Stephen Covey’s landmark book ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ lists the 7th critical habit as “Sharpen the saw.” It references a parable of a lumberjack and a stranger. The woodsman is very busy cutting down trees. As he completes more and more work his effort increases and his productivity goes down because his saw dulls over time. The lumberjack, exhausted and cursing the labor, is approached by the stranger. “What’s the problem?” asks the stranger. “My saw is dull and won’t cut well” responds the lumberjack. “Why don’t you sharpen it?” asks the stranger. The lumberjack responds “What kind of question is that? Because I would have to stop sawing, and I’m very busy.” The stranger responds “But, if you sharpened your saw you could cut more efficiently than before. You could get even more work done.”
It’s important to sharpen our saw. We need to keep working to improve our knowledge base, approach, and overall situation. This may involve attending a training class, reading a book, mentoring and being mentored, or joining a peer group. I understand this can be difficult in the world of product development / engineering / design / manufacturing / and service. There is always pressure to get to market, get to the trade show, meet customer demands, etc.
Efficient engineering, design, manufacturing, and service requires efficient use of the supporting technologies for each role. Our training group consistently proves a return on our customer’s investment in training and development. That’s because technology keeps getting better. If you don’t know how to take advantage of the full functionality of your tools like PTC Creo, PTC Windchill, PTC Arbortext, and PTC Mathcad…you’re cutting with a dull saw.
We consistently schedule key PTC certified training classes and training courses that help people throughout organizations make the most of their technology. We deliver everything from Windchill Administrator courses to training classes for specific PTC Creo tools and functionality.
Do me a favor. Take time to sharpen your saw. A few days in a training course could save you hundreds of hours down the line. Take a look at the EAC Training Calendar. Maybe you’ll find the perfect PTC training course to put a new edge on your saw. Contact our training group to learn more about our training and mentoring delivery options (Like EACLive!) and full course catalogue. And check out this blog to learn more about how to select a PTC Training Course and Training Class provider.
1. Why do I need to do regular maintenance on my PTC Windchill system?
Critical systems, like Windchill PLM, must be available to users. This is why it is so important to do regular maintenance on your PTC Windchill system. Windchill system outages can be costly and impact system adoption and usage. Therefore, it is recommended that you complete regular, preventative maintenance to identify and resolve issues before they cause performance problems or service interruptions.
2. What is included in the Alliance program?
We start by assessing your department and company’s needs. We combine the assessment results with our understanding of successful Windchill implementations and deliver recommendations and a plan for a stable, high-performance Windchill instance. The flexibility of the Alliance program allows us to configure an engagement as needed. This gives us the ability to tailor the program specifically to your company.
3. Can my staff complete the Windchill maintenance activities?
Certainly! Keep in mind that preventative Windchill maintenance tasks are commonly an afterthought, and other projects are likely to take precedence. As the staff becomes busier, their dependence on a functioning Windchill system increases. These would be times when a system outage during a critical project could prove to be disastrous.
4. Can you train my staff to complete Windchill maintenance tasks?
Yes, in fact we would love to help train your staff how to complete Windchill maintenance tasks. EAC has PTC certified instructors that are available to deliver all of the Windchill Business and System Admin training courses offered by PTC. After attending these classes your staff will be ready to take on their new Windchill responsibilities. Additionally, we can provide mentoring with our Windchill experts to answer all of your Windchill maintenance questions.
5. What are some benefits of using the EAC Alliance program?
One of the core benefits of the EAC Alliance Program is the ability to take a proactive approach to maintaining your Windchill system – ensuring high availability and performance. By completing regular system maintenance and software updates you are able to better leverage your PTC investment. You can also eliminate the need to maintain a staff of Windchill Administration experts by assigning these system and business admin tasks to our EAC’s expert consultants. Our Windchill consultants have years of experience and complete these same activities on a daily, weekly and monthly basis for many Alliance Program customers.
6. Are Windchill system updates and upgrades included in the Alliance Program?
Yes, the EAC Alliance Program can be structured to include Windchill system updates and upgrades. When you include this in your Alliance Program you can easily budget a fixed cost over the upcoming months and years.
7. Can you support my Global company?
Yes. While EAC is based in the United States, we are part of the PTC Strategic Partner network giving us access to many additional resources overseas. We call on these partners to help with implementation, training, and support services local to international facilities.
8. Are you able to provide 24/7 Windchill support?
Yes. We can provide your company access to our support case submission system, which will allow your Windchill users to log cases at any time of day. If emergency Windchill support is required (noted by the priority level assigned to your case), our team will be notified immediately and begin support. If you require overseas support, and international support is included in your Alliance Program agreement, we will coordinate with a local PTC partner to address the issue.
9. Doesn’t my PTC Maintenance agreement include similar Windchill services?
No. Your PTC maintenance agreement covers all Windchill updates to software that you have purchased as well as technical support should you have a problem that requires resolution. It does not include the services necessary to update, upgrade and maintain your Windchill system.
10. How much does the EAC Alliance Program cost?
This varies based on the complexity of your Windchill environment and the level of support you would like to include in your service level agreement (SLA). This can be determined by having a quick conversation with your team and proposing a solution that correctly addresses your needs. Contact us today for further information!
Windchill is a mission-critical enterprise system with multiple components and touch points across an entire enterprise. Because of this complexity, you might recognize the need for Windchill Managed Services.
EAC has created a managed services program for your Windchill system – The EAC Alliance Program. The Alliance Program provides PTC Windchill managed services such as Windchill administration and support.
Our team of expert system administrators help improve system performance, optimize server and license configurations, and maintain a stable PLM environment for your organization.
Here’s what customer’s see with our Windchill Managed Services and what you can expect.
