Transforming Your Company’s Information Strategy: 5 Steps Of Moving Beyond CAD Files, Excel BOMs, and Emails

Oleg Shilovitsky
Oleg Shilovitsky
19 March, 2024 | 4 min for reading
Transforming Your Company’s Information Strategy: 5 Steps Of Moving Beyond CAD Files, Excel BOMs, and Emails

In the digital era, the efficient management of data and information flows is vital for businesses to thrive. Yet, many organizations remain entrenched in outdated practices like storing files in folders, relying on Excel spreadsheets, and exchanging emails for collaboration. To stay competitive, it’s imperative to transition towards a new paradigm that leverages cloud services, connected applications, and seamless integrations for optimized information management.

Companies rely on data to make informed decisions, drive innovation, and stay competitive in rapidly evolving markets. It’s time to break free from these limitations and embrace a new paradigm that leverages cloud services, connected apps, and seamless integrations to optimize information management.

The Old Paradigm:

For decades, the reliance on folders, files, and emails has been the norm in engineering work and manufacturing operations. It was easy and simple to start with. The methods and tools are free. The reality of the engineering team is that many CAD tools still operate on desktop platforms, hindering collaboration and data sharing. Exporting data to Excel seems like an easy task for engineers and other team members. Here is the thing – while these methods served their purpose in the past, they now present limitations in meeting the demands of a fast-paced business environment.

The New Paradigm:

The last decade was when businesses embraced new computing and operational paradigms. It means the introduction of cloud-based platforms, connected applications, and seamless integration methods. Digital transformation and AI are knocking on the doors of companies. A new generation of people is looking at “file concepts” as outdated and looking at how to replicate modern apps and tools in their engineering and manufacturing environments. 

Cloud services offer scalability, accessibility, and real-time collaboration, enabling teams to work efficiently from anywhere. Connected applications facilitate data exchange between systems, eliminating manual processes and reducing errors. Seamless integrations automate tasks, improving efficiency and accuracy across various workflows.

Developing a Strategy to Transform Organization:

Even if you’re working for a small organization, it would be very helpful to develop a strategy for transformation. Don’t jump straight to the idea of how “moving to ERP” or “just storing all data in the cloud” will solve the problem. 

I usually recommend that companies apply some planning steps that will help them get aligned with the goals and objectives, to support a process of tools evaluation and connect business and technology. 

Find a Business’s Reasons for Transformation: 

You always start with a business in mind. Identify areas where improving information management can directly impact business outcomes. For instance, optimizing contract manufacturing processes or enhancing purchasing planning can lead to significant cost savings and operational efficiencies.

Capture Specific Pain Points to Solve:

 Identify specific challenges within the current information management system, such as manual data extraction or inefficient processes. Implement solutions that automate tasks and streamline workflows to alleviate these pain points. You can bring specific typical pain points such as automation of data extraction, cost calculation, data packaging, and sharing. 

Quantify Return on Investment: 

Conduct a thorough assessment of current resources allocated to manual tasks and potential cost savings through automation. Quantifying the return on investment (ROI) helps justify investments in new technologies and tools. For example, to make an assessment of resources spent on manual data extraction from CAD systems, data re-entry in accounting and MRP systems, inventory counting, etc. 

Follow Digital Transformation Trends: 

Stay abreast of emerging technologies and industry trends related to digital transformation. Embracing innovative tools and methodologies can future-proof your organization and ensure competitiveness. Capture important outcomes such as turning all operations to digital, eliminating risks of data loss, and other benefits. 

Communicate the Strategy: 

Transparent communication is essential for garnering support from key stakeholders. Clearly articulate how the information management strategy aligns with broader business objectives and the benefits it brings to the organization. For example, explaining how new methods will support goal visibility of data and process transparency, which will have positive feedback on management. 

Conclusion:

The traditional methods of managing information are no longer sufficient in today’s digital landscape. Even though these methods represent an easy path for an individual person to perform their tasks, thinking holistically is important for modern and innovative manufacturing organizations. Bringing AI tools and new communication methods is imperative to grow the business. 

Embracing cloud services, connected applications, and seamless integrations offers a pathway to efficiency, collaboration, and innovation. By developing a comprehensive strategy that focuses on business value, addresses pain points, quantifies ROI, follows digital transformation trends, and communicates effectively, organizations can position themselves for success in an ever-evolving marketplace. It’s time to embrace change and propel your company toward a brighter future in information management.

At OpenBOM, we offer a better way for organizations to transform your organization. We help organizations of any size – small engineering teams, growing businesses, agile new product development teams of enterprises. Check OpenBOM as it provides a more efficient and effective information strategy and tools.

Register with OpenBOM for free to discover how you can propel your organization into the future of data management.

Best, Oleg

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