If you're looking for a great speed read on a lot of what's new with the Autodesk MSD 2007 launch, check out this article from Sara Ferris at Cadalyst. I've already harped on about many of the cool new benefits you can get from Productstream, but now is your chance to get a journalist's view of all that plus Inventor, AutoCAD Mechanical and AutoCAD Electrical.
I get asked a lot about how Productstream fits, competes or replaced ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning). Truth of the matter is that it complements and does not compete or replace ERP (or MRP, depending on which moniker you're familiar with). If you think about your design to manufacturing process, you do tons of iterations in design while you hammer out the fit, form and function. What you generate has to get manufactured, and that takes materials, people, machines and proper planning. Productstream handles the first part of the equation, and ERP handles the second. Here are a couple of examples to help illustrate:
1. Where do my part numbers "live"?
Your part numbering will usually be dictated by your ERP system, as that is the central point for all your purchasing and manufacturing planning. Productstream can be set up such that it follows the correct numbering schema (we call them "items"), or it can even accept it's numbers from your ERP system
2. What about the BOM (Bill of Materials)?
No matter whether you're using Inventor, AutoCAD Mechanical or AutoCAD Electrical you are creating a BOM - but it is what we call a Design BOM because it represents everything you created in the CAD application. Using Productstream you can take that BOM and make it a Manufacturing BOM by adding non-drawn items, quantities and stipulating the effectivity. All of that good information can be sucked right out via a flat file into your ERP system: it's always accurate and up to date and best of all no one has to re-enter it.
If you're using Great Plains or Axapta, we even have some extra goodies that our services folks and partners can use to build a more sophisticated "bridge" between the two, giving you the advantage of even transferring the DWF files from Productstream to the target ERP system.
Sound interesting? Respond to this if you want to know more, and have a great weekend!
Hey! Since we moved to our shiny new full production Manufacturing Community Portal (as opposed to the "old banger" Beta site), I forgot to mention the Tips area. Make sure you check it out as our product designers and other customers just like you are busy posting cool tips for all of the MSD products, not just Vault and Productstream.
So on days like today, when news is light and I haven't watched any good movies to rant on about, go check out the tips!
We just watched a great movie last night; The Weatherman with Nicolas Cage. In the review I read beforehand it was described as a "bittersweet black comedy" and that was pretty accurate. I really like off beat films that can jolt you around between extreme emotions, and The Weatherman is alternately bitingly funny and incredibly sad. It deals with a man who comes to realize he has to find a way to accept who he really is and confront some of the past mistakes he's made in his life. His kids are mixed up and getting into trouble, his (separated) wife is remarrying. Oh, and he gets paid $240K for 2 hours work a day. Sound like fun? If like us "date night" is a once a month affair but you like to cue up a rental or on-demand movie for the other weekends I highly recommend this selection.
Speaking of fixing past mistakes, did you have chance to try out the new Property Editing Wizard in Vault 5? This is an amazing piece of productivity that can help you either propogate properties to your vaulted files that are missing, or correct typos and other mistakes that commonly happen when you're busy doing what you're supposed to be doing i.e. designing not managing!
The wizard enables you to select and edit file properties, even across multiple files with a single action. And don't miss the fact that it works just like Microsoft Excel - you can drag the box to make multiple changes. And, this works on Inventor, AutoCAD and Microsoft files so now you can keep everything you vault clean, tidy and more importantly - infinitely usable and searchable.
We just wrapped up our Americas Boot Camp in Dallas, Texas and I just want to extend a big thank you to our reseller partners. They invested their time to come and listen as we laid out our strategy and brought them up to date on everything that's new in our data management products. I saw a massive level of excitement and energy in everyone, and believe me this is a BIG event, with many of our MSD partners bringing their entire sales and technical staff to listen, learn and give us feedback. The reseller roundtable yesterday afternoon revealed that everyone agrees: we have the best solution in the business!
Tune in tomorrow for the start of a series of product blogs - now that I'm not jetting about all over the shop we can finally get down to business and talk about how many of the new features driven by you in R5 can bring a lot of benefit; both inside and outside the design team.
