If you’re a freelancer and you’ve led or managed a complex PCB design project, the need to involve your customer in the product development process may not be obvious. Your customer is probably a project manager at a bigger company, so they’ll be overseeing progress on the project and leading communication with you. If you work on a small team or as part of a large organization, involving customers in product development can be time-consuming, but it’s essential to success.
The more complex the product gets, the more involved your customer will need to be to ensure you’re designing to their requirements. When you’re using a data sharing system that integrates with your PCB design tools, it’s easy to give your customers visibility into the product development process. Altium 365 is the only system that integrates with Altium Designer® and gives you the ability to give anyone access to your PCB projects, including your customers and manufacturer.
Even though some customers can be meddlers and may want to babysit your design team, there are real benefits to keeping your customer constantly in the loop. I regularly always try to loop in my designers into relevant communication from customers so that there is no ambiguity in communication. Here are some reasons to keep your customer involved in the PCB development process with a set of data sharing tools:
If this type of collaboration is so critical to project success, why has it traditionally been so difficult? Designers have their design tools, sharing platforms, communication tools, and design data in separate applications. Altium 365 is changing this dynamic and offers a number of tools that let you collaborate on PCB design projects in the cloud.
Getting your customers involved in PCB product development starts with giving them access to your project with viewing privileges. Atium 365 makes this easy through a web interface or within Altium Designer.
Once a project is shared through Altium 365, designers and customers can work through questions, schematic/layout design issues, and design requirements within design documents. Comments are attached directly to components or regions in the design, ensuring feedback and communication are clear.
Once your team has addressed feedback and comments and your customer has approved any design changes, you can send a complete PCB project release to your manufacturer. The commenting process also extends to
If you’re an Altium Designer user, you can easily bring your customers into the PCB design process with the Altium 365 platform. This combo gives you a simple way to share PCB project data with other designers, your customers, manufacturers, embedded developers, and anyone else that has a stake in a project. Altium Designer and Altium 365 also support sharing mechanical designs for your enclosure and other data in your library files.
As the electronics industry starts onshoring mode design and manufacturing capabilities, design teams will need to find new ways to stay at peak efficiency. Cloud-based design collaboration tools with access and revision control features have a major role to play in this transformation, especially as more teams go fully remote. Altium 365 is another tool in your collaboration toolbox to help you share design data, track revisions, control access to projects, and manage data all in one place.
Whether you’re working remotely or you’re in the office with your design team, Altium Designer® and the Altium 365® platform make collaboration easy and sharing. You’ll have the tools you need to involve customers in product development and create a productive PCB design workflow.
We have only scratched the surface of what is possible to do with Altium Designer on Altium 365. You can check the product page for a more in-depth feature description or one of the On-Demand Webinars.