Peer Check
Peer Check

Episode 10 · 6 months ago

#10 - How Two Engineers are Bridging The Gap Between CAD and PLM


Today’s engineering teams are facing skyrocketing expectations. The products they’re designing are more complex than ever, there’s constant pressure to raise quality while lowering cost, and it seems like every company is trying to drastically slash time to market so they can get products launched faster.

Yet many of today’s market leaders are still designing products the same way they did 20 years ago—and it’s holding them back. That’s why Adam Keating and Jeremy Andrews founded CoLab Software. On this episode of Peer Check, Adam and Jeremy share CoLab’s origin story and talk about how teams are using CoLab to get results.

Join us as we discuss:

  • How Adam and Jeremy went from developing one of the world’s first Hyperloop vehicles to working in Silicon Valley—then deciding to shift gears
  • Why the status quo for engineering collaboration doesn’t cut it
  • The evolution of CoLab from early concept to today
  • What engineering leaders are saying about trends in the market

More information about Adam, Jeremy, and today’s topics:

To hear this interview and more like it, subscribe to Peer Check! Find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or our website—or just search for Peer Check in your favourite podcast player.

M Hm. Welcome to pure check, a Colab podcast. This is a show for engineering leaders who want to challenge the Saas quo for how design teams work together. You're about to hear a conversation about the ways the engineering world is changing and how top teams are carving a new path forward. Let's do it. Welcome to pure check. I am your guest host, M J peters. I'm the VP of marketing at Collab and I am guest hosting this episode because we're gonna do something a little bit different today. So I have on the podcast Adam and Jeremy as guests and they're going to take us through the story of Collab. So, Adam and Jeremy, welcome to the show. Thank you. Thanks for filling and M Ja. So we're going to talk about why you started collab and basically dig into the problem that you saw and why we are out here solving it. So let's start from the beginning. You guys both went to school for Engineering. Adam, what made you want to be an engineer? Jeremy and I are both from Newfoundland, the furthest East. You can go in Canada a little little place engineering school here, I think for me. It was my dad. My Dad was an engineer, took great pride an engineering and I like science, I liked math and I realized I wasn't going to make it pro in sports early on and I said, you know, I need to figure out something else a little more reasonable for my life. and Um at the time my dad was actually sick with cancer in high school and I just remember how much it meant to him on the engineering side and I remember just thinking I'm going to try it. Did that, went through that process and started engineering and I actually hated it for the first semester. I told my dad famously that I was going to drop out and I was dead serious. People don't believe me, but I was dead serious. I just couldn't. I couldn't see what the benefit was because it wasn't really engineering at that point. It was more like random classes all over campus, and my dad said stick through for one more semester. Anyways, I did that. I found why I loved it, got on that first work experience and from there it's been a life changing thing for me and since it's been part of who I am. And I saw why he cared. So I wasn't the type of Guy who knew I wanted to do engineering, but I did it for my father and ten years later here I am now trying to do for engineers all over the world. Jeremy, you also attended the same university as Adam in mechanical engineering out in Newfoundland. Did you always know that you wanted to start a company, or did you originally go into mechanical engineers thinking I'm going to go have a career in mechanical engineering? Yeah, definitely the the ladder. In Newfoundland, you know, entrepreneurship and technology, even for a long time, wasn't like a known or understood career path. So I don't have a great reason for why I wanted to be an engineer. I never have really. I think being in high school I was more interested in and kind of excelled at, physics and math and those sort of subjects. And again, being in new Finland, there's only one university. Um Your options in terms of what you can do there for an Undergrad are are relatively limited, and so I think it was almost just like an assumption like these are the you know, of courses I'm good at, so this is what I will do in university, and I never really challenged it much, never really thought about it too much and went into the career path. Having so that, I was always interested in, you know, technology in particular, and so I think I saw engineering as a way to get into that field and the same as Adam, kind of got in and started doing the work terms in particular, and we got to do I think, like six different work terms in our Undergrad so that was awesome and that really exposes so a lot of different like verticals, industries and different things. And I think the nail and the coffin for me, I think, was working at Tesla. Like that was kind of the Holy Grail for me. It was both technology and automotive, which are two places I was like two topics I'm super interested in and always have been. So, and Silicon Valley, I guess, as like a third I've just always taken an interest in the Silicon Valley. Um. So I was like this is it, like this is going to be the one that I that I really love...

