If you have Windchill, a PLM (product life cycle management system from PTC), odds are it’s where your organization stores a lot of really great product data and information. It also means there’s a high likelihood many employees in your organization need access to that valuable product information.
But what happens when people within your organization need to access valuable product information, but they aren’t necessarily veteran Windchill (or PLM system) users? What happens when your ‘casual Windchill users’ only want to quickly get to the information but simply don’t want to be “Windchill users”? 90% of the time this scenario involves your experienced Windchill users being disrupted by requests to pull product information.
Right at this point – exactly when people in your enterprise need access to information in systems they don’t use on a daily basis – is when you lose efficiency, productivity, and revenue. This cross-departmental disruption leads to wasted time, and wasted time leads to wasted money. PTC realized these challenges and created a solution to combat complicated enterprise system interfaces, varying user needs, and disparate enterprise data sources – It’s called ThingWorx Navigate.
To make Windchill PLM, or any PLM information more accessible and solve disruption challenges, PTC designed ThingWorx Navigate role-based applications (apps) that allow users to easily access and consolidate information from secure systems like ERP, MRP, CRP, and PLM systems like Windchill. For instance, by using these applications, a tool designer could call up drawings without having to go through the whole interface of Windchill. The applications pull up windows to look directly into systems, without forcing a user login in and navigate complex product design or enterprise planning systems.
For example, by using PTC’s ThingWorx solution, a tool designer could simply type in a drawing number he or she was looking for on the PTC ThingWorx Navigate application, and the drawing files would pop-up instantly on the screen. These simple product data navigation features also work with product information that purchasing, quality, or any other departments might need access.
PTC’s ThingWorx Navigate applications make it easy for anyone…ANYONE in an organization to obtain product information without having to be a Windchill system expert. One of the great things about these role-based applications is – depending on who you log in as – the apps can be set up to determine what type of information access someone has, as well as what types of product info an employee can access.
For instance, someone on a shop floor could access ThingWorx Navigate applications, and with a simple click in a window would display all the information they need about a drawing. Or perhaps someone only needs to see bills of materials, they could do that in one location by accessing a ThingWorx Navigate application. Just like PTC Windchill, PTC Navigate is a web-based application. This means all an organization really needs is a web browser and a login and instantly anyone can start working.
ThingWorx Navigate applications are also completely customizable. This allows your organization to control exactly what displays on the search screens, as well as, how that information would be delivered to your users. In fact, PTC even created a Thingworx Navigate Productivity calculator to demonstrate how much money enterprise collaboration can save a business. It even lets you estimate your exact company’s potential annual productivity savings!
Bottom line, there really are a lot of great benefits that come along with being able to easily deploy Windchill access throughout an enterprise in a unique and stress-free way. And remember, ThingWorx Navigate also integrates with other enterprise systems, not just Windchill.
But wait…there’s more!
You can make the user experience even better by implementing ThingWorx Navigate and extending functionality and configurability with EAC Productivity Apps. In case you are not familiar with us, our company (EAC Product Development Solutions) specializes in transforming the way companies design, manufacture, connect to and service their products.
One of the ways we do this is through implementing, maintaining, and helping customers with PTC Windchill product lifecycle management systems. Being the Windchill experts that we are, with extensive years of experience (over 23 years to be exact), we work with hundreds of organizations and their PLM systems. This is precisely how we know the need many manufacturing organizations have to extend enterprise system data and capabilities even further!
Working with our Windchill customers over the years, we recognized patterns of system requests and capabilities that just didn’t seem to be specifically addressed by existing solutions. We recognized and researched system challenges that many organizations tended to face with their PLM systems and realized the need to help organizations quickly deploy Windchill, increase user adoption, and capitalize on system functionality. After all, we live in a world obsessed with speed and efficiency. So, to quote the wisdom of Daft Punk, we needed to make complex PLM systems Better, Faster, and Stronger.
Furthermore, we realized valuable data our customers acquired from their other disparate enterprise systems never seemed to be tied together with product data from PLM systems. This was increasing our client’s risk of transferring obsolete inaccurate data. With that knowledge, we knew our solution needed to be able to connect multiple streams of data from different locations and enterprise systems, and even different databases.
All these reasons drove us to develop what we refer to as EAC Productivity Apps. They help organizations quickly advance and capitalize on Windchill PLM capabilities. Although EAC apps are different from Navigate applications in many ways, what I believe really sets them apart is how they use and leverage the concept of data mash-ups. Multiple sources of information brought together to simplify a role-specific workflow.
EAC productivity applications take product data and information from a variety of different systems and transform that data into an easily consumable visual dashboard for any user. Essentially, our apps create a way for organizations to easily connect data from multiple enterprise databases, bring it into one accessible location, and tailor it to the needs of a specific user. This allows any user to easily have all the information he or she could desire with a few simple clicks.
EAC apps also help users access product information, search for information, get bill of material reports, create and manage other related documents, and look at associated parts.