Does your development department manage changes in a structured way?

Many of the companies I meet have a need to manage change orders and change requests, so-called engineering change management, in a structured way.

Does your development department manage changes in a structured way?

The main reason that effective change management is
so important is that afterwards it’s very expensive to correct errors
in production, assembly and installation.

The errors often result from production, based on deficient design documentation. 
Let me give you an example:

Imagine that a fitter in the production department has a really good idea for a product that’s about to be installed, a change that would clearly improve the product and maybe even save costs. Imagine then that person, instead of going to talk to the design manager, who may not always be available, goes into the PLM system on his/her computer and describes the idea in a predefined template for change requests and marks exactly which part of the product structure it refers to. Then the design manager would see a change request on his/her own computer, anywhere, anytime and is able to decide whether to approve it.

If the idea is good, the design manager can create a change order directly and choose which designer should do the job. The designer, in turn, finds out via their computer screen that there is a change order and can then implement the change. Today, many companies do this via an Excel spreadsheet, and it isn’t unusual for the information to be lost or become incorrect in the manual process.

The PLM system also keeps a history of the reasons why a change was made and decided upon, making it easy to follow which changes have been made and when. The stock levels of a product can also be checked in the system and any design change timetabled in the production.

At Symetri, we have supported and partnered with many companies over the past 20 years to solve challenges around Product Lifecycle Management. With our Lean PLM solution, SOVELIA PLM, your company will benefit from structured engineering change management.

The clever thing about smart PLM systems is that they can be expanded, and this can be done in stages. You can start by focusing on one problem, for example, managing change orders and change requests in a structured way. When this is solved, you can tackle the next challenge.

My next blog post will look at the sales process and how to control all the requirements that the vendor and customer have agreed on and make sure they are met, as well as support to meet cost targets and delivery times. 


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