Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Autodesk 'Open Doors' Revolutionise your business

I'd like to introduce our Autodesk 'Open Doors' Product Lifecycle Management event. Please join us and our special guests for a day of strategic discussions and information sharing that aims to help you revolutionise your business and improve your processes. Perhaps you’re an expert in PLM but you are still trying to improve some key processes more flexibly and cost effectively, or maybe you suspect PLM could be good for your business but have always believed it’s too big, too complicated, and too expensive and maybe you just want to learn more. 

Whatever your situation, attending one of our PLM ‘Open Doors’ events will be time well spent. 


UK & Nordics:          http://www.autodeskplm360.co.uk/events/autodesk-open-doors-product-lifecycle-management-event-series/

Event Date & Locations:

Dortmund, 31/10, with CIMData                              
Munich, 15/11
Stuttgart, 27/11

Gothenburg, 7/11, with CIMData
Aarhus, 21/11   

Oxford, 1 /11, with CIMData
Manchester, 21/11

Information about our independent key note speaker, CIMData, can be found here http://www.cimdata.com/about/company_profile.html

Where CIMData is not present, Autodesk will present highlights from their presentation

The German events will be held in German.  UK and Nordics events in English.

Session Times:
08:00 - 11:00 - Morning session (incl. breakfast)
11:00 - 13:00 - Morning 1:1 discussion slots
13:00 - 16:00 - Afternoon session (incl. lunch)
16:00 - 18:00 - Afternoon 1:1 discussion slots

Event Cost:
Free of Charge

Who should attend:
VP/Director Engineering
VP/Director Quality
VP/Director R&D
VP/Director Operations
Product/Project Management Leaders

Thanks for reading....Mike

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Space Group selects Autodesk PLM 360

This week I visited Rob Charlton (Chief Executive) and Adam Ward (Technology Leader) from Space Group, BIM specialists and new users of Autodesk PLM 360.

 Laser survey of Manchester Town Hall
Mike: Morning guys great to meet you both, after chatting via twitter for the last few years, it's good to put a face to the twitter name! Can you tell me about Space group and the companies background?

Rob: Space group started out a Waring and nets Partnership in the 1950s. Over the past 15 years we have evolved into space group. This process has occurred through our passion for finding more efficient ways of designing, delivering and operation building. Whilst there is a huge amount of talent in the UK construction industry we do continue to do things inefficiently. We are passionate about using technology to achieve our goals.

_space group now includes space architecture who have been an early adopter of BIM and now exclusively use 3D software on all projects. BIM technologies specialise in developing applications to assist in the delivery of projects as well providing support to the whole construction supply chain to deliver BIM. BIMstore.co.uk is an on line library of BIM components. We also have spacehus within the group who specialise in pre fabricated buildings.

Baltic Place Gateshead Quayside

Mike: So what does a typical project look like and do you specialise in any particular area?

Rob: There is no such thing as a typical project however what is constant is our passion to use the latest techniques and technologies to improve the outcomes for our clients.
We work across several sectors and have offices across the UK. Our clients are across the public and private sector. Most of our clients share our passion for improved outcomes and are a central part in delivering innovation.

Laser model of Manchester town hall
Mike: I Really like that approach Rob, so tell me about your experience with Autodesk PLM 360 so far, what are your thoughts?

Rob: We are relatively new to Autodesk PLM 360 and it has taken a few weeks to get our head around how we can apply it to the construction sector. The manufacturing industry operated in a more controlled and structured way. We always use the processes of manufacturing as an example of what the construction industry should be considering. The power of Autodesk PLM360 is obvious to see. However the challenge is how the established processes and procedures in construction can be tipped on their head to deliver improved outcomes. We are now developing a roadmap which will get us to this point. We are starting with some small projects and plan to develop these over time to encapsulate the whole project lifecycle.

Spacehus pre fabricated buildings
Mike:  Can you tell me about some of the processes that you're going manage in Autodesk PLM 360 and what results you think you will achieve?

Rob: In the first instance we are starting with the quotation and delivery cycle for BIM store. This is small enough to manage and will show benefits. We then plan to move onto a construction project and look to develop a Project Execution Plan.
As the manufacturing process for spacehus develops we will look to develop a workflow to manage the complete cycle from order to completion. We also intend to move the whole design process onto Autodesk PLM 360  We acknowledge this is quite a challenge but believe it is achievable.

We are also planning to partner with some construction partners who have expressed an interest. The management of workflows on site during construction will benefit significantly from this new thinking. Autodesk PLM 360 will allow the processes to be far better integrated. At present so many processes and procedures in construction are disjointed leading to errors and waste.

240 Blackfriars BIM

Mike: Excellent I'm looking forward to working with you on these projects. How have you found the cloud based and configurable nature of Autodesk PLM 360?

Rob: We see all of our business moving to the cloud. One of the major selling points of Autodesk PLM 360 is the ease of use. The potential is in effect, only limited by your thinking. We have no issues with the software more how we can change our processes to benefit. We were able to start developing workflows within half an hour.

Cramlington Junior Learning Village
Mike: Do you think Autodesk PLM 360 could become the standard offering in your industry?

Rob: Autodesk PLM 360 is an excellent and flexible tool. It can be configured to suit individual needs. There will be a move to the cloud in the next few years. BIM has encourage new thinking across the industry, as well as the influx of some fresh new minds. The industry will become more joined up and will see the benefit of joined up workflows. I believe we are seeing the start of the next generation of development in the industry which I refer to as BIM2.0. We have moved beyond 3D platforms and are now looking at cloud based solutions. Autodesk PLM 360 will play a large part in this change.

