If you’re wondering how to get effective and long-term PTC Windchill Support, look no further.
We partner with PTC and are a Top Solution Provider because our experts truly believe PTC products are the best in the industry for the Digital Thread and improving the complete product development process. Our company would like to address some of the pain points you may experience while using your Windchill PLM platform. As well as inform you about the steps we are taking to enhance your overall user experience and boost efficiency across your enterprise.
As with any complex software system, there can be a number of frustrations that users may experience when working with Windchill. Here are some common Windchill complaints that we hear in the industry:
- Complex User Interface especially for infrequent users
- Cumbersome Navigation
- Slow Performance & Speed
- Customization Limitations
- Limited Task Support & Access for departments outside of Engineering
- Lack of Workflow Synergy between multiple departments
Windchill Support: User Interface
We understand that the complexity of the PTC Windchill user interface can sometimes be overwhelming. Windchill’s user interface can often be cluttered and difficult to navigate. The system has a lot of options and features based on how complex an integrated product database must be. In response to this feedback, we created EAC Productivity Apps.
Our goal is to simplify and streamline the interface, making it more intuitive and user-friendly across teams and departments while keeping security high. By reducing clutter and improving navigation according to different job titles and roles, we aim to enhance your productivity and reduce the learning curve.
Quick Search App
For example, the Quick Search App provides a simplified way for users to enter a number or attribute into a single search bar to find the data results within the context of their job role. This removes the need for users to apply an understanding of how Windchill objects are related and eliminates unwanted, irrelevant data for the task at hand.
Report Viewer App
Our Report Viewer app gives individuals outside the engineering department the ability to view and run Windchill reports with ease. Within the Report Viewer app, you can easily:
- Run pre-configured reports and saved reports
- Save new reports
- Access pre-built report dashboards that utilize the Windchill search engine
Part Associations App
This app provides a “shortcut” for users (especially shop floor employees) to access critical CAD files and documentation, and it consolidates results onto a single screen. Quickly access drawings, parts, assemblies, and other documents associated with CAD and part data.
For users who are in Windchill every day, we strongly suggest seeking out adequate training and support as a first step towards solving some of these frustrations. Even the most seasoned users may find tips and tricks that can simplify their workflows on a day-to-day basis.
BoM Compare App
Pro Tip: Did you know that Windchill BoM comparisons exist in Windchill?
They do! Now with our BoM Compare App, this feature is easier to find and leverage. View a side-by-side comparison of two Windchill bills of materials and select which attributes to compare, all with the click of a button.
Streamline PTC Windchill Navigation
Easy navigation is a huge factor that plays into workflow productivity. Windchill has many menus, screens, and options, making it difficult for users to navigate the system and find the information they need. This can be especially frustrating for infrequent users who are not familiar with the system.
Our EAC Apps are purposefully designed with easier navigation in mind. Instead of constant mouse clicks and multiple new windows opening across your screens, our developers created an ideal workflow. And significantly reduces how long it takes for you to get the info you need based on your job role.
Another challenge we hear from Windchill users is how long it takes to search for and find the data they need. We acknowledge that searching and finding documentation in Windchill can take way too long and cause a lot of frustration. This is especially true for people who only need to go into Windchill once in a blue moon. EAC Apps gets users to the data or drawings they need in just a few mouse clicks.
Below is a timetable that compares the number of mouse clicks it takes in the standard Windchill interface (a user with Windchill experience and skill) versus how many it takes using our productivity apps with little to no training needed.
Support Windchill Performance and Speed
Windchill can be slow to load, especially when working with large amounts of data or performing complex operations. This can lead to delays and frustration for users who need to work quickly and efficiently.
Additionally, optimizing the platform’s performance with maintenance on the back end is critical to ensure smoother operation, faster response times, and improved overall stability.
As a start, we highly recommend checking out the infographic, “6 Ways to Check and Maintain Your Windchill System” to support a healthy Windchill environment.
If your Windchill system continuously crashes or freezes, there is a serious issue that needs attention. For additional help, our managed services team is dedicated to resolving these issues and providing you with a more efficient and seamless experience. Our managed services, EAC Alliance, takes the heavy lifting off of your system admins so they can focus on their core responsibilities.
Learn more about the EAC Alliance program for Windchill. In regards to system crashing or freezing, that does NOT have to be your “normal”. In fact, 99.5% of our Alliance customers see a 100% in Windchill uptime and over 99% in availability. And 100% of our customers say they experience a significant improvement in speed and performance.
