Custom Properties, Datacard, pdm automation

K.I.S.S. (Keep it Simple, Stupid)

solidworks pdm, work flows, pdm data card, transitioning to pdm, solidworks blog
26 May


Have you ever looked for your phone using the flashlight... on your phone? Or put your glasses on to help you see better, so you can look for your glasses? Sometimes we make life harder for ourselves than we need to. It's human nature, things can never really be that simple. 

Transitioning to SOLIDWORKS PDM is no different. The obstacles that we commonly hear our clients face are really rooted in a client having a hard time simplifying things in their brains. They're used to an extra three steps, or something being more complex and painstaking, but with The Q, it's actually not. The whole point of switching to SOLIDWORKS PDM is to make your experience with data and design easier

quarantinehaircutOne of the most common struggles people face is change. If you claim you do well with change, I'm going to assume you're lying. To me, to yourself, to your brother when you tell him you LOVE his new haircut, which is actually just him getting creative with the clippers in quarantine... seriously, has he seen the back?! But I digress.

Some people certainly do better with change, but learning new skills and processes will always take a little effort. It's just humorous to us that our clients are so used to things being clunky that, once it's simplified, it's a whole new learning curve. Have you ever put together a piece of Ikea furniture and thought "....that's it? That can't be it. That was way too easy." That's the experience we're seeing. 

First and foremost, when users are so comfortable saving files with fifty different obscure names and keeping them in cluttered folders, they experience a transition curve when switching to work flows. All you have to do is transition it to the stage of work that the project is in, and that's it. The feeling of relief quickly fades to panic when users think they've done something wrong, or not done enough. Processes being "too easy" is what we want! That's the point!


Another thing we get a lot of feedback on is the data cards. Data cards are like back packs. If you carry a back pack, what's in it? Stuff that's yours, it's unique to you and your work. Data cards are your design "back pack." A trait a lot of designers have is that they are very protective of their files. Understandably so, you put hours and hours of work into your designs. However, hoarding them all on your computer is what we are trying to get away from, right? Our data cards are easy to search, you can view and even edit a file's properties from the file browser. It's so much easier than the clunky Excel, file, save as, folder mess that every one is familiar with. Or, even worse, paper. We've simplified things by utilizing cloud storage, and made things more user friendly by listening to what our engineers want out of things. 

If you've experienced any learning curves that are really you making things harder than they need to be, you are not alone! The two topics I talked about are the most common, but we hear new things all the time! Things that even Tim, our Director of Operations, was guilty of when he worked in the engineering and design field. Engineers are incredibly intelligent, and excellent critical thinkers. Sometimes to a fault, when they get in their own way. 

If you're not using SOLIDWORKS PDM or our services here at The Q yet, and you've been worried about having a hard time transitioning, are you still? After hearing that the biggest struggles we help clients face are essentially that the new system is too simple? We're thrilled to answer any questions you might have, and we're available Monday-Friday for Zoom meetings! If all of this went over your head, but you're still interested in learning more (aka, making your life easier) we have resources for that too! As always, contact us if you ever need anything, or if your firm is wanting to take the leap! 


This entry was posted in Custom Properties, Datacard, pdm automation

Tim’s Blog

Tim Webb

Tim Webb

Tim is an all around SolidWorks guru and everything in between. Tim shares HOW TO topics, tips & tricks, using the API to create addins, and expanding the boundaries of the scope of EPDM deployment.