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Industry Leaders Ride the “Third Wave” of Unified Information Access for Engineers

Imagine giving your engineers back 15 percent of their time to solve problems and innovate. In this video, IHS Product Design VP Chad Hawkinson discusses how leading-edge companies in multiple industry sectors are harnessing the power of unified information access for their engineers to drive innovation, resolve issues and deliver products to market ahead of the competition.

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Interview: Chad Hawkinson, VP, IHS Product Design

Now we’re really embarking on what the “Third Wave” of engineering productivity is, and that is this information access and solving the information access problem around the company, and around the globe – for engineers. So let me give you a couple of examples of companies that have really gone after this “Third Wave” of unified information access.

For example, Boston Scientific, in classic life sciences fashion, did a scientific study with a control group of folks not using these tools, and companies that do use the tools that provide unified information access in the enterprise. It turned out that these engineers were about 15 percent more productive than the engineers not using those solutions. Fifteen percent of your engineering time back to innovate, solve problems faster, and ship your products, to get out ahead of your competition. Huge. Astrium, in the aerospace and defense field – another company who’s validated that about 25 percent of their engineering time can be saved by using these tools for unified information access. So, again, time back to solve engineering problems; get innovations out; and beat your competition to market.

With our tools plugged into this unified information access platform, we have proven that we can take 300 engineers over three months and actually turn it into an afternoon with one of our consultants using our software information.

Chad Hawkinson
VP IHS Product Design

Let’s take an example of root cause analysis. A large aerospace and defense company had a very big, very public problem. They had several hundred engineers working for months to figure out what are all the ways in which this component could have failed, and understanding which ways to address those problems and get a fix out into the marketplace. It took them months and hundreds of engineers. Why? Because engineers focus on what’s in their heads and what they can find. When they can’t find anything else, that’s their universe. It takes them awhile to figure out exactly what they need to do. With our tools plugged into this unified information access platform, we have proven that we can take 300 engineers over three months and actually turn it into an afternoon with one of our consultants using our software information. Dramatic improvements in the ability to solve problems and get fixes out into market.

Another example is innovation. A large medical devices manufacturer that we do business with was looking at an innovative device to insert inside the body, actually a branch of an artery. They couldn’t figure out how to get it through the body because it goes into a branch and it would snag on the way through the artery up into that spot. The engineers couldn’t solve it because they were focusing on typical life sciences-type solutions. But when you have a unified information access platform, you’re not beholden to just what’s relevant in your company or in your industry. In fact, we were able to show innovations in the agricultural industry about how to fold complex machinery into very tight spots, and apply that into the medical devices arena. So, again, something that was taking them months, if not years of investment to try to get through, we were able to—in just a period of days—find them a solution that existed outside of their industry. It’s a very exciting time to be an engineer and to be in a capital-intensive industry where you now have these solutions available to really unlock new productivity benefits for your company.

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