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How Autodesk Document Management is Shaping Modern Engineering Workflows

Hagerman & Company

Engineers live inside worlds of information built on precision and efficiency. Quick and easy access to this data is the foundation for engineering success. In some ways, it’s helpful to look at data as a form of currency, providing fuel in the tank for thinking and innovation.

Similar to managing any other asset, managing data effectively helps you get the most out of it. But for engineers, handling the ever-growing volume of documents and design data has always been a challenge. How can engineers sift through piles and piles of information quickly?

In recent years, Autodesk has been at the forefront of revolutionizing this world of information – helping foster a digital transformation of how engineers handle document management. Autodesk provides many solutions that streamline processes, and is representative of a broader shift towards digitization in the manufacturing sector. 

In fact, they continue to grow and grow. Yahoo Finance recently reported that Autodesk’s subscription renewal rates are increasing year over year as a result of customers wanting to prioritize digital transformation.

As we’ve discussed previously, automation is the new frontier for solving challenges in the manufacturing and engineering worlds. But can engineering document management (EDM) improve workflows? The short answer is yes. 

Here, we take a look at the trend of EDM, exploring its features, integration capabilities, and the profound impact it's having on modern engineering workflows. Ideally, you’ll have an understanding of how to choose the best EDM system upgrade for your needs.

After all – better engineering leads to a smarter, better world. Let’s dig in. 

Understanding Autodesk Document Management

Filing cabinets and stacks of papers are a thing of the past. Instead, document management systems (DMS) like Autodesk Vault and Autodesk Docs have become digital replacements. 

In other words, engineers are finally getting rid of their pens and paper.

Autodesk Document Management is an on-premise or cloud server-based digital form of document management and collaboration in engineering, construction, architecture, and other forms of manufacturing that deal with a high volume of documents. In essence, it transforms traditional document handling into something streamlined and easily manageable. And something that’s important to note – uncoordinated documents lead to numerous issues and problems.

At its core, Autodesk Document Management is a suite of tools designed to streamline document-related processes, improve efficiency, and enhance collaboration among teams. 

Standout Features of Autodesk Vault & Autodesk Docs

Autodesk Vault is a core component that focuses on improving engineering workflows. The tool offers engineers a set of features that help them do their jobs more effectively. 

Let’s take a look at some of the standout features and what makes Autodesk Vault indispensable for engineers. 

  • Seamless CAD Integration: Manage CAD data in one place!
  • Search and Retrieve: Quickly find any file or files based on their properties, titleblock info and/or text content
  • Detailed Info on Each File: Within Autodesk Vault, users can easily see each file’s revision history and parent/child files, view and edit its properties and titleblock info, and perform view and markup
  • Data Reuse and Design Automation: Easily copy designs and reuse components.
  • Concurrent Design: Multiple team members can make concurrent designs with safe access to data.
  • Engineering Change Orders: Manage engineering or product change orders easily with a simple workflow. 
  • Enterprise Integrations: Extend the value of your data by seamlessly integrating with other business systems.

Autodesk Docs focuses on improving external workflows and collaboration. Some of Autodesk Docs’ features include:

  • Collaborate: Employ cloud-based project collaboration with your project partners including clients, suppliers, AEC firms, contractors, etc.
  • Flexibility: Implement Docs as a standalone system or fully integrated with Autodesk Vault
    Audit Trails: Track all file-based project activity
  • Document Approvals: Reduce manual efforts, and automate the review of drawings, models, and documents before publishing and sharing
  • Issue Tracking: Increase accountability and track and resolve issues from a single centralized list.
  • View and Markup Tools: Communicate and collaborate with project teams using a full set of view  markup tools

For a more complete look at Autodesk Vault or Docs features, check out our pages on what it can do for your engineering projects.

Integration with Engineering Tools

The working life of an engineer involves a plethora of software tools – and that’s why Autodesk Vault and Autodesk Docs are so valuable. They don’t operate in a silo. Instead, they’re designed to integrate with various engineering software.

But it goes beyond engineering software tools. Additionally, Autodesk Vault and Autodesk Docs integrate with Microsoft Office, a staple for many engineering organizations. Further, they can be easily configured to work with commonly used ERP and project management systems – acting as a holistic solution for engineering workflows.

Autodesk’s Evolution and Adaptation

There’s no shortage of stories about how technology has transformed our ability to do our jobs – regardless of the industry. So of course, that’s no different in engineering. Autodesk Vault and Autodesk Docs really has completely changed how engineers approach their document management. 

Physical records are no more – it’s all digital! 

The Impact on Engineering Workflows

Autodesk’s functionalities – which update once per year with plenty of advance notice – have had a profound impact on optimizing workflows for product design and manufacturing and industrial facilities. Streamlining document management frees up more time – allowing engineers to focus on handling the tasks at hand versus annoying busy work. 

Simply put, engineers have more time to focus on what they actually need to do.

At Hagerman, we offer our customers a full range of solutions in the areas of Engineering Document Management. Working with us, our customers have seen how we can help them enhance and automate systems within their organization. 

For our clients, we’ve seen the Autodesk Vault and Autodesk Docs have a tremendous impact, in ways such as:

  • Streamlined creation and editing
  • Efficient workflow management
  • Comprehensive revision histories and audit trails
  • Granular security control
  • Integrated viewing capabilities
  • Easy search and retrieval
  • Printing and markup

For a real-world example, look at how Kentucky-based engineering firm Collier Associates tackled their document management with Autodesk Docs. Their main goal was to find a flexible and scalable solution to support their growth while integrating a document management system into their existing workflows. 

We guided them toward Autodesk Docs, and once we implemented the system, they immediately noticed improved efficiency, collaboration, and project accountability.

Modern Engineering Doesn’t Work Without Autodesk (Vault, Docs, or Otherwise!)

Finding success requires engineers to think bigger. To think wider. To think forward. But that’s next to impossible to do if they’re caught up in pointless manual or outdated document management. 

Electronic document management is meant to free up the minds of some of our society’s greatest thinkers and workers. Its influence on the engineering profession has been profound, and these solutions are powerful tools that can help workers tackle challenges, drive innovation, and redefine the boundaries of what’s possible. 

At Hagerman, we offer the best CAD-integrated Engineering Document Management support. Our experts offer excellence in consulting assistance to select, implement, and migrate data to your new system.

Let’s talk about your document strategy today.