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Pro/E Magazine – The Windchill Factor – How Windchill ProjectLink connects Enser’s clients worldwide

According to the 2002 Outsourcing World Summit, nine out of 10 mechanical engineering companies now outsource at least one of their business functions. These companies realize that outsourcing is a strategic business initiative to achieve true supply chain collaboration. Competitive mechanical engineering companies also understand that choosing a supply chain collaboration tool that allows suppliers, retailers and end users to improve quality and time to market while reducing costs is imperative. In 2000, Enser Corporation, a 55-year-old New Jersey-based mechanical engineering services company,
launched a two year search for a web-based collaboration solution to meet clients’ needs for faster delivery times, quick turnkey services, streamlined management processes and data management for quality control.

 

Enser sought a means of streamlining document and design management while keeping costs down for its customers, and while maintaining confidentiality and information security. They first considered adopting OneSpace from CoCreate. However, the evaluation team felt this package was limited because it required that an end-user software packet be loaded on each terminal that wanted to join a collaboration session. Another collaboration package reviewed was Webscope from Webscopeinc, a start-up company that since has closed its doors. Ultimately, Enser chose PTC’s Windchill ProjectLink in June 2002. Enser’s evaluation team, Mike Wahner and Eric Venskytis (project managers), found Windchill ProjectLink to be a true web-based solution with minimal client upstart (training and capital) required. “We found ProjectLink to be the complete package that our clients have been asking for to streamline project information,” said Wahner. “The ease of use on the client end was another critical element.” With ProjectLink, Enser can provide its customers with a project collaboration solution that allows everyone on the product development team to work as a single, integrated unit regardless of their locations around the globe. Windchill ProjectLink features web-based project spaces where co-workers, partners and suppliers can manage projects, share information, optimize product designs and conduct real-time design reviews. These features significantly accelerate the new-product introduction process, as shown in Figure 1.

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Enser’s new collaboration approach has decreased cycle time per product. Also, with Windchill ProjectLink, all product development team members are involved during the initial concept and design state when it is easier to make changes, catch mistakes and improve quality. Not only is this a service perk, but it also enables clients to make changes at a critical stage in the process, the beginning when changes are relatively inexpensive.

ProjectLink provides web-based project spaces where co-workers on the Enser side of the firewall, from the account manager through manufacturing personnel, and members of the client’s team outside Enser’s firewall from the engineers to the buyers can manage projects, share information, optimize product designs and conduct real-time design reviews.

“Some of our large clients have been sending their business overseas, where labor rates are lower,” said Enser President Robert Arnone. The Enser team realized it had to offer customers added value to make its mechanical engineering services stand out. ProjectLink, with its powerful streamlining capabilities, gave Enser the competitive edge it needed. In addition, ProjectLink’s web based architecture is a big timesaver for Enser’s clients, including Siemens/ Westinghouse’s power-generating field division. Team members in a typical project team at Siemens/Westinghouse often are scattered around the globe. To complicate matters further, several engineers usually review each design. Some of these engineers may travel for weeks at a time. This once meant that it could take weeks to receive everyone’s input or approval on a project. Now that all members of the team can access all the project data on the web with ProjectLink, design approvals take only days.

In addition to shortening product development cycles, Enser also is hoping to reduce costs for its clients. ProjectLink gives Enser’s customers the ability to access project information easily and perform design reviews anywhere, any time translating into time and money savings.

Enser is confident that the benefits of ProjectLink will help the company bring in more business from current customers, as well as attract new customers. In the past, potential clients have said, “We chose a company closer in proximity to our location for that project.” Now, Windchill ProjectLink brings Enser’s ser- vices directly to every client, anywhere in the world. Enser is confident that as businesses and customers realize the benefits of software products such as ProjectLink, collaboration over the web will become the norm.

Pro/E Magazine

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