A technical review package your supplier can actually use

CoLab lets you bring suppliers into design conversations much earlier — shortening product development cycles and exposing risk before a drawing gets to production.

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How it works

CoLab provides secure file sharing that works with your PLM system, so you can get better, faster design feedback from your suppliers.

Speed up the supplier review process

Does this sound familiar?

  • You create a file package for your supplier to review.
  • You send that package via email or a PowerPoint link.
  • You wait… and wait… and wait for your supplier to review the files
  • You set up a meeting to review the final quotes.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Speed is still the greatest hurdle for teams trying to bring suppliers into the product development process. Whether it’s an RFQ, DFM review or quality check, there doesn’t seem to be an easy way to get feedback from suppliers earlier.

Teams who use CoLab set-up dedicated online portals for suppliers to review drawings, 3D models and PMI documentation. All with direct support from your PLM — rather than just another app for your team to ignore. 

So, you get the critical input you need without the hassle of packaging, sending and waiting for feedback. And without a complicated license fee.

Get full visibility into what’s happening with your files

Up to 80% of drawings and models get shared by suppliers (to their suppliers), without you ever knowing. 

Regain control of your critical IP with secure, traceable file sharing. 

CoLab lets you create portals for external sharing, each with custom permissions to view, share, or download files. 

That means every supplier gets the access they need. When you’re done collaborating, shut down file access just as easily.

Turn vendors into partners

Yes — your vendors are just as frustrated as you with how you engage them during product development. And as engineering teams get more top-down pressure to diversify supplier networks or ensure vendors can meet predicted demand, this frustration leads to commodity vendor relationships.

What if, instead, you had a platform where your team could engage with vendors early and often during a PD cycle?

Teams who use CoLab bring their vendors into product development conversations earlier by sharing 3D models, drawings and more in a dedicated, online vendor portal. Then vendors participate in design conversations rather than pilot build requirements requests.

This means less late-stage design errors for your team and a smoother experience for your vendors.


You don’t need yet another disconnected software solution. That's why CoLab does two things: 

  • It integrates with your CAD and PLM software to create a connected tech ecosystem.
  • It replaces the 5-10 apps you use to complete a single process workflow with 1-2 apps (CoLab + PLM, for example)

CoLab supports more than 70 file types, including native and neutral CAD and integrates with many PLM/PDM systems. 

Aside from engineering system integrations, CoLab also integrates with Jira and supports security protocols, like SSO, user permissions and more.

Supplier collaboration case studies

Engineering teams use CoLab to collaborate with suppliers nearly every day.

Mainspring Energy saw a huge opportunity to speed up product development by streamlining their supplier collaboration process. With CoLab, during the first six months, the team has seen a 50% cost reduction during product development… in half the time.

cost reduction
Product Redesigns

“The way we were doing our work is the same way that everyone else has traditionally been doing their work. Take screenshots [of a design], put that into a slide deck, and send that slide deck around for comments. Then you’re getting 10 people in a conference room for an hour. That's how we were doing things, but we knew there had to be a better way.”

Kevin walters
Kevin Walters
Senior Director of Hardware Engineering
Read the Story
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FAQs about using CoLab for Supplier Collaboration

Is it possible to have live collaboration or collaboration that happens and can be checked later?

Can CoLab help in automating supplier quality checklists?

Can I share a single file with multiple suppliers without each supplier seeing the others’ feedback?

Can a supplier request a review from a portal?

When you have an assembly, can you assign individual components within that assembly to certain suppliers?

For security reasons, will we be able to cut off access to a supplier portal once a review is complete?

Are supplier Portals an added cost? And how does licensing within Portal work?

Better products start with better design conversations.

If you’re ready to see how CoLab can transform the way you work with suppliers, here’s how the process works.

  • Every conversation starts with a discovery call. During this call, a technical expert will understand your team’s challenges with design review today
  • Then, we’ll tailor a demo to address those challenges. This demo includes you, of course, but also some key members from your team who can speak to your challenges in greater detail and vet CoLab as the solution.
  • Finally, we do a workshop with more members of your team. This is the fun part! During this workshop, your team will each have temporary CoLab licenses and participate in a sample design review. You and your team will be guided through key features and use cases right inside the CoLab platform.
Schedule a talk with a CoLab product expert.