...and enjoy, and I got there and it was good. It took get me wrong, but I still left feeling like I just want to beat my own boss. I guess I want to I want to pursue my own interest. I remember saying that Adam, like we were at the time putting so much time and effort into a lot of different things and it's like what if we took all this and kind of just put it into, you know, chasing her own dreams or doing our own thing, it'd probably be successful. That's pretty successful. Cool. So we're yeah, we're gonna unpack that, that Tesla experience in just a second, but before we do that, you both shared another really important experience during your undergraduate years that you cite all the time, which is the hyper loop contest. You competed in the hyper loop contest, I think, multiple times when you were in Undergrad and it sounds like a really instrumental experience in shaping both of your careers and possibly collab itself. So, Adam, can you tell me a little bit more about hyper loop? Yeah, so I was sitting down having a beer with one of my classmates and he tell was me about this like new thing Elon Musky came up with. At the time, I wasn't following Elon like super closely and I remember seeing the white paper. It was like a Napkin sketch, only a fifty year seventy page paper. I said new mode of transportation. I literally told my buddy no, I was not interested. I got a job right now, full time, offer lined up. Don't need to worry about this, but he really wanted to work in the bay area and he meant a lot to him and he's one of my close friends. So eventually I agreed to do one hour a week and joined this hyperloup team. This team was connected, you remember, a small place in Newfoundland, but it was partnered up with like Cornell, University of Michigan, Harvey, Mutt, Princeton, northeastern. It was like all the big schools. So we did that and that grew arms and legs really quickly and I think we surprised ourselves. It was like, as a guy from Newfoundland, I was used to getting getting my getting crushed in sports at a national level and just always assumed that was kind of similar for you know my career that you know. This is his hour as it could go. There wasn't this like bigger opportunity. But we entered this competition with twelve teams, somehow found ourselves in the top one fifty and then saw the light to the top thirty. At that point I was like man, holy crap, like maybe we really could do this and started to actually really move forward. We had a lot of trouble, though, like going from there too, you know, eventually, two years later coming second in the world, and that's when I commenced Jeremy. So Jeremy Convinced me just their collab. I convinced Jeremy joined hyper loop. So I don't know who's guilty in this whole process as a bit of a circle, but I convinced Jeremy Because I knew he was really good general cad, cad work in general mechanical design, like all the things we helped today with the Colab. But I knew he was just good at it, I knew he cared and I knew we had that knack for building. anyways, we spent the next I don't know, year, year and a half basically sitting on Google meets every single night trying to like basically co designed these being sane vehicles across six universities, building it on timelines. It made no sense the budget. That did not make sense either, and we kind of thought it was like a student problem that we couldn't figure out how to work together. Then we end up down at the same time. Jeremy's at Tesla, which I'll tell you about minum. Sure I'm at reflection medical. We'd previously both the unfortunate five companies, and it's like everything you compared worked almost the exact same way. And our software buddies are right next to us and they had none of these problems, like they were never talking about. You know, how do you find the latest file and like how do you communicate with someone about a design issue? There was like a system that's been built for twenty years and after the hyperlote team built this like twenty ft long, two tho pound vehicle that floated on an air cushion and somehow got up to I think we got two, a hundred hundred five kilometers an hour before we had and the first test we didn't really believe that we could do this. Did that, looked at all the similarities and said maybe there is something bigger here we should working on. That's not a vehicle physically, there was a vehicle for us to learn, you know, how to go after solving hard problem, and...

