WHAT IS IT?
A collaboration platform builds upon a database in which all data that arises in a company is stored. The platform sits above this as an intelligent interface between the database and applications. The application programs access the data via the platform. With its interfaces, it ensures that applications receive the data that they need, even if they cannot interpret the data format themselves. This means that a commercial or logistics application can extract the weight of parts from 3D CAD models, without having the 3D function themselves.
WHAT DOES IT DO?
Collaboration platforms enable cross-department use of company data. This speeds up processes and prevents duplicate entries and mistakes made during manual transfers. It opens the door to new processes as existing data can be re-used in every department. For example, CAD data enables a shipping box and the necessary padding to be defined in Dispatch, long before the first part has even been manufactured. This, in turn, means that calculations can be made on the basis of realistic packaging and shipping costs.
WHAT ARE ITS BENEFITS?
Far too much company information is still stored in silos, unable to be accessed by other departments. Not only is it not being used in upstream and downstream processes, it is not being taken into account during decision-making processes and in helping companies to succeed. Missing information has to be created again and again – an expensive and error-prone process. Collaborative platforms enable decisions to be made and processes to operate on the basis of all available data and allow this data to flow freely throughout the entire company and across the whole product life cycle.