Ask any manufacturer what his or her business goals are, and you're bound to get one of three answers:
Those statistics come from a June, 2001 survey of users of ActiveProject, a web-based collaborative product development application from Framework Technologies.
But what's more surprising is how those harried manufacturers say they can speed up their cycle time—it's all in product development. For a typical project, these stages soak up the most time, those users say:
To speed collaboration, ActiveProject centralizes access to product development data, accelerating feedback and tracking schedules.
The software was initially developed by engineers at Rockwell Automation (Milwaukee, WI), says Scott Hamilton, Framework's VP of sales and marketing. Then Framework redesigned it for the Internet, and today more than 50,000 users at 100 companies use the web-based tool (though not all were surveyed).
ActiveProject is compatible with Windows XP, and can be deployed within two days, although power-users need extra training, Hamilton admits. Once it's in place, it can support one-to-one, one-to-many, or many-to-many communications. The interface is configurable, so your view will change if you're a team-member, a manager, or an executive.
ActiveProject uses Hoops streaming technology (from TechSoft America, TSA, Oakland, CA), and provides viewers with thumbnail images of CAD files before they're opened.
Users range from the plumbing and faucet company Moen (which uses it to communicate with a global network—including 15 external partners—from its plant in North Olmsted, OH), to paper-packaging equipment-maker Pemco Inc.
For more information about software from Framework Technologies: Enter 534