day (.55 hrs) if you use the high end of his range.  I was impressed that this user actually mentioned that part of the PDM added time to his tasks.  It is true that there will be tasks that can add time based upon the way they were previously performed.  I think some of this time is related to the fact that we still maintian 2 sets of "Released" PDF drawings, one inside and one outside the Vault, because we have yet to roll out PDM across the enterprise.