Did you think I'd dropped off the face of the planet? For a few days there it felt that way! It was a LONG way home, but we finished the week on a high note with another fantastic event in Seoul, Korea. Our local staff did a tremendous job in putting together a well executed meeting that was attended by our local resellers. We did the Andrew, Amy and Grant show once again (below) and everyone was tremendously excited to see the highlights of all the new product releases.
I'm off to Texas in the morning for the Americas launch event, so look out tomorrow for more details on these great new product releases and news from the Hilton Anatole, Dallas. YEEHA!
On my worldly travels I encounter customers who manufacture fabuluous products. I take my hat off to them on each visit when I see and hear the innovative methods they are employing to develop some of the world's leading products. Just this week I have met and talked to customers who build turnkey machining centers for automotive suppliers, who are off shore suppliers of precision automotive components and just yesterday a customer who designs and builds inspection equipment for LCD displays.
But it's only when you develop a close, personal tie to a particular product that the true genius of design and manufacture really becomes apparent. Take this product below:
This is a state of the art loo in my hotel room in Seoul, Korea. Believe it or not, it has a heated seat. Even better though, just check out the control panel that accompanies it:
This device provides variable water pressure jets, from two different directions and a warm air dryer. Oh, and "Oscillate" alters the pressure up and down whilst the water jets are actually in operation. When I first encountered this I was naturally interested and intrigued that so much technology could be packed into something as mundane as a loo. My interest did stop short of experimentation though. Once I became ill however, I truly realized the value of such a device. When you're ill in a foreign country it's hard to find much comfort, but in the smallest room around I have found a little piece of heaven.
My hat is off once again, this time to Toto - purveyors of fine loo's to those who need them the most. I've found a friend - say no more!
I woke up at 3.45am today, so as you can tell I'm really on top of this jet lag thing. Still, I needed to practice my presentation for later and sleep is highly overrated anyway. Not sure if I'll be feeling that way later, but we'll see. Last night we had the opportunity to meet India's manufacturing reseller community for dinner, and we had an excellent time. We were honored with a traditional welcome as you can see below:
Everyone here is ready to bring the benefits of data management to their own customers, and we'll be helping them out in the coming weeks; first with the Channel Summit where we'll present today and later by lining up a series of training events. My new best friend George and I are raring to go...
That lopsided grin on my face is a combination of 3 Kingfisher beers and not much sleep for a couple of day, at least, I hope so! When we get done here today the travel schedule kicks into high gear, with a 2 hour internal flight to Mumbai followed by five and half hours to Singapore and six and half hours from Singapre to Seoul, Korea. If I am in any way conscious after that little jaunt I'll let you know how things went. Ta ta for now...
Well, it was a massively long journey but well worth it. 10 hours from Portland to Frankfurt, another 10 hours from Frankfurt to Bangalore. As you can see, arriving in Frankfurt left me sleeping on the job...
Our hosts are top notch, full marks to George Abraham for setting everything up. Today we visited 3 great customers, all involved in classic machinery design: Titan, Sansera and Bosch Rexroth. Each of them is doing some of the most impressive work I've seen to date using Inventor, and they are all keen to get started with data management which is music to my ears as you can imagine. Tomorrow we'll be meeting around 70 people at a reseller kick off event, so more news to follow later.
By the way, as you can also see from these pictures Andrew and Amy are considerably more comfortable on long haul travel than yours truly - proper road warriors :-)
We drove quite a bit during the day to get between the different customers, which gave us the opportunity to see a lot of the local scene in and around Bangalore. And trust me, driving in and of itself is a major experience as everyone seems to have a code of conduct that involves the size of your vehicle: buses and trucks rule, everyone else had better watch out! It's also a city of stark contrast, from hi-tech industry parks with big name national and Western manufacturers to the small street stalls selling local produce and the cattle literally roming the streets. I'm hoping I can take a few more pictures later tonight to show you some of that so stay tuned...