We are currently looking at some different PDM systems and would like to know which people are using and how satisfied they are with them. (Looking at SmartTeam, PDM Works Enterprise, PDM Works and Meridian atm).
So feel free to comment on this just in short if you dont have a lot of time..
PDM system Seats / Licenses Version of SW you are using Adresses you are using it on How satisfied are you with it on a scale form 1-10 where 10 is the best Your comments like if it took a lot of hours setting it up, if it dosnt update with SW versions of whatever good or bad you would like to add.
Thanks in advance, it will help me a lot in getting an overview of pros and cons between the different PDM systems.
It sounds like the first thing you need to do is determine what you needs are. If you are comparing SmarTeam, PDMWorks Enterprise and PDMWorks Workgroup (I don=92t know anything about Meridian) you are taking the wrong approach. While these systems share some similarities they way more different than they are alike.
If you want to do simple SolidWorks file management in a single geographic location then Workgroup is probably best.
If in addition to SolidWorks file s you need to manage AutoCAD and/or Inventor and/or Solid Edge, if you have PDM contributors distributed geographically, if you need medium complexity document-centric process management then Enterprise is probably a good choice.
If you want to do full PLM including CAD file management for many different CAD packages, process-centric workflows, bill of material management, MS-Project integration, bi-directional ERP integration, heavy customization via an API or supplier/customer collaboration then SmarTeam (or a similar mid-range PLM product) is probably your best choice.
With SmarTeam you can expect the implementation services to be near the cost of the product. With Workgroup there is very little consulting services required.
I think you have the cart before the horse. When I get asked questions like this I always use the analogy you don=92t go out and test drive a full size Chevy Truck and a 53 foot Kenworth tractor trailer do you? Of course not. First you determine your needs (do I need to go to Home Depot every once in a while or am I starting a moving business), your budget (do I have a problem that=92s worth a $30K fix or a problem worth a $300K fix) and your tolerance for complexity (it a lot easier to drive and find a parking space for a Chevy truck but if I=92m trying to move a whole house worth of stuff the multiple trips will get old real soon or I can fit everything I ever wanted from Home Depot in one load if I get a Kenworth but for the few occasions that a Chevy truck won=92t be big enough it will sure be a pain to drive that thing and pay for the fuel when in most cases I am just commuting 10 miles in city traffic to my job).
Give us a little more information on what problem(s) you are trying to solve and I'd be happy to offer, from my PLM consultant's prospective, my opinion on what product would be best.
Derek Neid> We are currently looking at some different PDM systems and would like
I'm curious about this as well and my company's needs are very similar to Jean Marc's.
My company adopted SolidWorks pretty early on (SW97, IIRC), so at the time, the PDM options were quite limited. We went with SmarTeam and have struggled with it ever since. SmarTeam has shown to be very user unfriendly and quite expensive for our basic CAD vault needs. Compounding the problems, until I recently took on the role of CAD Administrator, we haven't had any dedicated administration on the system, so we're currently quite far from running smoothly.
With the system in the state it is, I'm seriously considering migrating to another PDM system as the cost to fix SmarTeam may very well be higher than going to a "simpler" system.
The only thing I would add as our needs that Jean Marc didn't mention is that we would need as much support for part and assembly configurations as possible.
I know PDM Works or Enterprise had issues with configurations and these issues were acknowledged during the big release in 2007 when SolidWorks unveiled it's newly purchased PDM add-on. I'm not sure if those issues have been resolved in 1½ years. My company chose DBWorks by Mechsoft prior to Solidwork's acquisition. DBWorks has very strong support for configurations, which made me feel a little better. I believe they are priced about the same, I'd check with your local vars to see what they support, have training for and pick their brains to help you determines what's best for your company.
I worked on an implementation of Meridian at a previous employer. We had 6 SW users in a division of about 80 people. It worked well. It's a good system for handling other docs (estimates, test requests, quotes). It also handled SW files well enough to suit our needs.
I have tried PDM Works Enterprise for about a month on just one machine and it was easy to use out of the box, but also clearly showed that it will take some hours to make it work. And the second you get your files into the vault they are pretty much hostages there in case it goes bad you depent extremely much on the support you get (where hot-fixes now aint happening anymore since Dassault took over Conisio/ PDMW Enterprise, now you need to wait for service packs).
At first we ruled out the smallest version the PDMWorks Workgroup, but also I have talked with several users (and visited them to see it in use) that uses PDM Works Enterprise, and they are all saying that it has some flaws and they are looking at the smaller version (WorkGroup) because of the lack of support. The biggest flaw I see with WorkGroup is, that it aint keeping 100% control of the ownership, so you still have to make some procedures to how to check in and out (which of course can be done, the prize difference makes up for a lot of time/ playroom to make alternatives)
We have ~25 licences, and we are often working with 4-5 people on the same project, same assemblies etc, so we need to be able to easy switch ownership without having to make a full reload.
How is the interface from Meridian handled? Do you use it in a browser or is there an add-in for SW to use it "inside" the program? (Right click files to open, changing states, taking ownership etc.)
DBWorks has a workgroup version that runs on a database, (which is the same product as their Enterprise version) which is very compitative price wise with PDMworks.. You should get demo's of all of them and see which one fits you best....