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Integration of SolidWorks within Companies

Question asked by Steven Atkinson on Jun 21, 2015

I would like to open a discussion on the complexities of integrating Design into Business.  Every business is very different, be it the industry that the business services and the specific requirements unique to each organisation.  Often systems and working practices have been built up over years and have formed a culture within the organization.  In many cases these systems were developed when the company had different design software and were tweaked to suit the implementation of SolidWorks.  In many cases compromises are made in order to quickly implement and get up and running.


Like any good Quality System, continuous improvement must be the philosophy of every organisation, to ensure that working practices are updated to suit new software enhancements and up-skilling the design teams knowledge via targeted training and education.  Documentation of these practices also is very important to ensure consistency between users, and should form the companies "Code of Practice" implementing SolidWorks Best Practices.


How does one find those skilled individuals which experience in the specific areas your company requires?  Many people can talk the talk when it comes to selling their own skills, and with employment agencies now doing most of the vetting of new employees companies are advertising for, how does one know what criteria they should be asking for if the agency doesn't really understand your business like you do?


Mostly businesses must run leaner than ever before and innovate to stay ahead of the competition.  How can companies do this if the people doing the hiring don't fully understand the business or know the best practices that should be applied to that business?


I see this in every company I visit.  Out of the box solutions and standard implementations completed to quickly to mimic the current system and fit in with the way things have always been done.  Many companies that should be designing top down assemblies are using multi body parts for speed in modelling and having something on-screen for the boss to look at.  People are often being told how to do their job by upper management who do not fully understand the technology and how to best implement and integrate it.


This experience does not come from qualifications or training, it often comes from trial and error and the hunger for continuous improvement and learning new ways of doing things.  It is a catch 22 because the person driving SolidWorks often does not have the opportunity to up-skill their knowledge and try new things and therefore inhibiting their true potential.


Unless you have worked for a company that has a good system already running, you often don't know any better. Just because a system works for one company, doesn't mean it will work for another.  Integration is not simple, as the company must be assessed as a whole, and common sense approaches must be implemented to make things easier for not only the designer, but everyone within the organization.