My last post about SOLIDWORKS World 2018 is about dreams. I’ve heard Bernard Charles, Dassault Systemes Vice Chairman and CEO said “We all have big dreams”. I wanted to find what is the biggest dream of SWW2018 that match my dreams about future of engineering and manufacturing.
Here is my favorite – 3D EXPERIENCE Marketplace. Presented by Senior Vice President of DS, Florence Hu, it looks like a future of digital transformation connecting industrial suppliers with engineering and manufacturing companies.
I wonder what is a difference between Enterprise and Community services. My hunch enterprise services is somewhat deployed and used by large OEM (eg. Boeing) and Community is driven by connections and providers affiliated with Dassault Systemes. I think, there is an overlap between them, but I can see a point to split.
A practical example for engineers using SOLIDWORKS is Part Supply service. The following screenshot shows me a way to select part to be used in my project. That’s something useful and I can see engineers are using it every day. People are ordering parts using variety of services online (McMaster-Carr, Fastenal, MSC, etc.). However, some others can go to ACE Hardware store.
How Market place and Part supply can help? To check this, I registered for Part Supply to make few searches and see how can I order Parts.
The following screenshots can give you an idea about what experience can you get from sign-in, browsing through the list of suppliers and parts.
Then I tried to go with the following search “3/8″-16 x 1″ Grade 5 Zinc Finish Hex Cap Screw” for my future project (the select is artificial – I just thought that ordering of Hex Cap Screw can be something ordinary ever project will be facing).
Unfortunately, I failed in Part Supply. Search didn’t bring any results.
I’ve got some luck by searching for “3/8 Hex Cap Screw”. It was not exactly what I was looking for. But I was able to download SOLIDWORKS Model together with BOM information in txt file. The part was sourced via TraceParts. The available supplier was in Italy.
I tried few online services used by companies I’m familiar with – Fastenal and McMaster. I found the screw as you can see that on the following screen captures.
And McMaster-Carr was ready to ship it in the morning
What is my conclusion? Digital marketplace is the future. I have no doubt about it. Current processes are very much fragmented. I can order parts on McMaster Carr, but when I need to fulfill the order for my entire project, it requires either large enterprise system or lot of “dance” with Excel spreadsheets. Integrated environment is a great dream – I agree about it with Dassault Systems. But it is not here yet. We will keep dreaming, but most importantly focus on digital transformation and how to bring big bulk of Excels into new digital eco-system of cloud services. It looks like 3DEXPERIENCE Marketplace is aiming to become one of them. Just my thoughts…
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Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of OpenBOM developing cloud based bill of materials and inventory management tool for manufacturing companies, hardware startups and supply chain. My opinion can be unintentionally biased.