A playbook for change management and implementing innovation platforms and ideas
I had a chance to sit down with Dave Peace recently after his departure from Swagelok where he enjoyed a long career in engineering and manufacturing process management. Dave spent much of his career at Swagelok shaping their engineering and innovation processes and was instrumental in the original implementation of SolidWorks with PCC in 1996.
As Dave and I were talking about innovation, implementations, normal resistance, and leadership challenges, a favorite quote of his came to mind. Dave went on to say; “Do. Or do not. There is no try." Star Wars fans will of course recognize this as being a famous line from Yoda to Luke Skywalker. “The message is that taking clear, decisive action is what is truly important when leading innovation and change management.”
SolidWorks Founder & Swagelok,PCC get together.Circa 1997 at the Cleveland Indians World Series. Left to right Woody Gurley, Dave O’Connor, Jon Hirschtick, Andrew Dougherty, Dave Peace (not pictured is the photographer-me, Mark Orzen). Jon caught the game ball from our loge seats. Great time had by all.
Yoda and this quote reminded me of the journeys some companies took in 1995-1997 when 3D Windows desktop CAD was once perceived as being either risky, or something to dismiss as a skunkworks area of engineering. Those who turned away were often run over by competitors who were quicker to go “all in,” embracing change and radical thinking.
Looking back to SolidWork’s and the cultural risks, Dave mentioned that “SolidWorks was not only easier to use, but also more affordable and more collaborative than other Unix based tools of the day. However, it was not a safe bet back in 1996 when Pro/ENGINEER, Autodesk and SDRC I-Deas Master Series were engineering staples. It was new, a paradigm shift of desktop Windows CAD, and was culturally different in the form of what engineers felt safe using. For Swagelok, it took a Yoda-like can-do attitude that helped us to shape a new culture of engineering innovation.”
More recently, continuing to embrace Modern CAD paradigm concepts, Dave joined me again on April 10, 2018 at Kichler Lighting to participate in the launch of the ERPlinc at the first Onshape User Group in the Great Lakes region. Driving NPD and Lean engineering, our CPS ERPlinc application has recently been approved and certified on the Onshape App Store and is the first and most affordable app that integrates Onshape with any ERP and or PLM platform.
Like the way Swagelok was an early adapter (1996) in becoming an original SolidWorks customer, Kichler Lighting was also a very large SolidWorks customer who announced (2018) their shift to Onshape as their new standard. Talk about being flooded with memories! There I was being accompanied once again by Dave Peace and John McEleney (former CEO of SolidWorks and now Co-Founder of Onshape) to Kichler Lighting, one of my current customers who utilizes CPS for a variety of data analytics, lean data and digital transformation process initiatives.
Left to right is Dave Peace formerly Swagelok Engineering leader, Mark Orzen former CEO PCC (SolidWorks Leading VAR) current CEO of CPS, Rick Hawk, Business Process Director at Kichler Lighting and John McEleney former SolidWorks CEO & currently Founder / Board Member at Onshape.
What a day to talk about paradigm shifts! The Onshape User Group meeting at Kichler Lighting was wonderful, widely attended by many local manufacturing companies, half of whom are currently using Onshape. My prediction is that the old markets of on-premise CAD will rapidly deteriorate along with PDM platforms both replaced by integrated, cloud-CAD technologies, that enable real-time collaboration, teamwork and efficiencies. My predictions for Onshape are record shattering in terms of subscriptions, impact to NPD and lean engineering results.
The Kichler Lighting value proposition around Lean Engineering has been nothing short of astounding, some highlights listed below:
- Costs associated with old CAD server requirements, the PDM platform, and licenses have been slashed.
- Major savings are now gained from faster iterations without 3D check in or check out.
- Additional savings were realized by integrating 3D CAD with the ERP system without cumbersome PLM or PDM Workflow, driving autonomy for users in Kichler’s extended Engineering Change Request process.
- New Product Development times are projected to be reduced by months, and the solution approach of this initial effort will provide savings in the millions.
This is Part 3 of 5 in the Lean Engineering Paradigm Shift by Mark Orzen. Read Part 1 and Part 2. Subscribe to our blog to ensure you receive the next installment directly to your inbox.
Want to learn more? Join us at LEANutopia on September 20th where you can meet Jon Hirschtick, Founder of SolidWorks and Co-Founder/CEO of Onshape, the leader in modern CAD.