For most apps, you don’t even have to log into Windchill at all to get the info you need quickly and securely whether you’re a finance team member in your home office, or a builder on the manufacturing shop floor using your phone or tablet.
Quick Access App
More specifically, the Quick Access App eliminates the need to go into Windchill at all. Shop floor personnel can submit a problem report, a change request, or a new variance directly within the app. The Quick Access app improves user adoption and streamlines access to critical data sets.
The Quick Access app enables team members to quickly view a product’s structure, supporting information, and digital content. It also facilitates rapid issue capture to ensure quality and speed time to market.
Help with Effective Windchill Customizations
Another pain point that has been highlighted is the limited flexibility for customization within PTC Windchill. We understand that different organizations have unique requirements, and we are committed to empowering you with the ability to tailor the platform to your specific needs.
We are actively working on expanding the customization options and offering more flexibility to adapt PTC Windchill to your workflows and processes. Each EAC App allows for ample customization based on what your team or department wants or needs! We’ll set you up for success.
The best part is, even if you upgrade your Windchill version, you don’t have to start over with custom code like you do with ThingWorx! Our apps help administrators maintain the user portal after ThingWorx Navigate upgrade releases.
Windchill Security and Task Support
Need to give Purchasers access to only specific assets? Our EAC Apps allow you to share critical data securely with those who need it based on particular permissions and settings.
Give your shop floor access to the latest drawings, and design changes with easy-to-find and digestible data without having to email busy engineering teams. By expanding access to users in multiple departments with just a few clicks supports your Windchill investment.
Task Management App
Meet the Task Management App. Task Management helps users complete multiple tasks within one window! Streamline your workflows, filter by team assignment, and finish your to-do list. This app will fuel your efficiency, user adoption, and time management.
The Task Management App was designed to enable stakeholders to review and act on assigned Windchill change tasks. It provides visibility into important open tasks and their status.
Additionally, we have a robust knowledge base, user mentoring, and tutorials to assist you in leveraging the full potential of PTC Windchill. Our training and mentoring team is always available to address your queries and provide timely assistance.
Support for Windchill Collaboration and Integration
Is your engineering team the only department accessing Windchill data? If so, your company is not maximizing your technology investment. Our experts stress the value of collaboration and integration with other tools and systems for seamless workflows and processes surrounding your current tools and technology environment.
Our intuitive role-based apps make it easy for stakeholders in other departments to get the data they need from Windchill in a matter of seconds – instead of constantly having to ask the engineering team for answers!
Each app can be tailored to a specific role in your organization. Plus our PLM Apps integrate with any 3rd party system and expand Windchill’s integration capabilities, allowing you to connect with a broader range of applications and enabling smoother collaboration across different teams and departments.
Windchill Support for BoM Reports
For example, a healthy manufacturing BoM report requires input from multiple departments including design, procurement, manufacturing, and sales, and even more stakeholders need access.
The BoM Reports App allows all departments across the enterprise to accurately see the BoM data they need in real-time in the context of their job role. Within the app, you can view lists of unreleased products, created or modified parts in real-time (Cheers to supporting the digital thread strategy!)
Windchill Support for Change Management
Furthermore, Change Management is a core operational asset that can make or break processes across the enterprise. Our Change Management App aims to automate the critical flow and hand-off of information between teams and departments.
Enable excellent project management with an app that provides graphical views of problem reports, change requests, change reports, change variances, promotion requests, and more. This app is highly customizable based on the department and role of each user for maximum efficiency.
Bonus PTC Windchill Support: Implementation & Upgrades
Without experts who have the adequate time and capacity to do so (it’s seriously a full-time job), Windchill may not always be implemented properly in a timely fashion. This leads to data inconsistencies and errors. Errors that almost all manufacturers just can’t afford to be making.
The right approach matters, especially with PLM. To mitigate risk and save your IT team from a heavy burden, check out our service offerings for advanced Windchill support including Windchill implementations, upgrades, installs, and migrations.
Why Windchill is Still Critical for Success
Your feedback and input have been invaluable in shaping the direction of our efforts to improve your experiences with the complex yet powerhouse that is Windchill. We want to assure you that we are committed to continuously enhancing the platform with EAC Apps to serve your needs better and exceed your expectations.
The amount of power and robust capabilities of Windchill is the best investment a company can make on its digital transformation journey and implementing the digital thread. Connecting your data is critical. Finding and accessing your data with user-friendly PLM apps expands Windchill usage and amplifies your Windchill investment.
