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Engineering Document Control Trends You Must Know in 2024

Hagerman & Company

Imagine you’re working on a large project spread across multiple locations. Delays continue to happen due to ineffective document management and communication between departments. This is a common scenario, yet deeply frustrating for everyone involved.

Chances are, you already have a document management solution in place. But are you leveraging it to its fullest potential to avoid miscommunications? The world of engineering is in a state of perpetual evolution, and so are the tools you rely on.

But keeping pace with these changes can be a time-consuming task, especially when you're racing against deadlines and trying to manage an ever-growing pile of documents. Yet, embracing these trends could make the lives of you and your team much easier.

At Hagerman, we’ve spent decades utilizing a wealth of knowledge to ensure our clients navigate engineering software with ease. Below, we break down the three engineering document control trends you need to know in 2024.

Trend #1: Moving Towards SaaS-Based Solutions for Companies

There’s a quiet revolution in how engineering documents are handled. Throughout the engineering software industry, there’s been greater adoption of moving to SaaS-based software. Major companies are now focused on developing a modern hub for managing engineering drawings, documents, and media from any device.

It’s clear why more and more companies are adopting SaaS-based software; 80% of employees reported that automation (with modern SaaS tools, for example) gives them more time to focus on new challenges and projects.

“The average organization has 323 SaaS apps and spends $65 million on SaaS annually. Their research also shows that as much as 40% of that spend is wasted on software that doesn’t get used.”

- Why it’s a good idea to take full advantage of your software via Forbes

Tip: If you’re still using Windows folders for your engineering document control and management, you may want to look at modern SaaS solutions instead like Meridian® or Vault®.

Trend #2: Striving for the Premier Documented Facility (PDF) Title

There’s a new status for cutting-edge facilities in 2024. It’s called being a Premier Documented Facility.

Being a PDF means that a facility has embraced cutting-edge practices in engineering document control. They have all critical information meticulously organized, easily accessible, and up-to-date in their internal systems, not a vendor database.

This can’t be done with physical documents, so most PDFs leverage some form of engineering document management software. Using engineering software with the right document support dramatically reduces the time and resources spent on searching for documents, allowing teams to focus on core projects.

Achieving PDF status elevates a facility's reputation in the industry, showcasing its commitment to excellence and modern document management practices. This not only attracts top talent but also instills confidence in clients and stakeholders.

Trend #3: Eliminating Silos in Engineering

As engineering projects become more complex and geographically dispersed, organizations are looking to remove the silos in their engineering. It’s no surprise that many companies are either moving to or already using modern document management platforms, such as Autodesk Docs®, Meridian®, or Autodesk Vault®.

Using paper and filing cabinets is no longer the norm for document management. Modern engineering workflows are changing – breaking down silos and fostering a cohesive document management process. Anyone who’s dealt with the challenges of unsynced file updates understands what a disaster they can be for the timeliness of a project.

These platforms are not just static digital filing cabinets for managing documents. Instead, they ensure all related documentation is accurate, up-to-date, and easily accessible. Tapping into the potential of your document management software will remove the silos in your projects, and create an environment that’s more timely and confident.

Explore Our Engineering Document Control Solutions

Teamwork does indeed make the dream work – and this old adage couldn’t be more true in engineering. When was the last time you analyzed your approach to online collaboration and document management solutions? 

Actively reviewing your process and tools can help you see where there are opportunities. Knowing what other companies are doing and the major engineering document control trends is a good place to start.

You might be surprised how a few engineering software or process changes can help your team. Want to know more? Learn about our document management consulting services.