I think you know that kind of takes us in the Jeremy Story what felt like the final nail and the coffin for him, which was Tesla. Yeah, so in two dozen, fifteen, you guys are working together on hyperloop. You realize that even from Newfoundland, you can be the best in the world at something. Um, you start working closely together for the first time and then, yes, in both of you end up in internships in California, all the way from Newfoundland. And Jeremy, as you mentioned earlier, you were at Tesla. So tell me about your role there and what it was like. Yeah, so I was a mechanical design intern on the battery pack team. Um, at the time we're working on the model three program of course it was like crunch time in fallen to get designs complete in order to kick off manufacturing. So kind of just hit hit it at the right time in terms of this pain point. We were really like rushing to get to get things finalized, to kick off soft tooling with suppliers. But me in particular, I worked on a number of six components and wire harness for the battery pack and you know, I think one of my big takeaways from the experience was just that the way that engineers kind of collaborate on design, and particularly computerated design, is not great. It didn't feel supermoderately. We were students coming from the world of using, you know, G Suite and slack and all these things. We'd kind of grown up in that like cloud collaboration era. In the workplace. The tools were reason were email and spreadsheets and power point decks and and those things. And again, particularly when it came to working with outside sort of stakeholders. So we were working with suppliers, uh in Asia, particularly on plastics components, and the way that we collaborated was sharing the files. They would create like a powerpoint deck of their feedback send it to me. I would respond in line and the powerpoint deck to their to their comments, and then send that back to them and then that would go on and on for for weeks and I just felt like if you had sort of modern collaboration tools, heared like similar to the g suites in the slack so the world, this process would be so much easier and so much faster. And then I started thinking about like the overall impact that something like that could have on the model three program for example, which was a hot topic at the time. But then more broader like all engineerings for initiatives and engineering companies. So yeah, for me that that was a bit of genesis or the origin of Colab and the idea we're still working on today. So yeah, and I think I once asked you to tell me about a day in the life of an engineer working with these outdated processes and you told me a story that I think really brings home like how difficult it can be to communicate with a supplier that's overseas. So why don't you tell us about your vacation in the National Park? So Adam and I were playing a trip, I guess, with some friends out to Yosemite. And again this was in like crunch time. So I was trying to kick off off tooling with the supplier on a plastics part and for me, you know, I because this process was so inefficient in a way, like sending these powerpoint decks back and forth. Every time I got one from them, I wanted to turn it around like immediately, as fast as I could. So I remember distinctly like this one Friday we had driven out there. It's like, I don't know what it is from from San Francisco. Now, like four or five, six hours or something. Um, we left after works. We didn't get out there to like twelve o'clock and I don't know. I guess on the way I had received a deck back from them with all these comments and I just remember being in like the Airbnb or the lodge we were staying at Yosemity at like twelve or one. We're waiting for our friends to show up and I'm like, I guess I'll do this now. So it just bleeds into like your personal you know, your personal life and your spare time, right. So, yeah, it's like one am a metal lodge in Yosemity, just responding to DFM comments on on this plastic component. And I don't think that's two out of the ordinary for the way the engineering teams were working. Yeah, and and to your point right, the alternative would have been for you to wait until Monday to turn that deck back around for them and then it's Tuesday for them. And if you multiply that across all the engineering teams working on a model three, like, how many more years would... take to launch that product market? Totally, totally so, Adam, you're at the same time at reflection. Medical were you running into the same types of challenges there? Yeah, I mean the crazy thing is we did this across you know, Tesla, when it comes to moving the fastest, still had this and reflection was not immune. We worked at fortune five at all. Sort of the same, just different particular pockets for different people. So for me I was working on this cooling system design a reflection and the guy that I worked most closely with, he worked from like five o'clock till two o'clock. Like he worked, just different hours because he wanted to avoid rush hour. Totally Fair. Rush hour terrible there. So these drive in he began two o'clock. I worked the opposite. Basically I worked like ten o'clock to six o'clock for my core hours. So there was a four hour block every single day where I would basically not be able to work on that program that part of my job, because it was all locked away in the inbox or in something that was offline, things that weren't update in the real model. There was no direct link to the supplier and we were are also, similar to Jeremy, trying to get first prototypes build to actually go through the FDA process. So there was a rush to get through that process. It gave me long and medical once you get there and you go through the actually like red tape, but trying to get to the place where you can start that process is you know, there's a lot going on and we felt that. And then you look back across the student team stuff. Only because we did share brute force. We would never finish that project. Like there was nothing sustainable, repeatable, scalable about how we did it. And it required US staying up for twenty and twenty two hours a day for ten en days at a stretch, you know, right before the final the final brawn, and there we be. We worked in our garage all night to actually get there. There was nothing good about how we did that design. It's just that we worked hard and we were lucky at the end of the day. And I think so many engineering projects that we see are like that. And the crazy proctors. Everyone's now starting to want to change it. Before we talked about the problem. Now you hear from like the top down saying okay, automotive design cycle is going to go from sixty eight months or fifty six sub forty, because they have to, because the new V programs are going. That fast. Talk to a product company used to be a couple of years and I don't want to do sub told months as like do you think about efficiency and do a hundred percent better? You're still not gonna likely do that and you're not going to get there. About a big change, and I think that today, where there was reflection tesla or any other company in the world, I think we saw over it over again and you know, four years later, here we are. Jeremy Adam mentioned earlier that you ultimately talked him into starting collab. So both of you were experiencing these problems, you knew each other, you would work together closely. How would you start that conversation about let's go ahead and fix this? Yeah, honestly, like we're talking about how this all formed out of the problem we're experiencing, but kind of in parallel, like we just identified that we don't want to be entrepreneurs and we were interested in entrepreneurship. I think the conversation really we started with, like hey, there's this thing at our university at the time called an entrepreneurial work term. So we were doing work terms with companies. You also had the option to to take a work term and do it on something entrepreneurial and get paid for it. And so we kind of started there were like we, you know, we're both interested in this. What are the problems that play and we actually just started like white boarding things out and talking about it, and this was one that kind of guess, resonated with us and we felt like it's an exciting kind of challenge to tackle. So that's how it kind of initially started. was like Hey, who would be interested in doing entrepreneur work term? We're both interested. What problems do we have? Yeah, this one again felt like the one we really wanted to tackle. So from there it wasn't quite that straightforward, like we kind of made that decision, but then we also were like yeah, but we'd also love to work in the valley for a work term, and so being in decisive I suppose, and then we both managed, like you said earlier, to get work terms there at the same time. So we did that. We're thinking about this, talking about it on the side, and I had so many other things going on at the time that, like, we didn't...

