Product Development, Corporate Evolution & Engineering License Management

There are any number of different ways teams and divisions are structured, which has impacted the software they use and how. This in turn has impacted the product development cycles.

In this example, we will take a look at engineering license management across the various product lines. Historically, each of the product groups had the autonomy to make the decisions about which software they could purchase. As such, all of these ended up with very different tools.

Product 1 team has been running since the 80’s and PTC Pro Engineer was the first tool to deliver parametric modelling. At the time, there was a lot of excitement and the group has kept the same tools over time.

Product 2 came along later, but was focused on Aerospace, somewhere where Catia was dominant. The Director made the decision to buy Catia.

When Product 3 was launched, it needed to be developed in a really short time. The director knew there could be cost savings in engineering talent who used Inventor. Thus to save resources, that group went with that tool.

Each of these product groups had their own different tools, which made them difficult to manage, to observe usage and forecast. Manufacturing only thought they needed 2D, so just had AutoCAD. The subcontractors were using Siemens NX.

At some point, a leader thought about this and considered the consequences. What is the best way to rationalize all of the engineering licenses?

Engineers would need training on the other CAD packages if they needed to move between departments. They wanted to consolidate standard parts across the products, but data was in different and incompatible CAD formats. Ultimately, having hundreds of different software vendor licenses meant they were being inefficient with user ratios – they had many licenses they were not using.

Another angle is how mergers and acquisitions impact companies. M&A can often bring together companies using different software vendors. While one of the benefits is the economies of scale, managers need to consider the best ways to use expensive resources. There is often an interest in consolidating all of the licenses to a single tool as soon as possible to allow engineers to work across projects and thus better manage talent as well.

Consider asking the following questions:

  • Which system will be used?
  • How many licenses are needed?
  • What are the costs?

Ask our team about how LAMUM could help you make better decisions about your engineering software road map and how to better centralize all of your engineering licenses.

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