EAC Apps is the practical solution for PTC Windchill support by increasing Windchill usage and user satisfaction across the enterprise.
If you have any further pain points or suggestions, we would love to hear from you. Your insights are vital in driving our ongoing improvements.
P.S. Did you hear? We released the latest version of EAC Apps 3.3.0! Check out the Compatibility Matrix and Release Notes here.
It’s true, PTC Windchill really is the best PLM software on the market, but along with its seemingly uncapped capabilities comes divine complexity.
And with complexity, well, often comes…frustration.
In a world where we can virtually have anything instantly at our fingertips, why should anyone be forced to learn and memorize an ever-changing, complex PLM system?!
Yet, it seems that in order to successfully capitalize on a PLM system and utilize all the features a company invested in – it’s almost unavoidable.
Time after time, we hear of instances involving Windchill users’ wasted time, energy, and clicks.
So, our company, EAC Product Development Solutions, thought to ourselves – how could we make PLM easier?
How could we simplify the user interface of PLM systems, such as PTC Windchill, to make a faster, easier and better user experience?
How could we do the same for change management within Windchill easier, better, and faster?
Not only did we figure out a very simple solution, but we also figured out how to make data access simple.
It’s easy to plugin, install, and most importantly – it changes the entire user experience of PTC Windchill.
It makes Windchill PLM easy to use, understand, and it provides an easier way to capitalize on all the features the complex system has.
Essentially, we created and designed an easy PLM system plugin that transforms the complex user interface of Windchill and makes tasks such as creating change reports, requests and adding new variances easy!
Applications that make PLM faster
Although our PLM applications might not speed up a Windchill system directly, they will definitely decrease the time any users take to search for information.
With our Productivity Apps, infrequent PLM users no longer need to remember how many clicks they need to make or where they need to go to find information in Windchill.
In fact, anyone with access to the simple desktop applications can easily access any PTC Windchill Product Lifecycle Management information directly through their own simple personalized desktop screen.
This eliminates any and all time needed to train and learn a complex PLM system.
Our PLM system applications were designed to relieve and entirely combat Windchill user complications.
We built them to initially enhance enterprise-wide Windchill system adoption and usage.
So let’s talk about how our Apps really work.
Our applications plug directly into your PTC Windchill system and display a simplified desktop user experience.
They push and pull data to and from your system, helping to streamline your PLM system usage and functionality.
The accessibility for users that might only need access to information housed in Windchill, perhaps only once or twice a week, will greatly benefit from the implementation of our Apps.
By opening a simple desktop application, without any training, any user can easily navigate the interface, find any product information they need, and do so all while eliminating time and lengthened processes that the basic Windchill interface requires to complete a task.
Our PLM applications give any user the Product Lifecycle Management information they need as quickly as possible. This is exactly how PLM Apps can speed up the time it takes to accomplish a simple task!
Forget the need for PTC Windchill training
The truth is, PTC Windchill systems can be complicated, especially in instances where users are not fully trained to use the software.
This is where infrequent PLM system users oftentimes research how to do this or that within their system. If this is you, you know all too well of the valuable productivity you’ve lost when searching for answers in the system help center.
You may even run into instances where you’re skipping tasks altogether (such as creating a change report), and in fact, you may even risk doing it wrong because you’ve forgotten a few steps.
To make matters worse, you might even need to disrupt others for help.
It’s because of all these reasons and more, our Productivity Apps really can change the game.
With the simple click of a button, our Apps have the ability to alleviate several daunting steps.
Over the years, our organization has worked with hundreds of Windchill users’, allowing us to continually expand our app framework and functionality based on what our customers have told us.
After all, the technology you purchase should be working for you, not the other way around.
We have had customers say, “I want a view. I want to be able to have a guy on the shop floor and a partner both be able to see everything related to a part number. I want them to see a document, a drawing, a part, or a bill of material. etc.”
Over time, what we found our customers were looking for was really any relevant data that was associated together. They wanted their data to be completely available and, in some cases, even to download.
They were unable to easily display all the information they were looking for just by doing one, simple, quick search.
That’s when our Quick Search App was born, and it was really developed just to do that.
Quick Search provides a single easily accessible view where any user can get all the relevant product data and information they need on a simple screen. It’s even downloadable and all.
Connect disparate data from unconnected systems
Our PLM Apps even have the ability to tie together data you need from siloed, unconnected systems.
Not only do these Apps help users easily find Windchill data, pull data, and make that data easier and more accessible without great changes, but they were designed to truly tie and pull data together from other siloed enterprise systems.
