Prediction: Technical Content Collaboration Will Transform Manufacturing

Technical content collaboration will transform manufacturing over the next few years. But what is it? And how exactly will manufacturers benefit from it? In short, manufacturers who take advantage of technical content collaboration will turn procurement and their suppliers into innovation centers, empower everyone to focus on the work that matters most, regain valuable engineering time to focus on innovation, and realize long-promised digital thread value by connecting their people to the content and expertise they need to succeed.  

What is Technical Content Collaboration?

Technical content collaboration brings technical product lifecycle data together with the simplicity and convenience of content collaboration platforms. Designed with manufacturers in mind, it reduces all of the headaches that traditional content collaboration platforms have caused.  If manufacturers could redefine content collaboration to fit their specific needs, technical content collaboration would be the result. 

Why the Need for Change? 

For too long, manufacturers have made collaboration trade-offs between technical product lifecycle management applications and traditional content collaboration platforms. Technical content collaboration aims to eliminate those tradeoffs by closing the gap between the people and systems managing technical data and the disconnected collaboration tools people use every day. 

How will Technical Content Collaboration Transform Manufacturing? 

Frictionless supplier collaboration turns procurement, sourcing, and suppliers into innovation centers: Frictionless collaboration with contract manufacturers and other strategic suppliers eliminates distractions to increase the pace of work. And PLM vendors like PTC recognize the benefits of rapid supplier collaboration: “With greater collaboration, it’s possible to reduce errors, control costs, and get new products to market faster with less friction along the way.” By providing secure product data access and modern collaboration to everyone who needs it, manufacturers turn procurement, sourcing, and strategic suppliers from cost centers into innovation centers. Manufacturers and their suppliers easily ask questions, share files, view designs, automatically update and rerelease data after specific milestones, and keep all communications in one place – preventing miscommunication and costly scrap and rework.  

Seamless cross-department collaboration lets everyone focus on the work that matters most: A recent Harvard Business Review article entitled Survey: Employees Want Business Technologies to be More Collaborative sums it up perfectly: “The pandemic has cemented collaboration software as the hub for where work gets done, but the daily operations of a business largely happen in other specialized applications. Employees are looking for tools that enable collaboration seamlessly, automate repetitive work, and guide with insights, and that can be customized for specific business challenges.” This is especially true for manufacturers where there is a wide gap between product data and lifecycle management applications used by R&D and the rest of the organization. Manufacturers that extend technical product data sharing and collaboration beyond engineering to the rest of the organization allow everyone to focus on the work that matters most.

How Anark Collaborate Compares to Other Options

Automated data release returns valuable lost time to engineering teams: Recent research on the state of technical content collaboration revealed that an average 50% of engineering time is spent finding, packaging, sharing, and explaining technical product data. This includes searching systems for the right version of data to be shared, creating technical data packages (TDP) in a way that others can receive it, sharing data via existing systems, file shares, screenshots and email, and then answering questions about the data often repackaging and sharing missing information. With technical content collaboration platforms, engineers, operations teams, and other technical data authors automate repetitive work and optimize their data release processes. This ensures everyone is always working with the right version of data and delivers significant amounts of lost time that can be refocused on innovation.   

Connecting people to the digital thread delivers long-promised value: The goal of a digital thread is to connect everyone across manufacturers and their suppliers to the full array of technical product data that is traditionally difficult to share or access. When done well, this transforms operations from engineering to manufacturing, across the supply chain, and out through service and sustainment. However, digital thread value has proven to be elusive due to the rigid, closed systems that manage product data without modern collaboration capabilities. This leads to a disconnected thread of conversations and file sharing separated from the product data systems. In contrast, technical content collaboration platforms bring it all together in one place, making technical product data accessible (easy to find and consume on any device) and actionable (real-time chat and mark up in the context of the data being discussed).  

Technical content collaboration platforms like Anark Collaborate will not only transform manufacturers, but they will reset expectations on what a content collaboration platform should be.  

Ready to see the world’s only technical content collaboration platform in action? 

About the Author

Patrick Dunfey
Vice President of Marketing and Sales Enablement
Patrick is an accomplished marketing and sales enablement professional who knows that customers are at the heart of every great innovation. He focuses on driving customer satisfaction and business growth through aligned Product-Marketing-Sales programs. He uses digital systems and data-driven approaches to understand, measure and deliver success, resulting in unparalleled customer experiences and value.  Patrick has 20 years of enterprise software expertise, with specialties in CAD, PLM, ERP, AR/VR and IoT. Prior to joining Anark, Patrick developed and taught a business course on XR value strategy, helping companies identify and realize value using virtual, augmented, and mixed reality. During 14 years at PTC, a leading provider of product development software, Patrick led teams responsible for the design, build and launch of an award-winning, state-of-the-art technology experience center resulting in 5X customer meeting growth, and 66% close rates on those meetings; he led the development of a new IoT sales enablement strategy to map business value to enabling technology contributing to 52% YoY IoT revenue growth; and met with over 1000 companies, ranging from SMB to the Fortune 100, to help bridge the gap between technology and customer value. Patrick began his career as a mechanical engineer, working on product design and development projects with Brooks Automation, Arthur D. Little, U.S. Army, Keurig, and others. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Tufts University.
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