Windchill Brings PLM Benefits to Small Businesses

By Nathan Eddy  |  Posted 2009-01-20 Print this article Print

PTC's software solution can help midmarket companies that find streamlining product lifecycle management a challenge.

The Product Development Company has announced the general availability of Windchill ProductPoint, Microsoft SharePoint-based software for product development that gives small to midsize businesses the ability to share CAD and other structured data among teams. PTC hopes this software will also allow smaller companies to experience the benefits of product lifecycle management without a large investment.

ProductPoint helps teams connect to each other in a variety of ways, including instant access to colleagues via presence detection, personalized workspaces to organize relevant content, and sharing of rich product information throughout the company and with their customers.

"Windchill ProductPoint meets the PLM needs of small and medium-size companies and complements existing Windchill deployments for companies of any size that are seeking to extend their product development system to a broader audience," said PTC's executive vice president and chief product officer, James Heppelmann. "PTC's goal is to enable companies of all sizes to leverage their technology investments and successfully execute critical product development initiatives."

Hess Services, an industrial and petroleum equipment refurbishing company based in Hays, Kan., found itself lacking the technology infrastructure to support its rapid expansion, which had grown to more than 140 employees. That impacted the company's ability to effectively manage product development.

To support its business initiatives for expansion into new markets, Hess Services is pursuing ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) pressure vessel certification, which requires the demonstration of a document control system. The company recognized that its current system, based on the use of PDF files and shared network folders, was inefficient and prone to errors.

To accomplish its objectives, Hess turned to Windchill ProductPoint to serve as a PLM entry point that would enable its design teams to share and revise product information without overwriting each other's work, provide version control, and offer the capabilities to search and reuse product development information.

"Windchill ProductPoint solves a major dilemma for us-Hess Services has outgrown the use of PDF files and shared folders for collaboration and file versioning," said Nick Jensen, Hess' chief engineer. "Windchill ProductPoint offers us a 'right-sized' PLM solution that can be quickly and easily deployed on our SharePoint platform and will provide immediate value for our product development team by increasing productivity, efficiency and quality."

Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at Before joining, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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