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Under the Hood - All things PDM and PLM

Six Workflow Features You Need to be Using to Get the Most Out of Your PLM Solution

Michelle Stone
February 17, 2021

Process workflows are the heart of every manufacturing organization. Fusion Lifecycle allows you to  easily configure formal and fast-track workflow processes to match your organization’s needs. Teams can view the progress of a change in real-time graphically as it goes through each workflow state. This visual and collaborative environment allows you to define, review, approve, and implement changes in such workflows as:

  • Standard engineering change requests and change orders
  • Design reviews for tracking corrective rework and ensuring timely project completion
  • Document change orders to enforce standards, distribute, and manage document changes
  • Deviation and waiver requests for a temporary time-frame
  • Problem reports to capture bugs, test failures, and track root causes

In today’s blog, I want to point out several key features in our workflow that you should know about.

Workflow History (How Will I Know)

One of the primary reasons a PLM solution is important for companies is to keep track of who did what, when, why, and how in terms of product development decisions. In our latest Fusion Lifecycle release, the history panel in the workflow map is easier to read with even more information at-a-glance. You can see the full comments made by anyone participating in the workflow and easily retrieve contact information for participants (this can be beneficial if you have third-party licenses and interact with people outside your company and may not know their email).

Reminders (Don’t You Forget About Me)

Enabling reminders in your workflow configuration is a great way to give someone a little nudge if no action is taken on a record. You can set up a reminder to occur every 1 to 30 days, including or excluding weekend days. Each reminder can repeat up to 9 times. For example, a reminder can be sent out every 2 days including weekends, repeated 5 times.

Escalations (Take Me Higher)

Another option to keep things moving along is to employ escalations if a workflow remains in a certain state too long (too long to be defined by the administrator – this can vary from company to company – or even workspace to workspace! so we give you the flexibility to decide what that means for any given process).

Notifications (Tell Me Something Good)

When a workflow action is performed, the item reaches a new state and one or more subsequent transitions become available. Users who have permission to perform any of these transitions, as well as the item owners, receive an email notification informing them of the available and completed transitions. Transition notification settings for both the item owner and the permitted users are configured in the workflow editor. Something to note is a user can override these settings by turning off all workflow email alerts, so one of the first triaging steps to do is to make sure a user hasn’t done this if they say they are not getting notifications.

Electronic signatures (Sign Your Name)

In the workflow editor, there’s the option in the notifications sections to require a password when performing the transition. This is key in certain industries but could be good to employ on the final approval state in a Change Order process (defined as a managed state). Enabling ‘Password Required’ on when setting up the workflow will require anyone transitioning the workflow to authenticate again.

Multiple approval methods (The Choice is Yours)

When I onboard new users to Fusion Lifecycle, I like to make sure those that will be participating in workflows know about all the different ways they can transition records – from the preview card, in the header, or on the workflow map itself.

So seems like in addition to several tips and tricks for configuring your Fusion Lifecycle workflow, I made a nice little PLM Playlist as well! Something fun to listen to while you optimize your workflows. Learn more about our PLM Solutions.

Michelle Stone