NetSuite CAD Integration with Autodesk


Autodesk’s AutoCAD is one of the most popular CAD applications, initially released in 1982 and in its updated form still used today. It allows engineers to create both 2D and 3D drawings and helps different industries with industry-specific toolsets.

Integrating CAD with ERP can benefit a company by connecting product design with production. Given its wide use then, an Autodesk ERP integration is extremely valuable for businesses.

Autodesk has such an integration between its PLM software (Autodesk Fusion Lifecycle) and NetSuite, the #1 cloud ERP platform. The integration works bidirectionally, transferring data both to the PLM and to the ERP system. It also offers some of the same benefits of typical CAD integration (with the ability to include Autodesk’s CAD software as well). Here they are in detail:

  1. Speeds up cycle from product development to production to delivery:

Integrating Autodesk’s PLM with NetSuite’s ERP software helps automate many business functions (for example, see #2 below) and connects the company. This quickens the product cycle from its initial design to its final delivery to the consumer.

  1. Transfers engineering BOM to manufacturing BOM:

As we explained in our post about CAD ERP integration, in manufacturing companies, engineers need to send the BOM to purchasing so the requisite factors can be bought, and to manufacturing so production can take place. When engineers do this manually, it takes up time they could be doing something else, and it also increases the likelihood of errors. These errors can lead to the ordering of wrong parts or the wrong quantity of parts, costing the business money.

Integration helps solve these problems by automating the transfer of BOM data, reducing the workload and making mistakes less likely.

  1. Keeps track of product versions over time:

Companies want to keep track of changes made to their products over time. For example, if an engineer modifies the design of a product, this information should be documented. The Autodesk ERP integration allows a business to track this data on both their PLM and their NetSuite systems, so it’s fully visible for those who need it.

  1. Reduces costs in product development:

When engineers develop a product, it’s important to consider the cost of parts used. The business after all, doesn’t just have to create the “best design,” but deliver that value in a way that uses resources most effectively (i.e. a cost-effective best design).

Unfortunately, if the engineering team is split from the front end of the business, it can be hard to design a system that does this well. Brenda Discher, VP of Manufacturing Industry Strategy and Marketing at Autodesk, points out “More than 50 percent of product costs are locked in during the design phase.” Integration solves this by providing an easy way to share product costing information so it’s properly accounted for.

  1. Sends feedback from customers to backend:

Lastly, feedback from customers can be sent to engineers and product designers. Customer feedback, after all, is crucial, and if product developers don’t have proper insight into what the customer is saying, they can miss out on ways to fix problems or create more value. It’s not always easy to integrate the front end and back end of your business to take this sort of thing into account. However, with integration, this information can be shared with the right people.

For manufacturers, CAD integration can help a business save money, reduce labor, and facilitate their business processes. Autodesk offers just such an integration with its PLM and NetSuite’s Manufacturing Edition. These are two of the top software products in their respective fields, and the combination helps businesses become far more efficient.

If you’re interested in this integration or CAD integration in general, get in touch. You can reach Bista Solutions through our contact form.

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