...really make a ton of progress. So we actually graduated, but that's when it started to get challenging because this hyper loop kind of experience had occurred. We were soliciting job offers from a lot of different companies, a lot of exciting companies, and rural link is one that I remember in particular at the time, like they were reaching out and asking if we'd be interested. I remember I had an interview with Google that summer. Ultimately never went anywhere, but it was kind of challenging to look at that. M Tesla offered to come back and work there full time. Like there were a lot of opportunities at that time and it got challenging then trying to decide to like actually do it and keep doing it and really commit. And we talked to like one of our kind of startup advisors at the time at the university and he said a lot of things, but he made him like, I guess, the main point being like you're never going to do this if you don't do it now, like now is the best time to do it. If you're able to come up with excuses not to do it now, you're gonna be able to come up with a whole lot in the future. And then I think that just really struck a chord and so we flew to L A, I think shortly after that, and just like pen and paper pros and con like about it for a bit, which I don't think we really need to do that. Like, I think we had already kind of kind of come to the conclusion. So I didn't take a ton of commencing, to be honest, but it was a little touch and go for a moment there, just because we had so many other things that we could have done. Adam, did it feel like a big risk for you to take to to jump into this company as opposed to going down the path of the different job offers that we're in front of you? Yeah, I mean when we first we're thinking about this, we both actually had job offers. I was going back to reflection. He was in my Tesla. Then I really made it worse because we did well in the competition. So we start get a bunch of others on top of like our initial decision to go focus on Collab. Right after we decided that, we started get another distractions. So I think for for us it was always a little bit tricky. I personally felt it because I mentioned earlier, gotting engineering because of my dad. My Dad passed away right after my first year from cancer and reflection builds biology guided radio therapy machine that's like targeting late stage metastat cancer, and I felt very emotionally connected to the work I was doing there. So I felt really hard to step away from that from a personal perspective. But it was at either good point, honestly, they were getting ready to go through to a approval. I felt like that was a cool chapter to be part of. It felt like that was something I could feel okay about. But you know, honestly, I agree with Jeremy. Like we were, we would we would have went back and worked fifty hours a week at a full time job and then try to do this for not a thirty or forty, because that's just who we were, and we would never have actually been here right now doing doing this, because it would have failed. Even the number of hours we do today is like not quite enough sometimes, it feels, and that's with full focus on on building this company, because I always tell people like, regardless of its building a company or something else, if your brain is focused only one thing, if you're doing twenty hours doing like two things and doing one thing for forty, it's not a two x improvement. It's like a twenty x improvement because not having that like scattered mind and the context, which in constantly is like a superpower for trying to do some thing. I think for us we didn't understand or appreciate that back then. Give me perspective. I actually started two companies at the same time, so I really didn't take my own advice, but I learned the lesson that the end of twenty seventeen and fully committed to collapse. So that's really when collab became Jeremy showcains. Most people don't know this, but Jeremy was actually CEO at the time. I was our CEO and CBDO or something else, and we literally switched jobs and we didn't give Jeremy that title and CTO and we said we're not going to give up on this, and here we are four years later. The CB D O, for those of you that are unfamiliar with that prestigious title, is Chief Business Development Officer, so just put a footnote in there. It was also MJ on the most beautiful business carrots, very washed out pink, orange, purple red gradient with a logo that we I think we bought from someone for twenty dollars. So things were a little different back then. Okay, so it's...

