The Future Of Drawing Reviews - Distributed, Digital & Collaborative

CoLab Team

March 10, 2021


min read

The digitization of modern manufacturing has dramatically changed the way engineering teams operate. From cutting edge robotics, to 3D printing, to the Internet of Things, manufacturing efforts have greatly improved. However, the process by which these products get designed and changes get made, has not. The act of redlining or marking up drawings is still largely paper-based in the design and manufacturing world. In a best case scenario, teams use a set of disconnected, desktop PDF tools and then play email tag to share feedback.

However, since manufacturing teams worldwide have moved their operations remote, we’ve seen an overwhelming demand from teams needing to digitize their drawing review process so they can collaborate in real-time with their distributed team from anywhere in the world, including their own homes.

But how can an organization tackle this change, eliminate paper, and create a better drawing review process, and fast?

We’re getting the question a lot, and you need answers. We’ve talked to hundreds of engineering teams across industries about this question, and we’ve compiled the information for you here. 

Why Should I Digitize my Review Process now?

COVID-19 is here, and it is going to be months before teams return to working together in person. Even then, the impact will be lasting - we will see more remote work, more digital collaboration - we have an opportunity to change the way we work. Most engineering organizations have long term goals of becoming digital, connected and cloud-based - digitizing your drawing review process is the first step in doing so, and the time is now.

But why right now and not in 6 months, a year, or when COVID-19 ends? Below are 5 reasons:

1. The Problem Exists Today and Needs an Immediate Solution.

Your team no longer can share drawings in person, printing/scanning is limited and you are trying to move faster than ever. There is something many people enjoy about putting a pen on paper to markup a drawing - but the manual labor, overhead and disconnect is not worth the headache, and today, you don’t have the choice.  

After paper, many teams turn to an offline PDF commenting tool. Feedback is siloed, lost across revisions and email threads, feedback is duplicated or missed, and mistakes are made.Without a fix for this solution, quality is guaranteed to decrease because of poor communication and productivity will be hindered.

2. Your Team is Ready to Embrace Change.

Convincing someone to change their process is never easy. However, right now every worker in the world has had to make some adaptations to their work. Whether you openly acknowledge it or not, you and your team are seeking ways to make small changes that can restore what feels like a “normal day”. Your team is more willing to make change now than ever before and the benefits will be worth it.

3. Productivity Needs to be High.

With many industries in downturns and facing fiscal pressure, there is little room for decreased productivity. Every company is looking to reduce cost and drive productivity. You want to work smarter, not harder - and certainly not wasting your time (or patience) with painful manual processes. Some small changes to your process can get you and your team running efficiently - in most cases even better than before - all the while reducing your cost per design.

4. The Learning Curve has never been Easier.

It’s likely that your team has already adopted a video calling tool and an instant messaging platform - so you are already familiar with cloud-based tools and their collaborative nature. With a purpose built drawing review platform, you can just drop a link to your teammate and they will instantly have access to work with you. No tricky IT setups or painful training programs needed. This isn’t a 24-48 month enterprise software roll-out - this is a simple, cloud-based collaboration tool with instant benefits. 

5. Your IT Team Wants to Support These Changes.

IT is a challenging role on any given day - and right now it's about as demanding of a role as any. Their sole mission is to help you get back to working effectively and they are looking for ways to solve problems. They are also open to cloud-based tools and building solutions for the future - so now is the time to work closely with IT.

How does CoLab Solve my Problem?

Our team was born from a group of engineers designing and building electric cars, defense systems, hyperloop technology, advanced medical systems and world-class industrial equipment. We’ve sat through hundreds (if not thousands) of drawing reviews and we know the pain points of the process and how to make the transition quickly. We are committed to giving teams the single best platform for digital engineering reviews and drawings/documentation are a key part of that process.

CoLab will help you and your team work closer together than ever before and shorten review cycles by 50% (even from home). Below are 6 reasons why CoLab is the best option for your team:

Transform Drawing Reviews in 1 Hour With CoLab

We can transform your drawing review process into a digital, distributed and collaborative machine. Want to see it for yourself? Reach out to us and we’ll set up your first drawing review for free. We are confident that you won’t want to turn back.

Let us help you work smarter, not harder so you can create the solutions the world needs right now.

Contact us to start digitizing your process today!

Get Started

April 7, 2020

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