May 21, 2019 Written by John Heller

Make Teamwork a Cinch. Simplify Collaboration with Vertex

How many times has this happened to you: You’re in a meeting, at dinner, or just at your desk with a colleague, and you’re trying to explain a concept. At some point in the conversation, you grab a notepad or a napkin to draw your idea. As soon as you sketch it, your colleague immediately understands what you’re suggesting and starts iterating or providing feedback.

On a small scale, that situation summarizes the entire product development process. Design engineers are constantly looking for the best way to share and collaborate on product designs with suppliers. Unfortunately, today’s technology doesn’t allow for simple sharing, so engineers rely on workarounds like screenshots, FTP, or email to share static images. In some cases, engineers may go so far as to screenshare which risks intellectual property (IP).

What if you could harness the simplicity of sketching and handing napkin ideas to your colleagues? Vertex gives design engineers and their supplier partners a high-fidelity 3D version of a napkin while protecting valuable IP.

How Does it Work?

Consider the effort that engineers go through to share designs with suppliers. They reduce component and assembly views and create orphaned 3D model packages, taking hours of valuable time. After that, they jump through several approval hoops. Approvals can take days or even weeks—and the actual collaboration process hasn’t even started yet!

Sharing with Vertex cuts away this whole process. Instead, engineers simply upload their designs to the platform in minutes, limit the BOM view in seconds, and instantly share that view with collaborators. What once took days of time can now take mere minutes.

3 Benefits to Fast and Easy Sharing and Collaboration

The majority of supplier interaction today occurs late in the development process, despite the fact that early collaboration is proven to help organizations innovate and optimize designs. Today’s collaboration tools and processes are notorious for limiting early-stage interaction, making it costly and challenging.

What happens when engineers can share data easier and faster on a high-fidelity 3D “napkin”? Organizations can:

1. Engage Suppliers Earlier

Vertex allows design engineers to move a majority of collaboration to the earlier stages of product development. By pulling in suppliers during ideation and feasibility testing, companies can save time, money, and design a better product before encountering costly changes.

2. Collaborate With Suppliers Easier

Early stages of product development provide the most potential for innovation. Vertex allows companies to have alignment on BOM and models, which enables simple iteration and idea exchange early in the process. Suppliers and engineers have an opportunity to:

  • Develop products faster
  • Work more closely together
  • Resolve issues quickly
  • Identify areas for innovation

3. Build Strong Relationships

Suppliers tend to have solution insights based on their expertise within their field of service. Early, meaningful interactions with suppliers lead to strong interactions that share these insights. Plus, more valuable conversations help companies identify technical problems or opportunities for optimization.

Quick and Secure 3D Collaboration with Suppliers

The idea behind sketching and ideation on napkins doesn’t have to be limited to side-by-side conversations anymore. Vertex allows designers to quickly and securely share any size model at-scale with the selected BOM view best for their collaborators.

We’ve only begun to scratch the surface of how Vertex eases collaboration across the extended enterprise. I encourage you to contact Vertex if you’re interested in learning more about how to simplify supplier collaboration workflows.


John has extensive experience in mechanical engineering, supplier collaboration, cross-functional relationship-building, and procurement activities. Through this experience, he learned optimal ways to bridge the gap between engineering, procurement, and the supply chain. He has championed new product roadmaps, spearheaded procurement strategies, and worked with customers to understand truly valuable opportunities for product improvement. As Product Marketer for Vertex Software, John leverages his extensive background in engineering and product lifecycle to best understand and communicate pain points and opportunities in manufacturing organizations.