...two eighteen. We're both committed. What's the initial concept for the product? We went back and forth on a number of things. I think originally we were looking at actual cat assembly collaboration, like happen you have two people working on a cat assembly at the same time, and then bolting like today's Colab on top of that. And I had a bunch of conversations with people and I think, like good entrepreneurs, I think we felt out this pain point that was a lot more tangible around the supplier collaboration, design review collaboration part and decided pretty early on to pivot and focus on that instead. So I don't remember. We had a lot of hesitations at the time around like is this just grab cat? Why? Why is this not just grab cat? And you know, we had to think about that a lot and it gave us a lot of pause. I think we've since carved out a really interesting niche there. But I always say we haven't made any serious pivots really, which is always nice. We've never had to like rip up the product and throw it away and start over, so that's positive. So for people who are not familiar. WHAT IS GRAB CAD? Yeah, grab head is like an online sort of forum for sharing cad models. It's it's sort of like a public, public thing. But you know, at the time they built out I think it's called work bench, which is like a lightweight cloud PDM tool and you could go in like in the web and and do some basic sharing and mark up capabilities and such. So I remember at the time like we had to really, you know, convince ourselfs like why is this not grab cad? But we kind of came around. I still think honestly, like if you look back on the grab CAD Journey, like we've met with the folks over time, there's one of different routes. Like the idea and why they started that very similar like. I think had they kept focusing there and not getting really hardcore in a three D prent dame strategis, it might be a different conversation four years later because, like when we started, the very first idea was almost a little bit like on shape, but for solid works in particular, because that's what we felt the most pain in. I think we realized pretty quickly that that wasn't the crux. I think the main example of Jeremy and I did our first ever sales presentation for a really cool company in the area. Fifty five minutes on this product, which was basically like Dolan shape for seal works. Last five minutes we bring up what Colab is today, which was just an idea, and just said like hey, we're thinking about working on this. And they would have kept us there for another hour if they had the time, because they didn't speak for fifty five minutes. And then the last five minutes it was like, Oh, hold on now, like we're trying to do this with our suppliers in Asia. We're back and forth all the time and multi displayed review and at that point we're like, Oh, maybe this is not what we should be doing. Our first employee started seven days later, or like three days later, and his first day we said Hey, man, you know that product we hired you to build? Yeah, we're not building that one anymore and here's what we're doing. And anyways, he's still here almost five years later, helping US build the product. So that was probably the biggest pivot. There's been lots of micro pivots. So I would say, Jeremy, I think it's uh, we're not immune to how many micro pivots you've made. Just no massive change. When you say on shape for solid works, what do you mean by that? So and I mean you could have one model in your browser. Me You, Jeremy, all editing at once. The problem with all works is that you have to check in check out, whereas on shape is more like you branch. It's almost like a developer writing code and emerge things back together, but you can see it all in the all time. So we were trying to figure out how could you connect like multiple desktop computers together with the same file, so if MJ made a change to my part, I wouldn't need to say, Oh, there's been forty seven changes and it breaks the model. You can actually see MJ's change in context. So you could just basically break it, like remove that entire check in checkout process which for us as students at the time, man, it used to be like days and weeks wasted, and for us that was a lifetime. We were trying to cut that out of our process and we saw it everywhere else too. But I mean ultimately the problems. There's a bunch of technical problems and what we learned, I think early on was that we had students who are really working really closely together and everything. That's not how it worked at...

