How can manufacturers improve product development performance and more consistently hit their product development targets? We surveyed over 200 companies to find out.
Please enjoy the summary* below. For the full research, please visit our sponsor Siemens (registration required).
Table of Contents
- Collaborative Systems are Key to Successful NPD
- Missing Product Development Targets is the Norm
- Collaboration Basics are Challenging
- Collaboration Challenges Impact the Business
- Collaborating Across Boundaries is Hard
- Collaborating Out of the Office is Difficult
- Why do Some Companies Better Meet NPD Targets?
- Top Performers have a Collaboration Advantage
- Top Performers Use More Cloud File Sharing
- Cloud File Sharing is Attractive for Collaboration
- The Ease of Cloud with Engineering Context
- Conclusion and Next Steps
- About the Research
Improving Product Development Performance
Leveraging CAD and Product Development Collaboration to Hit Product Development Targets
Rapid new product development (NPD) is critical for success in the manufacturing industries, but 85% of manufacturers routinely miss their project due dates. Our survey results show that Top Performers, those that more frequently hit their product development targets, have better collaboration capabilities and are more likely to use the cloud for both CAD and project collaboration. It finds, however, that these Top Performers are not necessarily just using general cloud file sharing solutions like Dropbox, Drive, or OneDrive. The leaders’ cloud solutions include more design and engineering-specific collaboration capabilities.
Collaborative Systems are Key to Successful NPD
Collaboration is Mandatory, but Challenging
Collaboration is crucial to efficient and effective new product development. Today’s products are complex and typically require input from multiple design and engineering disciplines. Beyond technical product design, developing a profitable commercial offering demands input from a variety of other departments and the supply chain. But our research1 shows that about 40% of companies say collaborating with other departments and 3rd parties on NPD is a challenge.
Leverage Structured Solutions
Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) and Product Data Management (PDM) are proven to help drive better NPD collaboration and performance. Our surveys2 show that Top Performers are more likely to use data management tools to collaborate – both externally and internally. This study confirms that, showing that Top Performers are more likely to use PLM. But we also recognize that although many smaller companies see the value of PDM / PLM, they feel it’s out of reach.
Turn to the Cloud
The cloud can help make structured, collaborative solutions more attainable. The cloud has clear collaboration benefits, and a recent study3 shows that companies using the cloud for product development are more likely to report that collaboration is “very easy.” That same study shows that Top Performers are 21% more likely to use cloud systems to support product development.
But, not all of the solutions that companies use are structured, formal PDM or PLM. Data from that study also shows that 62% of Top Performers (and 60% of companies overall) use cloud file sharing solutions for product development, although those tools are not necessarily the only solution they use. This study further investigates how leading companies leverage the cloud for better CAD and product development collaboration.
Conclusions and Next Steps
Better Collaboration Leads to Better Product Development Performance
Top Performing manufacturers, those that better hit their product development targets, have better collaboration capabilities than the poorer-performing Others. These companies, particularly larger ones, are more likely to use formal systems like PDM and PLM. But they are also more likely to use cloud SaaS file sharing tools.
Cloud File Sharing has a Place in CAD and PD Collaboration
Despite the shortcomings for engineering data, cloud / SaaS file sharing solutions can provide significant value in CAD and product development collaboration. Cloud file sharing can help improve product development collaboration, leading to the ability to better meet product development targets. To be most effective, however, the solution must address the challenges of CAD and Product development collaboration – primarily sharing CAD with non-engineers and multi-CAD.
Engineering-enabled cloud file sharing solutions have the potential to improve performance by complementing formal, proven PLM or PDM systems. For smaller companies, who may find cloud file sharing more accessible than formal solutions, these solutions have the potential to add value to NPD performance even as standalone solutions. We believe that cloud file sharing solutions are worth investigating and may be able to play an important role in CAD and product development collaboration.
*This summary is an abbreviated version of the research and does not contain the full content. For the full research, please visit our sponsor Siemens (registration required).
If you have difficulty obtaining a copy of the report, please contact us.