They have the ability to pull data from Legacy ERP or MRP systems.
For example, you could connect to your ERP system to pull quantity, along with any other relevant information, and have all your information right at your fingertips.
Forget difficulties with change management
The truth is, many organizations face difficulties with change management, and we wanted to ‘change’ that.
How? Let’s start with how our Apps alter change management in a way that makes a difference, and more importantly, how that difference makes the process easier.
Change management becomes effortless with the ability to easily customize or configure the user interface that is built on top of the ThingWorx Navigate app.
What does that mean?
Essentially, our Apps still utilize the powerful change management workflow built within Windchill to point at all of the complex, rich data in Windchill.
The difference is, they change how data is visually displayed and how your teams work together.
Hence where the ‘productivity’ name comes in.
They provide one view into all relevant data, so your users are easily able to fill out all of their relevant change information. This is a huge benefit in comparison to having to jump back and forth between multiple screens to retrieve data or complete things inside Windchill.
By tying all necessary data into one view, not only is the user experience enhanced, but the number of clicks and picks required by a user is drastically reduced as well.
Ultimately, this is what grants your users the ability to quickly submit change requests (while it even presents the information that is needed as users fill out a simple form).
This means your team no longer has to go through the GUI or work step by step to fill out the information they need to kick-start a change request.
This is something most Windchill users don’t understand.
There are easier ways.
The best part? These ‘ways’ don’t change your system configuration, they simply sit on top of your system and re-invent the user interface to enhance the system’s abilities and most importantly, productivity.
Our applications alleviate the need for siloed departments to interrupt other disjointed departments by providing accessible data in real-time, everywhere.
Easy task management
Not only can you easily submit a change request or problem report, but you also have the ability to easily manage tasks.
Users are able to pull up a dashboard displaying the entire task force. For instance, once a change request is submitted, you have the ability to see if that change request is being analyzed.
They provide visibility and status on task completion. This helps users easily know what they need to do, and what state that task is in.
You might be thinking, “But what about the people using change management to review and approve, and complete tasks?”
No need to worry, our Apps are equipped with that functionality too.
Managers can utilize these Applications to easily see what is going on and help them understand what they might need to review.
Users can even view open tasks, complete them and even assign tasks to other users.
The functions are endless. You can do anything that involves change management, all directly within our EAC Productivity Apps. It really is a one-stop shop.
This means anyone involved in your organization’s change management process now actually has the ability to do everything they need to do, within one single app.
We tend to operate our businesses like we’re playing a game of telephone…and it’s costing us all money.
You don’t have to be a genius to know that within many companies’ sales, marketing, and R&D teams serve separate functions. With different goals, targets and initiatives these teams tend to collaborate among themselves using the same system of record.
For example, within the same company, a department may rely on Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems while others may depend on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Manufacturing Execution System data (MES), and Quality Management Systems (QMS).
Marketing, Management, Purchasing, Engineering, Technical Publications and manufacturing all need to operate off product designs and Bill of Materials (BOM), but while doing so people are likely to interrupt engineering to get information.
With this information they ask different questions, have different intentions, and speak different departmental languages.
The reality is; this inaccessible data is about the same product that happens to be housed in a system you can’t normally access.
By resorting to these misaligned processes, we end up operating on data without its entire context, therefore we lose productivity to requests for data and the switching costs of changing tasks.
Besides, these interruptions are generally counterproductive, especially when you’re working on one task and you’re interrupted regarding a completely different topic.
Without a single means to bridge these systems, your company is missing out on valuable information, time savings, and productivity.
We live in a world where siloed departmental communication doesn’t need to be the norm, after all technology is just about everywhere!
By integrating your critical data into a centralized location, your organization will increase visibility, and achieve better, more informed business decisions.
With technology that exists today, your separate departments can pull data from multiple systems into easy role-based dashboards, providing greater visibility and enhanced analysis.
The result is a rapid way for your team to get data from the vast data pool within your organization, and access it in an easy to consume space.
One of the ways we transform the way companies design, manufacture, connect, and service their products is by value stream mapping ‘Product Development Systems’ and looking for ways to ensure people have access to the information they need when they need it.
Tools like Thingworx Navigate, for companies invested in PTC’s Windchill solution, or the standard Thingworx platform and PLM Apps for those that aren’t, are helping companies pull information from different departments, systems, vendors, etc. to make sure every role has a simplified view of the information they need, when they need it, without slowing down any other departments.