...the part level, at the assembly level. Yes, at the part level, though, somebody typically owns them and they're not really, like M J and Jeremy, actually modeling on the exact same part and at the same time all that often and they actually like having a little bit of separation. And we learned a bunch of things there which, when that was our only value proposition, that made it a hard sell. On shape is a whole bunch of other stuff which you know. I think it's still totally legitimate. Just the problem is you switch your cad tools, which your PDM tools, which plm like it's a hard lift for big companies, which you know, ultimately is where I think we fit today. So, Jeremy, why do you think what Collab has ultimately built is better than that original idea of on shape for solid works? It's definitely broader. I mean we're not focused on anyone particular cad system now or CAD ecosystem. It's more of a generic cad file sharing in review tool. So I think it's it's a bit bigger, it's a bit broader and part of our sort of beliefs now are that this cat ecosystem is a little too fragmented and siloed and and it's part of what's causing some of these challenges. These large companies have their own proprietary tools and formats and they like to work within them and they're like they encourage their customers to work within them and it creates a lot of separation and data interchange problems and so us as a come of this kind of just something that we are excited about changing that in the in the industry, and so I think that that fits well with the sort of broader problem we're tackling now. Want to bring together people working in different ecosystems and different toolsets and allow them to collaborate Um, we're easily and not have to worry about that as much anymore. So broader in both in market but also a problem and challenge we're trying to solve. So it seems like this idea of people not having to switch, not having to switch their PLM or their PDM or the cat that they're using, is really critical to what collab stands for. Yeah, there's again there's definitely like a niche that we've kind of carved out there is focusing on larger companies who already have established design and data management tools and Collab as a system that engages with those well and we're not aiming to replace them, and that that in itself is a value prop I think. And Yeah, I think it's just a really strong and interesting marketing position we've have been able to establish. Adam, tell me about some of the customers along the way that shaped the future of collab where that we're really important, or any of those customers still with us today? Yeah, we've got something to go back a while. Like. I think the one thing of first is probably someone like Hundai Movis. I remember at the time we were probably, like you know, not that far removed from making that pivot, trying to figure real what this was. We didn't really know how we fit in the lines keep all these tools. We knew we had a value and working with them. Early on there was a guy there who just like saw the vision and had a massive problem, which was like he was trying to work between the O E M and a bunch of Tier Two's wanted to win this contract with one of the big auto e m s and then figure out how to get all the data to them without buying a couple hred thousand dollars with the team center licenses that were so complicated that nobody could figure how to use. So anyways, we come in and rolled this out to like this guy. He builds this like seventies slide three d presentation and Collab all annotated. At the time that tool didn't work very well. So he was very patient and he presents his back to the OM and a couple months later he's calling us telling us that they won that contract for the next couple of years and we were like holy crap, like that's pretty crazy. They showed Colab as the means we're describing how they would assemble and build all these these, you know, pretty complex assemblies, and then they just continued to do it, like they started sharing at them and supply chain. Every file got shared out, came from there and then you see the next division using it and other people using and other O em is coming in. And that was that many years ago now and still today, same relationship group that we still talk to all the time about. You...

