So, your company has decided to take the leap, adding the most powerful 3D CAD Catalog and Sales configurator to your arsenal of online marketing tools. It’s a serious project and you want to make sure your team has their ducks in a row before the project gets under way.
There are many ways to approach this endeavor. We have seen companies breeze through the process because they were prepared and ready to go. We have also seen companies who weren’t ready, creating needless delays and added complications. Needless to say, we have found it best to go in with a clear and concise plan of attack.
Plan of Attack: 5 tips to ensure your company is ready to go!
- Get Organized – The more information that can be pulled together early in the process the better. If the CADENAS PARTsolutions modeling team has all of your product details from the start, we are able to better evaluate the best way to approach a project and avoid unexpected issues. We have a kick-off meeting in the beginning to discuss what is expected from both teams throughout the process. Nobody knows your parts and business better than you do, so we need your input and experience upfront to streamline the process.
- Assign a Project Lead from Your Company – The most successful catalog deployments have a company representative who “OWNS” the project. This person needs to be available to quickly answer questions that come up, attend regular meetings and help to arrange the flow of data and QA work. It is best to be able to keep the same lead involved through the whole process so there is no confusion. Consistency is key!
- Prepare Your Engineers for the QA Process – An essential part of the process is having engineers or designers knowledgeable with the products check the models before they are released for end users. We provide QA software to assist in this process but our modeling team relies on data supplied by your engineers. Companies who do not pre-confirm their engineering data usually discover errors at the very end of the process, when the models are being QA checked, adding timely and expensive delays. This is easy to avoid if the engineering team pre-checks the data before submitting to PARTsolutions for modeling.
- Set a Deadline/Schedule– Mutually agreed deadlines are key to keep both parties on track and focused on a common goal. The more information both sides share, the more accurate the plan will be. If there are key dates when team members will be unavailable or targets launch dates, it is easier to manage when the information has been presented early. Items to consider are target or desired launch schedule, dates which members will be on vacation, attending sales events or tradeshows.
- Involve Marketing and Management Early – This tool will be utilized by the entire organization on one way or another. Marketing has a major stake because the CAD catalog is their “Lead Generation Machine” and will be a major component of the website (usually under marketing control). Management has their own investment in financial and personnel resources dedicated to the catalog launch. This makes it advantageous for the engineering team to work closely with marketing and management to ensure they have the same vision for the online implementation. This will help to avoid rework and additional programming by not introducing new requirements late in the process that could slow progress.
If you follow this simple plan of attack, you can ensure your 3D CAD Catalog and Sales Configurator will be up and running, quickly and on budget – without leaving any of your soldiers on the battlefield.
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