Improving the Competitive Edge for the AEC Industry

February 9, 2016

ECM2 (2)

Since the 1980s, computer aided design (CAD) software has been a critical component of the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industries. These systems – including Autodesk®, Dassault Systèmes and Bentley Systems® – are used for designing and engineering plans/blueprints for products and building projects. Within their CAD systems, engineers can view a design from any angle with the click of a mouse and zoom in or out. For many organizations, their CAD system is a core business system from which their business processes revolve around. Using CAD software is more than just producing drawings though. Today’s projects also include contract specifications, change requests and purchasing documents. The challenge is that most of these supporting documents are stored separately, either in different physical places or on network file shares, so it’s hard for companies to get that complete picture of a project. That’s why an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system is so helpful for AEC companies.

With an ECM solution, you can connect your related business content with your design drawings. Even your complex, compound CAD files can be stored all in one place for easy access, getting the full picture of your project that you’ve been wanting. You can empower your engineers to retrieve, modify and archive drawings without ever leaving their familiar CAD environment. This integration is huge and cuts down training costs and the learning curve. Your process doesn’t have to drastically change and you can assure your staff of that. Instead, your processes will just be more efficient and complete. It’ll enable your project managers, cost accountants, and customers to mark up drawings and view related documents all in one easy to use place.

Here are just a few ways that ECM can help boost the success and efficiency of an existing CAD system:

  • Extend ECM capabilities to CAD files, including capture, search, workflow, folders and revisions.
  • Enable centralized storage, granular security and consistent retention for all documents within an organization, including CAD files.
  • Minimize training and increase software adoption by keeping CAD users in the CAD application.
  • Reduce need for additional CAD software licenses, by providing a CAD Viewer for non-CAD users.
  • Provide remote, distributed access to CAD drawings via the Web, promoting multi-site collaboration.
  • Improve your design processes with an Enterprise Content Management solution and find out why organizations all over the world have adopted ECM with their CAD systems.


With constant increases in the complexity of projects and competition for time and resources, ECM is a must-have for those companies building tomorrow’s world.

Les Walker
President, Enterprise Content Management

Les Walker is responsible for the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) group. Konica Minolta’s ECM practice helps organizations achieve business efficiencies and cost savings through the better management of business content and the automation of workflow processes. He also directs Konica Minolta’s ECM acquisition strategy.