Taking the pulse of manufacturing and lean start-up challenges


Siemens’ Solid Edge team has recently sponsored a project with global research consultancy Kelton to survey decision-making at discrete manufacturing companies with less than $100 million in annual revenue.

Image credit: freedigitalphotos By: adamr
Image credit: freedigitalphotos By: adamr

According to the article on the Siemens blog page, the focus of the project was to learn more about how these companies manage their engineering workflow, software and staffing in an increasingly demanding economic climate.

The results of the survey showed that most companies are experiencing great difficulties in predicting the incoming workflow and their staffing needs. The majority of the companies reported they were unable to make accurate predictions or plans regarding workflow beyond 6 months. This is a serious issue, as when the project commences, it is imperative for a company to respond quickly in order to meet deadlines.

The pressure to meet deadlines and expectations is driving companies to make long-term investments to satisfy short-term needs. The report shows that almost two thirds of the respondents have had to purchase new engineering software licenses to ensure a project was completed effectively. It appears that this tension is the core reason as to why respondents rank “flexible licensing options” among their top motivators to change the CAD (computer-aided design) software they use.

Other key issues the companies are facing with current CAD offerings is the fact that they can’t always afford the functionality they need. This is the reason why major vendors like Siemens PLM Software are starting to provide customers with a more flexible way to purchase software that’s tailored to their specific needs.

The lean start up methodology is intended to help emerging businesses grow faster, shorten development cycles and come up with new ways to reduce the need for large upfront investments, which often requires software tools.  In manufacturing, more flexible licensing models mean that more manufacturing start-ups and entrepreneurs can stay lean, but still use and reap the benefits of professional-grade CAD- something that has been out of reach.