Windchill Managed Services Percent of Uptime
95.1% of our EAC Alliance Program customers achieve 100% Windchill uptime. Our customers that do not have 100% Windchill uptime still maintain over 99% availability. This is an overall average of 99.95% or more uptime.
Windchill Managed Services Predictive Maintenance
Our Alliance program executes planned (weekly, monthly, etc) Windchill maintenance. Predictive maintenance is more efficient and the preferred approach to system maintenance. Roughly 1/4 of Alliance customers choose to implement PTC System Monitor (PSM) as a way to bolster EAC’s already rigorous proactive maintenance.
Speed/Performance of Windchill with Managed Services
100% of EAC’s Alliance Program customers see an improvement in the speed and performance of their Windchill system. Out of the box, Windchill leaves a lot of room for performance tuning and server optimization. Our EAC Alliance Program Team are skilled in analyzing and optimizing system resources to suit your individual needs
Windchill Managed Services Security/Patches
100% of our EAC Alliance customers receive (or are notified) of patches. This way you can be assured that your system is running with maximum security at all times.
Want to learn more about what our EAC Alliance Program has to offer? Download our Alliance Program Brochure and check out the top 10 questions we get about our Windchill Managed Services.
Help us help you! We know your Windchill System is critical, that’s why we designed a program just for you.
Some estimate that 70% of companies do not regularly perform routine maintenance on their Windchill System. Were on a mission to change that.
In an effort to provide on-going technical support, business process consulting and adoption services; EAC offers the Windchill Alliance Program (Services). This is a service package intended to provide professional Windchill maintenance and administration services, regardless of a customer’s stage of adoption.
Our team of expert technicians will improve your system performance, optimize server and license configurations, and ultimately maintain a stable PLM environment for your organization.
After receiving your FREE Windchill System Checkup and becoming a customer, here’s what you will receive:
System and Application Administration
This includes everything from starting and stopping your Windchill environment to cleaning up unreferenced files and cache folders. Let our team do the busy work of monitoring and managing your system so you can get the most out of your Windchill investment.
The EAC Alliance team will review, restore, and analyze your database growth and performance. Our database administration covers anything and everything from network administration, security administration, and backup services. Put us in-charge of performing and verifying your scheduled system backups to ensure your system is running properly.
We will take care of all your Windchill business administration needs such as adding new roles, updating accounts, operating system maintenance, network administration, license usage reporting and more.
Our end user support consists of everything from help desk support, to advice on best practices, to user mentoring, to Alliance Program review meetings and more. We want to help you with all your system questions and needs.
Still want to learn more? Check out our article on the Top 10 Questions we get about our EAC Alliance Program.
Also, Here’s what customer’s see with our Windchill Managed Services and what you can expect as an EAC Alliance Customer!
Our goal is to help you increase your Windchill system uptime, eliminate corrupt workspaces, improve sluggish system performance, safeguard your security, and guarantee your system is up-to-date. Take a proactive approach to maintaining your Windchill environment today!
Managing a new enterprise system can be a daunting task. It can test your staff’s knowledge bases and affect the top and bottom line of your business. That being said, many companies have invested in some sort of PLM or PDM tool (learn more about what ERP, MRP, PLM, and PDM are in this post). This post is for everyone that has invested in a PLM/PDM tool and wants to make sure they’re getting the most out of the investment.
Here are five signs it is time to invest in PLM consulting.
1. You use your PLM /PDM system solely for data management
Many people purchase PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) systems and struggle to use them to their full potential.
They relegate these amazing systems to simple file vaults.
But, they paid for so much more.
If you’re implementing a PLM tool and use it as a data vault, you’ve essentially taken on 100% of the investment to recognize 20% of the benefit.
Without full understanding and utilization of your PLM system, you’re missing the opportunity to capture the main benefits of these investments.
When fully implemented and adopted, these systems integrate people, data, processes and much more.
2. You don’t fully understand your PLM system
I hope none of you that relate to this point think I’m calling you dumb.
PLM is just…a lot.
A good analogy is a car.
We all understand the basics; four wheels, seats, steering wheel, engine.
It is obvious why I want a car, the benefits are clear to me.
That doesn’t mean I know how to troubleshoot, install, and maintain an ignition system.
It is not uncommon to have the wrong idea of PLM system complexity.
They do a lot: data management, process management, lifecycle change, and much more.
This could be why 70 percent of PLM investments are failing to meet manager expectations.
When PLM systems are implemented correctly, they allow your company to further maximize productivity.
3. You Find Yourself Re-Inventing the Wheel
Product lifecycle management solutions are enterprise level systems.
When you attempt to utilize optional configurations, they become complex quickly.
Due to this, many companies find themselves reinventing the wheel around correct PLM configurations.
When this happens, you are only taking more steps backward.
This can easily be avoided with the help of a knowledgeable PLM consultant who is familiar with your situation and has the ability to direct you down the right path.
4. You have multiple issues with PLM system stability
With so many companies investing large amounts of money into PLM enterprise systems, it is important for them to be working correctly.
If your PLM system is continually going down or needs to be restarted, this is another sign you should look into PLM consulting.
A product lifecycle management consultant with experience could locate and diagnose the root cause of your PLM system’s problems, allowing your company to avoid them in the future.
5. Your users complain about general PLM system usability
If your team is constantly complaining about the general performance and interaction on of your PLM interface, odds are that your system hasn’t been properly configured.
Complaints are one thing, but an inability to address the cause and improve user’s situation— that can have a dramatic impact on employee satisfaction and productivity.
User complaints are typically symptoms of larger PLM issues.
An experienced PLM admin can typically decode user feedback and develop a plan to dramatically improve productivity and UX.
The need for ongoing product lifecycle management system administration and maintenance is often overlooked by many companies.
For PLM systems to properly evolve, it is important to partner with system experts who can help your business succeed.