CAD Data Management Payoff? Show Me the Money!!!

By Margaret Furleigh

CAD data management can be a tough purchase to push through your business. While buying another license of your CAD tool can seem like a no-brainer that no one challenges, when you’re talking about a purchase of product data management (PDM) software, you can run into all kinds of obstacles. You’re competing with every other expense on the wish list of every other department head. The benefits of a new 5-axis machine may be obvious … but you may need to prove that spending money on PDM is a better decision for the business.

It’s actuCAD data management_searching.JPGally easier than you think. In fact, you don’t need spreadsheets or calculators to prove the value of CAD data management … by looking closely in a few areas of your business, you can conceptualize and quantify the savings.

First, consider your design engineers. Whether you have five or fifty, think of how much time they’re wasting searching for data … in fact, according to a report on CAD data management by Tech-Clarity, it’s the number one source of wasted time in product development, comprising 25% of non-value-added engineering time. Even if a design engineer is spending 30 minutes a day searching for data when you multiply that by the number of designers and workdays in the year, you’re looking at the costs of tens of thousands of dollars.

CAD data management_interruptions.JPGThen, think of the people who ask your design engineers for information. Whether you have a small business of people working in the same building or a larger business with people working across multiple locations, if they need design information, without PDM they have to go to a designer. Again, if your design engineers are helping find or providing information to others in your business … the interruption stops them from doing the work they need to do, and the wasted time costs your business money. It adds up to an additional 18% of non-value added time engineers spend being interrupted to collect data for other people. Add another 30 minutes of wasted time to each engineer’s workday and do the math. And that doesn’t include the wasted time of people asking the questions!

So far, we’ve just been thinking about the productivity of the primary users of a CAD data management system … there are many benefits that cascade out from there to improve the business as a whole. Take a look at this CAD data management video, The Strategic Payoff of PDM by Tech-Clarity, to see how to prove the cost savings and business value of PDM. Show it to your co-workers, show it to your management, and show it to your executives or owners.

And when you’ve made the case for CAD data management with your business decision-makers, take a look at Teamcenter Rapid Start to identify the right-size PDM solution for your business.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at