Why CGI is important for small and medium-sized businesses

By Alyssa
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by Tim Rau, Head of Experience Creation, 3DEXCITE

Computer Generated Imagery, or CGI, has long since transcended its role as a niche sales and marketing tool that only a select few can access or afford, and has became a powerhouse must-have weapon in today’s hyperconnected business landscape. Proof of its ubiquitous status can be found in many of the latest car advertisements, print imagery, and as the sole driving force for the latest immersive VR experiences.  CGI’s flexibility and capacity to scale across all digital devices and platforms gives it an edge that practical photo shoots and antiquated content creation methods cannot match. Case in point: while advertisements crafted with CGI can be continuously refined and improved because they originate from a digital source, photo shoots are more or less set in stone once the initial shoot takes place, aside from what Photoshop can accomplish, and are subject to costly reshoots if the product or advertising need changes.

Using the same technology that powers Hollywood’s superhero-laden, assault-on-the-senses blockbusters, CGI for sales and marketing is capable of realistically visualizing any concept or idea, no matter how far-fetched. In today’s economy, where some of the fastest growing businesses revolve around innovative software or service concepts, this is an extremely powerful mechanism. Many companies, especially small and medium-sized businesses, need to generate buzz and gain visibility before their products actually exist, in order to survive in a world dominated by big brands and multinational conglomerates that leverage massive marketing budgets to drown out their competitors. CGI not only allows businesses to generate marketing materials at an earlier stage of product development than has previously been possible, it also shortens the sales cycle, enabling small businesses and start-ups to get their products to market sooner. When fledgling organizations seek funding from interested venture capitalists, or crowdsource their operating budget from sites like Kickstarter, CGI provides them with essential promotional content that allows potential backers to visually understand the benefit of, and need for, their product or service.
Crafting sales and marketing collateral with CGI allows for minute segmentation of, and carefully orchestrated interaction with, a business’ target audience. For example, a marketing campaign launched on Facebook or Snapchat would interact with, and reach, audiences in vastly different capacities than a national TV advertisement would. The lesson is: content must be carefully curated to take advantage of the specific strengths of the platform it is being launched on. To antidote traditional content creation methods that quickly stagnate, CGI allows for trial and error analysis in multiple ways. Scenes can easily be tested and restructured; whereas, a photo shoot is oftentimes too expensive to reshoot, and its output is limited by time and budgetary constraints. Digital content offers marketing and advertising professionals many extra degrees of flexibility and freedom. Different viewing angles can be achieved with just a few mouse clicks. Product colors can be tried and tested just as easily. With CGI, the limitations of physical production are a thing of the past.

The most time-consuming aspect of producing quality CGI is conceptualizing a product or scene, and creating all creative assets from scratch. As a basic analogy, creating CGI is akin to building a LEGO® scene – the more digital bricks you have to start with, the quicker, easier and less expensive the process becomes. Today, many CGI assets, such as objects, materials, environments and animations have already been professionally generated, and are digitally available through a multitude of online libraries and marketplaces. Starting with a CGI workflow is easier, more affordable and creatively empowering than ever before. Simply locate the digital content and let the creatives – get creative.

By adopting a digital workflow for product design, and a CGI strategy for marketing, small companies with modest marketing budgets can vastly accelerate and improve the outcome of their often make-or-break campaigns. Options for this kind of speed and creative freedom were previously only available to companies with marketing budgets that were far out of reach for most organizations. Thanks to increasingly affordable and accessible technology, software platforms and services, small and medium-sized businesses now have access to the CGI content creation capabilities that allow them to confidently compete toe-to-toe with their deep-pocketed rivals.

Please contact 3DEXCITE for more information, let us help you accelerate your business.




Is There a Better Way to Manage Product Development Projects?

By Neno
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The last three decades have seen an explosion in project management software tools and certifications for project management methodologies.  Terms like agile, resource management, critical path analysis, risk mitigation, etc. are now commonplace throughout the corporate world.  However, has all of this attention to the project management discipline resulted in product development executing as planned?  For too many companies, the answer is still a resounding “No.”

A recent study by Engineering.com (“Product Development and Project Management Tools,” December 17, 2015) indicates that there is a significant gap between how manufacturing companies value specific aspects of their project execution and how they judge their performance.  Specifically, the study looked at 4 main aspects of managing product development projects:

  • Executing the simultaneous launch of multiple variants of a product
  • Understanding how requirement changes affect a project’s schedule and resources
  • Obtaining accurate and consistent project task updates with proof of completion
  • Identifying product development issues that are causing project delays

Across all industries, survey respondents judged their abilities in each of these project management activities to be significantly less than their importance for executing a project successfully.  However, it was found that if a respondent combined their project management methodologies with a web-based Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution, they judged their performance to be significantly higher.  In order to address these 4 challenging aspects of product development projects, it was concluded that a PLM solution with embedded project management can uniquely provide the following operational best practices:

  1. Full alignment between projects and the product portfolio in order to leverage common technology platforms and launch products to market faster.
  2. Coordination of a project’s schedule and resources with its scope as defined by requirements and development constraints in order to meet market expectations.
  3. Automatic updates of project tasks as development work are completed to have a real-time understanding of project status and progress.
  4. Mitigating project risks based upon the real-time status of product development – designs, change orders, defects, etc. – in order to stay on schedule and within budget.

Each of these project management best practices are explored in more detail in a white paper available through Dassault Systèmes.  Adopting a PLM system with a deliverables-based project management approach may find some organizational resistance due to a bias towards standalone project management tools.  There will be pressure to pursue solutions with a lengthy list of advanced project management capabilities.  While there is a baseline that a solution must provide, there are diminishing returns from the most advanced capabilities.  Do not place excessive priority on these seldom used capabilities at the expense of fully realizing the best practices discussed in this white paper.  Instead, stay focused on the unique value provided by a PLM system with embedded project management.

Download the Whitepaper now!

My company is small, but my products are increasingly complex

By Paul
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Small business cloud computingUntil now, the best product development tools were within the reach of only large companies, with teams of IT technicians and administrators.

Small companies have often had to compromise and make do with second best. But the pressure on increasing product, process and eco-system complexity makes second-best uncompetitive.

Cloud solutions level the playing field, removing the “barriers to entry” for small engineering companies. The infrastructure, system security, administration, installation and maintenance is automatic, allowing engineers to concentrate on innovation.

Watch BHR Aerospace describe on video how CATIA 3DEXPERIENCE on the Cloud provides  the framework for an innovative new helicopter program.

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The installation was fast and simple; Secure and Collaborative tools are available at the click of a mouse; the right data is available anytime, anywhere and easy and flexible   mechanical simulation means no more physical prototyping!

Find out how large company product development capabilities are now available to SMBs.

Paul Mackin is a member of the CATIA Brand Marketing team.