By Reina V. Slutske
One thing can certainly be said for IQMS: It listens to its customers.
After a group of businesses came together to tell the company that it needed to offer SolidWorks’ CAD system with its current EnterpriseIQ software, Paso Robles, CA-based IQMS took action and launched a joint venture with the CAD software company, which is based out of Waltham, MA.
“When a bunch of customers gather together and say, ‘You really need to do this,’ those are our marching orders,” Glen Nowak, vice president of IQMS, says.
IQMS has been a long-time provider of manufacturing ERP software for supply chains in different industries. However, what customers were looking for was a 3-D CAD system that could go from product and component drawing stage to the shop floor formation seamlessly. This integration is vital to production lines and helps eliminate data inconsistency.
Since SolidWorks is one of the most widely used products among IQMS’ customers, it made sense to work with the company on a new software development. “We’re following the best practices of a SolidWorks partner,” Jason Slater, director of automation for IQMS, says.
According to Slater, one of the biggest problems that IQMS customers faced in its EnterpriseIQ software was that there were concurrent developments that weren’t being processed at the same time. The ability to check in and out documents and see who revised the document last has been added into the system, making the most current revision being the one circulated throughout departments.
This joint venture can go beyond standard drawings to include a variety of services, including creating engineering change order, bills of material, project management, and preventative maintenance modules.
For medical device companies, this is a boon, because the development is linking the 3-D software with an ERP system, helping create a quality control system for people in design and on the manufacturing floor. This allows synchronization between different sides of the company, so, instead of numerous pieces of the same data, there is only one copy, and everyone can access it.
“They [can] put that data straight into IQ instead of multiple copies,” Slater says. Nowak echoed that sentiment, saying that the company’s competitors typically do an export system that would require files being made over and over again after changes are completed. Adding the linking can make the access easier and streamline any process.
In the joint venture, IQMS has to provide SolidWorks with the names of the companies who are using its products. Once it verifies the usage of the company’s software, IQMS can become a certified partner of Solidworks, which means that they will be able to market with SolidWorks’ software, which could expand IQMS’ customer base. Meanwhile, the company and Slater’s development group is keeping an eye out for additional developments that could improve relationships with its customer base, such as auto CAD.
Reina V. Slutske is the assistant editor for MD+DI.