Collaboration Tools for Complex Projects
With a well-designed application, changing business needs don’t have to mean getting left behind.
Our client is an industry leader in the world of piping. Compared to their competitors, they are unique in that they focus their efforts exclusively on heat tracing, the external application of heat to pipes, tanks and instrumentation.
Entrance created a custom software application for this client that translates the complex thermodynamic equations needed to calculate multi-segment heat tracing designs and codified them into a user friendly product. While this solution saved the client a lot of time, as the company grew the need to complete larger projects changed its business need with respect to the capabilities of the software application.
The application already allowed a single designer to create and validate heat tracing designs by himself but in practice many projects are too large to be executed by a single designer. The client wanted to be able to divide up the design of the electrical circuits for these larger projects into groups and assign each group of circuits to a team member, then unify them again when the project was complete. This missing collaboration feature was a barrier to wider roll-out of the software, and was the source of many complaints from the people who did use it.
Entrance added on to the application so that users can now divide up projects and work on them separately. As work is completed, the application syncs to a central server so that others on the team can see what has been done.
In addition, users can also work offline when necessary, and their work syncs back to the server when they regain network connectivity. When the designers are done with their individual portions, the complete heat tracing design is turned into a bill of materials.
The ability to collaborate has improved adoption of the use of the application across the company. It also has improved the efficiency of the client’s employees. As the company continues to grow as a result of increased ability to perform, plans are in the works to translate the application into several new languages so that in can be distributed to a global user base.
For more on how this engineering software collaboration tool is saving our client money, check out this post.