A couple of weeks ago, a senior design engineer at a mid-sized engineering services company did a perfectly reasonable thing. He asked the Internet to recommend a PDM solution based on specific criteria. The recommended solution should: 1) be cloud-based 2) support Inventor, SolidWorks, and Solid Edge files.
Not a terribly demanding list of requirements, but a list of requirements nonetheless. It’s worth emphasizing here that the guy didn’t simply raise his hand and ask: “which PDM is the best PDM?”. Instead, he asked a group of industry professionals about cloud-based PDM systems that support a Multi-CAD environment.
How many solutions do you have in your head right now? Two? Maybe three? That’s cool. The Internet recommended no less than 8 different solutions, including a full-blown ERP.
All this poor guy wanted to do was talk about cloud-based PDM for a dispersed team. What he got was virtually every PDM tool known to man. Methinks something’s amiss.
Is this your first time on LinkedIn?
Look, I get it. If you look at the thread respondents, no one can easily be described as a “neutral third-party.” And since you’re on the GrabCAD blog and I’m on the marketing team, that certainly includes me. Almost anytime someone asks a “buying question” on LinkedIn it’s pretty common to see vendors vending.
But this one struck me as especially heartbreaking. Imagine you’re in your garage trying to break loose a rusty bellhousing bolt on your totally sweet El Camino. You’re pretty sure you need a deep socket wrench and a breaker bar. But when you ask for that particular combination, people keep handing you crescent wrenches, needle nose pliers, regular sockets, that weird gator grip socket thing, and a full-blown ERP deployment.
Nobody would blame you if after a while you started to doubt whether you ever were really interested in that deep socket/breaker bar situation. You wanted those needle nose pliers and six feet of PVC pipe all along.
Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
Sure, with enough determination all of these tools will eventually decouple the transmission from the engine. But that’s not what you asked for, is it? Why in the world would you do that to yourself? Why aren’t your buddies stopping you?
I don’t know. Why are we talking about third-party plugins? What are we doing suggesting PDM solutions that are “a lot of work to implement” and “could easily be too costly and heavy?”
Not only does the original poster admit to being a little confused by the thread, he goes on to say that “each piece may be designed by different CAD system[s] at [a] different location.” To me, it feels like he was trying to reset the conversation. “Guys? Remember the two criteria I mentioned earlier? Is that what we’re talking about now?”
If that was the question, then the answer is “not really, no.”
PDM discovery that’s clear, transparent, and most importantly, hands-on.
My frustration isn’t necessarily with the sales-minded doing their jobs. In fact, for a few years, that was my job. Maybe I’m not even frustrated – maybe I’m just anxious for the market to know as much about cloud-based PDM as we do here. We’re also of the opinion that PDM discovery should be really easy. So easy, in fact, that you can just click a few buttons and your free trial is up and running in a minute or two.
See? I told you I used to be in sales.