Mike: Thanks Rob, catch up with you next month to see how things are shaping up.

Thanks for reading....Mike

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Autodesk PLM 360 and Cheeky Monkey

This week I met with Nina Dar the Managing Director of Cheeky Monkey business solutions, I've known Nina for many years and prior to my role at Autodesk we met at many occasions at events like PLM Innovation. We share a mutual interest in PLM and discussed many best practices for Innovation. So after joining Autodesk I was really excited to show Nina Autodesk PLM 360 and get her team using our product.

Mike: Hi Nina, we've know each other for many years but could you tell my readers about you and Cheeky Monkey?

Nina: I describe myself as a Business Architect; it's a term used in the US for people who have the rare combination of business knowledge, process experience, transformation talents, methodology skills, and a winning personality that helps with communication and business change management.   You have to take the Americanism "winning personality" in the spirit it is meant, as you know Mike, I'm not a wallflower! Really it’s the latest name for those individuals who have had accidental careers not ever really fitting into a conventional business structure but sticking their hands up for every business changing project they can get stuck into, refusing to get side-lined by protocol and delivering dazzling results...that's me and you!.

A loud and proud Mancunian from the blue side of the city, I have spent the last 20 years taking ballsy decisions with some of the biggest (and smallest) companies in this country and all over the world, including some of the toughest places like Nigeria, Ghana and Indonesia.  Always described as a “wild card” I was head-hunted for projects no-one else knew what to do with. My approach was and still is seen as unconventional, but I think it’s just common sense. Few disagree with the fact that I am direct, uncompromising and fearless.

I felt my peer group was dull and uninspiring, so I set up Cheeky Monkey Business Solutions in 2004 www.cheeky-monkey.co to show the world that business change projects can be delivered differently. Cheeky Monkey delivers a human approach to innovation and change in four key areas; transformation, project management, innovation and PLM.  It has a client list that includes Boots, Unilever, Bibby Distribution, John West, PZ Cussons and many smaller businesses that are just doing exciting things.

Mike: So 'PLM made simple' is a solution that I really like, how did it start and what does it offer businesses?

Nina: We were delivering a number of different projects for PZ Cussons; moving one of their manufacturing sites, new build programmes, new processes, ways of working and re-energising brands and they asked us to direct their PLM project.  We hadn't heard about PLM, so we did our research and became very excited by the prospect of doing this, it seemed to be a culmination of everything we did, in our eyes PLM was about joining the dots in throughout a business allowing everyone to work in a shared space.  We could see the benefits immediately.

Sadly, PZC had already purchased a PLM software (a little back to front in our eyes) and we had to make it work.  This became a labour of love!  I became so involved in the concept of PLM, since in my eyes it had been so ill defined by the software providers, and the battle between what business need and what it could be if not for the constraints of the software.  I designed workshops, processes, ways of working and change management structures that would allow the business to see success and started to talk openly about my frustrations at PLM conferences...which I think is where we first met you...kindred spirits!

PLM Made Simple is a concept that cuts through the bull in this space.  It focuses on modern business, people who are really interested in collaboration, open innovation and taking their business to its next level.  Adopting PLM is like a game of snakes and ladders; get it right and you short cut so many things that accelerate your business potential; get it wrong and you go backwards, sadly we have had to rescue too many people who have chosen those snakes. 

Mike: Love the snakes and ladder concept! Sounds great. So you have seen Autodesk PLM 360 and we have discussed MANY topics. What's your first impression?

Nina: Seriously, it does all of that!  It's not often I'm lost for words but as you took me through what you have done with this tool and what it's capable of I was thinking AT LAST, someone has listened to what business needs in this area!!

Mike: Thanks Nina, we sure are excited about Autodesk PLM 360. Do you think that our approach will benefit your existing customer base and can you see Autodesk PLM 360 fitting into your business model?

Nina: You were very kind Mike when you said I was ahead of my time with PLM Made Simple, it would be great to combine that approach with Autodesk PLM 360, I think there is a perfect fit and I sense that the outcome would make the business involved very successful. 

Mike: Well, I brought a  book with me today called 'Transform Your Business' that’s written by you. This book looks really great, can you sign it ! Jokes aside how did this all come about?

Nina: Haha, of course! Alison from Hodder called me on April 1st 2010 and asked me if I'd been signed up yet?  I thought it was one of my mates playing an April Fool joke on me. After that embarrassing mistake they still wanted me to write a book for them!!  They had followed my blog and liked the Cheeky Monkey style, they gave me free reign to write an easy to follow guide to business transformation, all joking aside its something I'm very proud of having a book published is on everyone's bucket list I think. 

Mike: So next steps, how do you intend to use Autodesk PLM 360 in your business and which customers can you see will have an immediate need?

Nina: Some of our clients have really struggled to get the headline benefits from adopting various PLM software solutions and I would love to show them Autodesk PLM 360 and see if it would make a difference to what they are trying to achieve.  As we discussed Mike, I too had been suffering a bit of battle fatigue with PLM and it's not really been the focus of our business recently, but I feel really excited about what I have seen with Autodesk PLM 360 and my mind is already turning ideas over on how we could get more involved again, so watch this space!

Thanks Nina, and lets catch up next month to see how things are progressing

Thanks for reading...Mike