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Under the Hood - All things PDM and PLM

Any number of reasons can start an engineering change request or change order process. In fact, the very nature of change involves a couple of friends it pals around with: ‘quality’ and ‘revision.’ Quality is the friend that tells change there’s an issue with a design. Revision is the friend that makes the change.

Who manages the change process? If you use Vault for your product data management process, you know the answer: Vault. But wait, there’s more. Vault PLM product lifecycle management takes your change management process further.

First, let’s start with Vault and change management

How does Vault manage change orders? In a word: automation. Because Vault integrates with your Autodesk design tools, it is always there and ready to manage change. Here’s how it works:

Vault assigns a change order number. You provide the change order title, description, and due date. After you save the change order and initiate the change order process, participants receive automated email notifications based on their roles and responsibilities. As the change order progresses, Vault captures comments and manages the process for all involved, creating an audit trail as the work moves along.

How does Vault manage revisions?  

Once the change order is accepted, Vault triggers the design revision. Vault tracks edits and design history automatically for you. When the revision process is done and the change order is closed, Vault releases the new files to designated people.

What if a change involves more than form, fit, and function?

Change is inevitable and not just in the engineering department. Teams involved with procurement, suppliers, production, manufacturing, and quality also need change management processes. When data is in separate systems it’s not easy to share it from one department to another. Bottlenecks occur when people have to hunt to find information. When information is too hard to find it can get recreated, which only leads to further data challenges. Which version is the latest? Poorly managed data wastes time and money.

With design and engineering files managed in Vault and streamlining product development collaboration, the next best step is connecting that data to enterprise processes to remove bottlenecks and make information available to other departments. This is where product lifecycle management with Vault PLM comes in.

Vault PLM can help your organization centralize not only your engineering and design data, but any data related to your products, as well as key product lifecycle processes. Product lifecycle management provides process workflows that improve efficiency for other areas of your business such as supplier management, quality management, and more. Through data management and process management you can make sure that everything is documented and accessible in a central system for anyone involved in the product lifecycle.

Getting quality and change processes under control

When engineering, change, and quality information is connected in a centralized system, you have the ability to see product trends and correct issues that can eat into profitability. You also have an audit trail. You know why things were done, why a change was made, which supplier provided a part that failed, or which supplier provides a part that is reused across multiple products because it is the best part for the job. What this means is that you can go from using Vault PDM to using Vault PLM, which adds more process management to your environment so you can do more with your design and engineering data.

Learn More: On-Demand Webinar 

During this on-demand webinar “The Only Constant is Change,” featuring PDM-PLM expert, Brian Schanen, you’ll learn about Vault PLM and how it can help you with change and quality management.


Christa Prokos

Christa is a product marketing manager at Autodesk. She researches and writes about product development strategies and technologies, including data management and product lifecycle management. Outside work, you can find Christa gravitating toward engineers at social gatherings.