Cloud PLM: Bringing Best Practices from Senior Engineers to a New Generation

June 30, 2022


Speed to market is a key competitive advantage for hardware product companies today. Increases in speed are realized through compressed product development and manufacturing cycles, which are enabled by a series of new technologies (e.g., 3D printing) and methodologies.

For startups and incumbent hardware companies to take advantage of the opportunities in terms of shorter development and production cycles, engineers and hardware designers are transitioning to agile development methodologies that are supported by Cloud-Native software tools.

While this trend is often led by the newer generation of engineers who are more familiar with the “agile” approach, the more experienced engineers are coming onboard rapidly.

They now perceive how much easier it has become to iterate on designs and tie together, through enhanced communication and transparency, the disparate teams (e.g. design, engineering, procurement, manufacturing, etc.) that bring a product to market.

Riding on this trend, the industry is seeing an emerging generation of cutting-edge hardware companies such as Eight SleepROOM, and Framework.

To manage agile PLM best practices, they are turning to Cloud-Native design tools such as Onshape and Cloud-Native Product Lifecycle Management software to shorten time to market.

Advantages of Cloud-Native PLM

Integrating Cloud-Native PLM tools can result in dramatic improvements in efficiency and increases in speed. For instance, companies integrating Duro with Onshape or other cloud-based CAD systems have reported:

  • 3X increase in hardware development times
  • 25% reduction in supply chain costs
  • 10X faster onboarding of operations teams

The old ways of coordinating with spreadsheets or siloed PLM software are no longer fit to task in today’s fast-moving hardware development environment. Using spreadsheets and emails has a myriad of drawbacks for hardware engineering companies that together lead to dissatisfied engineers and customers, as well as reduced competitiveness in the market.

The disadvantages of these older methodologies include:

  • A slower hardware design process
  • Inefficient part number generating systems
  • Silos dividing production and engineering
  • Difficulties in version control
  • No single source of truth
  • Slower communication of design changes

Streamlining processes with a Cloud-Native PLM like Duro not only saves time, but allows hardware companies to iterate on products faster, shorten product development timelines and get their products to market faster.

With Cloud-Native PLM tools such as Duro, which can be implemented in a matter of days, traditionally long hardware development cycles are shortened.

Product Lifecycle Management: Benefits for Senior Engineers

Experienced engineers are the foundation of any hardware development team, and there’s a tremendous amount of wisdom in the tried and true methodologies of hardware product design and development.

At the same time, these tried and true methodologies need to evolve in order for hardware teams to stay on the cutting edge. As it pertains to newer tools and methodologies in the hardware industry, there seems to be a difference between how experienced engineers and inexperienced engineers perceive the value of newer tools as well as what expectations they each place on newer tools.

These expectations are only being met by new Cloud-Native tools that offer profound savings in time-to-market and improved inter-departmental communications.The adoption of Cloud-Native CAD (e.g. Onshape) has already been happening, and it’s a natural next step to adopt cloud-native PLM systems such as Duro.

Duro was created by a team led by seasoned hardware engineering leaders who were frustrated by the amount of time they needed to spend communicating and tracking design changes–and the numerous mistakes and misunderstandings they encountered when communicating with production and operations departments through legacy tools.

A New Generation of PLM Tools for Breaking Down Silos

Hardware production introduces a high level of complexity, yet agile PLM best practices are increasingly becoming the standard for hardware development companies, and a new generation of engineers simply have never known any other way of managing hardware product lifecycles.

Global shifts over the past two years have also shown that agility is as important for hardware companies as ever. Many companies have been impacted by supply chain shortages and inconsistent demand, all of which has forced companies to stay flexible.

Furthermore, as hardware companies provide higher levels of customization, they are also demanding agility from their production facilities. This swing towards an increased need for flexibility has best been met by companies that have already adopted tools, like Cloud-Native PLM, that facilitate increased communication across the disparate functions of a hardware company.

Cloud PLM: Rapid Transition to Automation

Cloud-Native technology, including CAD and PLM software, is predominant because of the ease of adoption and maintenance, as well as the capacity to provide solutions both within one organization and across multiple organizations. The combination of cloud CAD with cloud PLM systems such as Duro are now the industry standard, providing:

  • The elimination of errors caused by versioning issues with spreadsheets and emails
  • Time savings for engineers and designers
  • Smooth communications between engineering, production, and operations
  • Fast onboarding: easy learning curves for the entire team
  • Rapid integration of software, within days
  • Cost savings by eliminating the need for IT resources and on-site hardware
  • Integrated and standardized parts numbering

The best practices developed by senior hardware engineers are important to preserve, but there doesn’t need to be any friction when it comes to moving to modern software for hardware PLM. Everyone benefits from the move to agile hardware development using Duro PLM. Schedule a demo today to find out how Duro can benefit your team.

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