How engineering teams can do more with less

If you’re here, then you’re probably leading an engineering team that has been asked to do more with less. There’s lots of ways to go about that. But like any engineering problem, it all starts with the root cause. So let’s talk about it…

Why does it feel like everything has gotten harder?

Today’s engineering teams face sky high expectations. Every year, customers demand products with more functionality, at a lower cost, with faster lead times. To keep up, companies need teams of specialized experts (inside the business and across the global supply chain) working closely together.

What happens when these teams don’t work together effectively?

Product launches get delayed

Projects go over budget

Quality mistakes make it in to production

Here’s the problem…

Every time people try to work together, it’s hard

Consider the last time you did a complex design review with multiple people. How did you prompt people to start generating useful feedback in the first place? Did you have a meeting? How many people were able to attend? How many actively participated?

And once you generated the feedback, how’d you keep track of it? How much useful input was ultimately lost in email chains, spreadsheets, and Powerpoint presentations? It’s hard to catch mistakes (and to capture opportunities), when useful input is constantly slipping through the cracks.

Why is it so hard? (The missing half of the PLM promise)

Product lifecycle management (PLM) systems have become a critical source of truth for manufacturing companies. But PLM is built for managing product data. And decision making isn’t just about people engaging with data. It’s about people engaging with other people. 

A PLM system is a database, with a rigid architecture that’s optimized for data (and for human to data interaction). What engineers need now is a system that’s built for human to human interaction.

CoLab is a Design Engagement System. That means CoLab is built from the ground up to help people engage – not just with data, but with each other – to make great design decisions.

You probably call that process a design review. At CoLab, we believe that design review effectiveness (quality + speed) is the #1 predictor of overall product development velocity. We want to help you run your best design reviews ever.

A Design Engagement System Built for Collaboration

What is CoLab?

CoLab is a cloud based platform purpose built for fast, effective design review. Using CoLab, multiple engineers, designers, and other stakeholders can review designs together and build off one another's feedback.

CoLab isn’t built to control product data -- you already have PLM for that. Instead, it allows you to interrogate the right data with the right people in real-time or asynchronously. With CoLab, decisions are made with context, input from the right people, and as early as possible in the process. 

Reviews and decision making get tracked automatically and can be synced back to PLM. Engineers can do what they do best, and CoLab will support them with record-keeping in the background. Meanwhile, CoLab’s Insights feature gathers data about all of the human to human interactions that power your product decision making. That means you can objectively improve how your team evolves a design from concept to production validation.

Explore a product overview

The best engineering teams in the world won’t settle for 10% efficiency gains. By focusing on effectiveness, they’re unlocking a new working potential.

Read Case Studies

New Product Development

Ford Pro is partnering with customers on designs years sooner.

“We’re now starting to work with conversion partners through CoLab years before we’re ready to go into production, which historically is when they’d see that first bit of product.”

Simon Robinson
Chief Engineer, Ford Pro
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Value Analysis

JCI doubled the number of actionable cost reduction ideas per VA/VE event, leading to 8 figures in savings

"With our normal in person events we’d find more than 100 opportunities for value-add on the models we’re reviewing. This year with our virtual events in CoLab, we’re averaging over 200."

Brian Stauffer
Global Product Design Manager, JCI
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Product Redesigns

Mainspring Energy achieved a 50% cost reduction, while accelerating design cycles by 100% and releasing 300 drawings with zero changes

"Something that used to take a full year, we got it done in six months. And I personally have never overseen a cost reduction redesign of that scale — in terms of the number of parts and the amount of complexity — and been able to hit a 50% cost reduction on it.”

Kevin Walters
Senior Director of Hardware
Read story

Behind every feat of engineering are thousands of design decisions. What would your team build, if every decision was 2x faster and more thorough?


Deliver better products, faster.