How to change the style of your product information gathering

One of the funny jokes I’m hearing these days is related to the usage of emails: “Email is for old people.”  The first time I heard this was on Jeremiah Owyang’s blog back 2007. Just think about it, 2007!  That same blog post pointed me to a study about social networks and the influence social networks have on different social groups and how they communicate.  I think Jeremiah’s prediction was right: everyday, we communicated on social networks more and more.

Let’ me now turn the conversation to engineers in manufacturing companies including CAD managers, designers, manufacturing planners, etc. During the weekend, these guys have a good time socializing with youtube, social nets, and the web. However, “social” life is a bit different at work. IT is squeezing email box size and there are tons of spreadsheets and CAD documents to deal with.  Perhaps the thinking is a PDM system will organize all this data,  but chances are, management have been ‘talking’ about a PDM implementation for the last couple of years and to date, no decision has been taken.

At the same time, you WANT to have access to the data you OWN.  It is about “Inforbix gathering process”. You need this data to complete a task or to help you make a right decision. I was reading CAD Manager’s blog by Mark W. Kiker, Your Information Gathering Style. The story resonated a lot with the way we think the engineering world needs to change. Here is an absolutely amazing passage from Mark’s post:

Bad use of information may include our tendency to process easier information first.   A bullet list is processed faster than a narrative.  A chart is more easily understood than a long description.  Harder data may not be used because it is harder to digest.  When this happens we may fail to look deep enough to get counterpoints and actually bias our perspectives.

This statement just blew my mind: our tendency to process easier information first. This is absolutely right. When your boss calls on you for a decision or you are in the middle of the meeting or phone call or you are on a customer visit, you will use THE INFORMATION YOU HAVE in order not to be embarrassed by the fact you don’t have a right data readily available.  Tell me the truth, how often has this happened to you? Moreover, how many times have you made a decision based on the wrong information?  Happens all the time.

At Inforbix we believe product data (CAD, BOMs, and many other related pieces) needs to be easily accessible at any time.  Just as the web is available today and just as easy to use. Have a look at the following pictures for an example of how Inforbix makes product data available:

Drawing search

Revision list

Bil of material

Also, have a read of a post I wrote on accessing Solidworks BOM using Inforbix Search
Let me now move forward and talk about how Inforbix can change your information gathering style without changing your work habits. Different to the classical PDM system we got to know over the last 10-15 years, Inforbix works with all CAD files, excels and other product related data sources (databases, vaults, etc.) without migrating, moving, modifying, or changing them. You continue to work the same way you worked before – no need to change that or create new processes. That’s because, Inforbix is continuously scanning and indexing the on-premise product data you authorized Inforbix to know about. And using Inforbix Apps, you can find, access, organize, and aggregate your product data in meaningful and helpful ways using cloud technology.

Conclusion. I hope I’ve inspired you to consider changing your information gathering style. Give Inforbix a try; getting started is painless and quick. Test drive Inforbix. Or if you are ready, try Inforbix on your product data by registering here. Inforbix is cloud based, so the deployment of product data crawler (for scanning your data) is done in 5 steps and will not disrupt your work. Our pricing is simple, flexible, and affordable. The first 20,000 files you scan and use with Inforbix are FREE.

Best, Oleg