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2014/11/19

PLM 360: Saving You From Death by Spreadsheet Management

We all agree that spreadsheets are extremely easy to manipulate. Manage an action log? Track your vendor list? Plan your next design requirements? Put a quick Gantt chart together? Rows, columns and formulas are so flexible that anybody can use them and literally drive all of your business processes! However, as your company grows, hires more employees and expands to new locations, a new challenge emerges: those nice and easy spreadsheets get exponentially multiplied, are saved in random locations, travel from one person to the other by email, are not so up to date anymore, and become totally unmanageable… well, the spreadsheet honeymoon can quickly turn into your worst corporate nightmare.

In the previous post “There is a Better Way with PLM 360”, we highlighted the fact that Autodesk PLM 360 offers powerful ways to automate your engineering and business processes. PLM 360 uses the concept of workspaces to act as storage spaces for your data. Many useful workspaces such as “Items and BOMs”, “Project Management” and “New Product Introduction” are coming out of the box and are ready to use. The figure below displays a standard Autodesk PLM 360 Main Menu where Categories act as placeholders to organize workspaces. The workspaces contain all the pertaining records.

Categories, Workspaces and Records
Figure 1: PLM 360 Categories, Workspaces and Records

Each workspace could be compared to a spreadsheet - where PLM 360 fields would be equivalent to spreadsheet column titles and each PLM 360 item records would be equivalent to spreadsheet rows. For example, the “Customers” workspace would contain as many records as you have customers. And each record would contain all details relative to one customer: the name, address, website, primary contact, logo, etc. Any attribute that you want to track can be easily setup. The figure below provides a great overview of how a spreadsheet can be translated into a PLM 360 record inside a workspace.

Transform Spreadsheet
Figure 2: Transform your spreadsheet into PLM 360 data

Using this paradigm, it becomes possible to capture any spreadsheet into PLM 360 records by adding / modifying fields in “out of the cloud” workspaces or by building dedicated workspaces. From this point, your business data is going to be taken out of email inboxes and file servers and will become properly tracked and available to all your users.

Taking control of your data and ensuring everyone has access to the same consistent data is one of the basic capabilities of PLM 360; and ERP Guru can help you implement this solution in no time. Quick wins! Contact us for more information of how Autodesk PLM 360 can add value to your processes, projects and people management.

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