November 13, 2013 14:39 ET

Aero-Clicks? How Eng-Clicks' Can Help Your Firm

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Nov. 13, 2013) - Those in the know can probably skip this first part, but we've been talking a lot about "Content Management" and how the Eng-Clicks content management software - Solgenia Freedoc - can help Engineers meet industrial quality standards. For aerospace professionals in Canada, AS9100C and the requirements for obtaining it are well-known. For prospective industry entrants or anyone wondering what the fuss is about, here's a bit of background.

First, AS9100 is an internationally recognized aerospace quality management standard. It is widely used in the aerospace industry to identify vendors who conform to a particular set of quality standards ("AS9100 Certified", or "AS9100C"). In Canada, for example, the Montreal aerospace community is known for widespread adherence to AS9100 standards. AS9100 is the result of integration and revision of more general engineering quality standards previously adhered to by aerospace manufacturers, such as ISO 9000. The latest version of AS9100 requires those pursuing certification to implement a content management system.

Content and document management (also known as "data management" or "configuration management") systems are tools, methods and processes used to manage records. They allow for revision control and version control. Documents can be "checked in" and "checked out", edited and tracked. Good content management systems reduce the potential for errors. In the high-stakes aerospace and defence industry, it's no surprise that they have become a standard requirement. The documentation of complex design processes must be carefully and securely controlled, and audit-ready on demand.

Eng-Clicks CEO Marin Vratonjic explains further:

"The AS9100C standard doesn't actually call for digital management. You can still manually manage paper documents for now…but to mitigate risk and increase your compliance, digital management is the better choice. With Eng-Clicks and Freedoc, you will probably pay less for digital management than you will pay for printing and paper."

At the other end of the spectrum is a full commercial business management system, like Siemens TeamCenter. TeamCenter will take you beyond the minimum requirements of AS9100C, but it is probably not an affordable option for smaller firms looking to get established and gain a foothold in the Canadian aerospace sector.

Enter Solgenia Freedoc.

What makes it such a good option for content management? Freedoc gives you the ability to create documents in a word processor and save them right in the Eng-Clicks cloud. It removes the upload step, so there is no need to bring documents into the portal. It's simple and seamless record management. Asked to provide an example of how Freedoc can improve efficiency, Vratonjic says, "Some companies have necessary but naturally inefficient processes - pushing paper is still the norm. Requiring multiple approvals for a purchase order is a good example of this. If a purchase order has to be sent to ten different departments for review and approval, it's no surprise that purchase orders take time to actually get out the door. With Freedoc, you can post the purchase order, and send an email to those ten departments telling them that the document is available. Freedoc's central mail system makes this easy. They can review it and sign off online. Red tape is cut. Time is saved, paper is saved - it's a lot less hassle for managers who may have to sign off on many different documents in a typical day."

Vratonjic's purchase order example was pretty simple - the Social Spaces component of Freedoc is very useful for simple documents. Now replace that purchase order with a complicated 3D design model that needs to be reviewed by multiple parties. Those parties may not all be in the same office, or even in the same city. Allowing them to check in, check out, review, correct, comment on and approve a design using Freedoc can enhance efficiency ten-fold.

This is the way business is probably going to be done in the future. It makes sense to start now and put your company ahead of the curve. Engineering change notification is another process that can be greatly simplified by digitizing records. When a design change is required, it needs to be diligently documented. Many people and organizations may need to be notified. Tracking changes is challenging enough - how does revision "A" affect part "X" and process "Y"? Record keeping and traceability is critical when you are dealing with multiple components of a complex system, particularly when public safety is at stake.

Freedoc cannot satisfy the content management requirements for every company, since some processes are highly customized for a particular business. Solgenia and Eng-Clicks are happy to evaluate companies to see if Freedoc is appropriate for them. There are a few variables to consider: for example, how many employees will be using the system per month? This will determine the monthly cost, since each user will have an individual Eng-Clicks membership.

"There are many content management systems out there," observes Marin Vratonjic. "My company had a commercial content management system, and the initial cost was about $75,000. That is pretty typical since you are paying for server space and IT support. It can be prohibitively expensive for companies to put these systems into place and therefore impossible for them to get their AS certification. Without that certification, you aren't going to get work in the aerospace industry. High start-up costs are a huge barrier. Eng-Clicks has a way to significantly reduce costs in an industry with typically high overhead.

The server is there, the tech support is there…Eng-Clicks is hosting all of these services in one place. What we want is for the portal to become part of people's work day. They have access to these two tools - Freedoc and Weblive - to coordinate documents and communicate with one another. These are core business functions, and the right tools can make them so much easier and more effective. Canadian companies will benefit from global collaboration, and Eng-Clicks can make this happen."

Asked to sum up the benefits, Vratonjic needs only a second to think.

"It's simple: AS9100C requires a content management system. Eng-Clicks and Solgenia can provide this in the form of Freedoc for a much lower cost than what firms traditionally pay for these systems. Server space and IT support are included, and the product is part of a remarkable integrated cloud service - Eng-Clicks. This is an ideal solution for those in the aerospace engineering industry."

Using Solgenia's WebLive software from his Toronto office, Marin Vratonjic insists on having the last word.

"I'm not going to stop talking about this until companies have realized the benefits of these products. The Engineering industry can benefit massively from this technology. It's just a question of cutting through the noise, the constant stream of advertisements…Freedoc and Eng-Clicks can change the way Engineering firms do business and comply with industry standards - quickly and easily, with enormous and immediate benefits."

Visit the Eng-Clicks portal for more information, and to create your profile. The Eng-Clicks team is offering a limited number of Freedoc trial memberships. Invest in your company's future. Emailinformation@cb-fg.com for details.

Contact Information