Optimizing Engineering Workflows

Optimizing Engineering Workflows

Among the two-million engineers in the United States, nearly one-third of them struggle with workflow and document management issues. Document management is kind of like filing your taxes – something you don’t particularly like to do but you know you have to. It does not inspire creativity, critical thinking, or anything else that makes the job worthwhile.

Nevertheless, efficient workflow and document management procedures are vital to the success of engineering-based companies, as the time spent filing documents and interpreting workflows has a direct impact on the companies’ bottom lines. Fortunately, engineers can eliminate this time by optimizing engineering workflows in a way that best supports companies’ procedures and processes.

Improving Document-Centric Workflows

Engineering workflows are document-centric by nature, and collaboration between both internal and external reviewers is essential to project completion. Whatever your company designs, assembling the various parts requires thorough reviews and approvals to ensure there are no errors and every task or decision works together harmoniously.

More and more, companies are utilizing software to manage these review and approval workflows, allowing them to better communicate across locations and provide all involved parties with a single source of truth. Workflows and EDMS software bring forth clarity for workers, and companies can use these systems to automate document related actions as they move from one engineer to the next.

Probably one of the most exasperating aspects of this approval process is document versioning. As a document is modified, collaborators need to inform other project members a change has been made to a document and ensure everyone is using the latest version. If not explicitly stated in the document’s version number, document reviewers may be unaware a change has been made and accidentally use an old or obsolete version of a drawing or document.

Engineers can mitigate the risk of misusing documents by using a system that automatically updates a document's version number as it is checked back into their EDMS and only allows users to see and use the most current document or drawing. ImageSite, eQuorum’s robust on-premise EDMS, automatically changes the version number based on the company’s preferred versioning scheme, virtually eliminating the risk of improperly versioning a document while only delivering the most current version in searching, viewing, and printing.

The Discipline of Workflow Schedule Management

Business operations seem more chaotic than ever. The economic swings seem bigger; the labor pool is tighter, more diverse, and more geographically dispersed; the amount of information is enormous; and at the end of the day, management has just become harder. Trying to get your arms around all that’s going on and ensuring the organization is focused on getting the tasks done is now more complex and daunting. Add pandemics, supply chain disruptions, geopolitical uncertainty, and now even historical inflation.

What is a manager to do?

 

Automate Document Management

If done manually, workers can spend a large portion of their time searching for and filing their documents. In addition to document versioning, there are a number of document related workflows companies complete using important files. Generally speaking, these include:

  • Creating Modifying and Archiving Documents
  • Sharing Documents with Third-Party Collaborators
  • Creating Reporting for Workflows
  • Searching and Retrieving Documents.

EDMS’s can automate these document actions, such as creating, archiving, deleting, and publishing documents, and even the launching of transmittals. ImageSite can change user permissions to ensure they only have access to the files they need and to ensure the files and documents are secure throughout the workflow. Automating document actions takes the legwork out of the workflows and allows engineers to focus on the important tasks at hand, like doing the engineering.

Fixing Bottlenecks

Bottlenecks are typically the primary cause of workflow inefficiencies. They are several types of bottlenecks companies encounter when assessing their workflows. Short-term bottlenecks are caused by temporary problems, such as employees using their PTO or sick days or notifications not getting to workflow participants. Short-term issues, are typically easy to address, when and if they are identified.

Conversely, long-term bottlenecks (also known as reoccurring bottlenecks) result from poorly designed workflows or employees bogged down with a series of time-consuming tasks. Long-term bottlenecks often take some amount of workflow redesign to address, once identified. An EDMS with audit trails can help organizations answer the following questions:

  • Where is the bottleneck located in the workflow?
  • Who or what is responsible for the bottleneck?
  • Which documents are culpable?

Audit trails help organizations tackle inefficiencies, as they provide an in-depth understanding of the problem, allowing them to find a logical solution. Long-term bottlenecks are reparable, but if left unmanaged can produce serious negative effects on an organization’s bottom line.

Takeaway

Optimizing engineering workflows and efficient workflow procedures are vital to the success of engineering-based companies.  A workflow and document management system can significantly improve the efficiency and productivity of workers, enabling your company to improve its bottom line. Due to the work hours saved, companies implementing a document management system can expect to see a large return on their investment within their first year. Our engineering document management system help companies optimize their workflows to obtain these productivity improvements and increase job satisfaction for engineers.

 

 

Our EDMS solutions

ImageSite and EngineBox are eQuorum’s robust workflow and document management solutions, created to help workers manage their essential workflows while maintaining complete control over their engineering files and documents.  Not only do they provide a secure collaboration site for workers, but they also help organizations manage document distribution with third parties like vendors, contractors, and customers. Both systems are offered at a competitive price, enabling organizations to get a quick return on their investment by providing the features and functionality needed to help organizations improve efficiency, productivity, and collaboration.  Companies can choose from concurrent user subscriptions or named user subscriptions, ensuring organizations have subscription options that make sense for their business.

Learn more why our solution is trusted by industry leaders.

ImageSite

ImageSite®

Our single source engineering workflow and document management system. Built in HTML5 so there is no software to deploy to client computers or mobile apps to download. Offered as an On-premise or Private Cloud system.

Explore ImageSite® 

 

Our EDMS solutions

 

ImageSite and EngineBox are eQuorum’s robust workflow and document management solutions, created to help workers manage their essential workflows while maintaining complete control over their engineering files and documents.  Not only do they provide a secure collaboration site for workers, but they also help organizations manage document distribution with third parties like vendors, contractors, and customers. Both systems are offered at a competitive price, enabling organizations to get a quick return on their investment by providing the features and functionality needed to help organizations improve efficiency, productivity, and collaboration.  Companies can choose from concurrent user subscriptions or named user subscriptions, ensuring organizations have subscription options that make sense for their business.

Learn more why our solution is trusted by industry leaders.

Engine-Box

EngineBox™

EngineBox is a cloud based workflow and document management version of ImageSite that resides outside the corporate network.

Explore EngineBox™

The eQuorum Customer Promise

In 2005, eQuorum developed the first all browser-based EDMS. The system, although for on-premise use, was still created to remove client software and JAVA from user computers and allow users to have a single viewer based on the simple navigation functionality of browsers. Today, eQuorum provides that same application in a private Cloud or a SaaS Cloud option.  We can do this because we are, and have always been, browser-based, understanding the enhanced speed, security, and usability of this technology.

With the abundance of document management systems on the market today, there’s no doubt that choosing the right Cloud document management software can be a difficult decision. eQuorum is here to provide a comprehensive, powerful, and most importantly – affordable Cloud document management solution. We believe in providing real value to our customers by eliminating unnecessary costs, providing industry-leading functionality, and equipping your team with the right tools using cutting edge technology to bring your products to market faster.

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eQuorum®

We specialize in engineering workflow and document management. Our comprehensive, yet easy-to-use software provides the solution to manage data from design to manufacturing and production, to sales, support and administration.

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