...know where we're going with this. That's like a completely random company that we happen to just meet off linked in the time, who took a shot on this when it was really early, and now I think people are seeing how that worked and now it's much more people kind of like, Oh, I get this, and there's like some real credibility behind where fit's like Jeremy said right, like we're not trying to replace your PLM. We never want to because those tools are really hard to replace and honestly, like replacing the PLM or making it better, it's like maybe like a ten percent improvement. What's actually got this massive opportunity is how your team has worked together. The effectiveness right, it's not an efficiency play, it's an effectiveness play is like, fundamentally, we need to do something different, not do the same thing a little bit better. You're not getting there twice as fast or more than twice as fast, but making your plm a little better. You need to think about fundamentally that. Your team should not be wasting your time and PLM all day. But the data needs to be there, the records need to be their control needs to happen. But that mindset shift is really what I think has changed. And you know, someone like mobis early on kind of got that and we've seen companies since like John's controls working now. Some like major automotive o e m s, are aerospace defence players, sumper product companies, and there is all kind of getting it. And the cool part now as we bring in a team of people who are new to Co lab and they're going out talking everyone time after time about this and you really start to see, okay, this is not just a a cute little lap that we were talking about, you know, four years ago. This is something that fundamentally changes how teams work together or, you know, designer view for supplier collaboration, for cost reduction. And now you can show it. You know, we've got some companies, you know one in particular on the cost production side, saving eight figures years in coal lab and the team's using it are more productive than any other part of the entire business. I guess not a direct coincidence, given it's been two or three years now, a sustaining results. So yeah, I think one thing to be like the most, honestly, is founders. Is those those people really cared about US early on in the product and belief, and we cared a lot about them, but they still care now it's been several years later. At some point we got to bring them all the new foundland to have some fun. So we've talked a lot about this, these issues of collaboration. Jeremy, you talked about how it popped up when you were trying to do DFM with a supplier. Adam. You just talked about actually, from the supplier side, winning contracts with the o e m, and then you briefly mentioned cost reduction. Where else are people using collab in their business? Opening on the three use case buckets. So you starward. Design Review, probably the place we were clearest from the earliest stages. One thing people have done a lot of drawing review. Like you, people want to say it's all three D. The reality is most engineering teams today are on a journey from what was paper to which is now two d. They have three D. They want eventually the three D to govern everything, but right now it's not. It's like the drawing is the authority, the model supports it and they're moving then eventually towards like a model based definition or mbd future. There's a lot of teams still in that first bucket. It's all documents. It's all drawings. We see tons of people using colab simply to just cut that process in half, like there's no sending it around, printing it off for downloadations, like click the link, it's open your browser, do your red line, get out, move on, I'll organized for you all the archives. You're there, UM, and it's easy, like that's a simple case. You then see things like, you know, we've got a massive gate review coming up and we've got all the line around, you know, a big concept. Instead of that being a big powerpoint deck which goes stale right away, they're putting live three d models in bringing in people from each group who normally don't have access to cad sending you out the link, access of Security Browser, walking through that process in a fraction of time, with way more ideas. You're looking at things like design for manufacturing, exactly the use case Jeremy gave sort of early on. Here see teams trying to work back and forth with the supplier partners, teams...

...working with other design partners on how to do that, and even now we're seeing people want to use it for, you know, R F Q s, p o s, just really expediting those cycles. I think, like you said a moment ago, Mj the latest thing we're hearing now, with the way the supply chains moving and the pressure to get there faster but had a better better costs but higher quality. A lot of folks on value engineering and cost production, and so people are using Colab to do, you know, virtual collaborative global workshops to basically improve their products both from the value perspective and a cost perspective, and that's been a lot of fun. This is very tangible, very simple to run. I think all of us have enjoyed working through those with customers, tody, last October. In October you raised a pretty big round of funding, so clearly there's people out there that really believe in this vision. Jeremy, I'm sure one of the things people are most interested in hearing about is what's next from the product perspective right. What problems are you going to go on to tackle with this new infusion of funding to Um go after this opportunity? Yeah, we've got a number of exciting things kind of the pipeline through the rest of this year and into one of the bigger challenges we're trying to tackle right now is around complex sharing. So Adam talked a lot about like engaging with your suppliers. I means the use case that I originally had in the beginning as well, but also other external sort of sharing use cases, like our F cues. You may want to go out to multiple different suppliers with cad data and ask for for quotations. That that ability to to share cad data to multiple different stakeholders and solicit feedback while still keeping everything kind of syncd up and in the one place turns out to be like an insanely difficult problem to solve, and so we're we're putting a lot of focus right now and and through q three, into trying to solve that problem. That has the kind of side benefit, I would say, of of Ip Protection and security. So if we can really crack that is a huge value prop there around protecting some of your most sensitive intellectual property for some of these companies. So if you're able to share, the basic concept is if you're able to share cat in your web browser and have someone do the review they need to do and give you the feedback they need to give you without ever actually downloading or touching that native cad data, that's a huge win from security and Ip protection standpoint. So there's there are a lot of big things. They're a lot of sort of exciting what I've been calling like innovative collaborative and communication tools as well that we're looking at. So a lot of the cloud based tools nowadays have this concept of Multiplayer, like being able to see, in a Google document, for example, what the other person is doing, where they are in the document. We want to bring some of those aspects to cad and especially on the review sort of front. So you could share cat, follow with somebody asked when we want to review it, but also you can see that they're reviewing it. You can kind of click on their Avatar and follow them around the three d model and watch what they're clicking on. That's like a step change in terms of at the beginning of this call we're talking about sharing files, and then screenshots and powerpoint decks and and annotations and like. It's just a step change in terms of ability to communicate around cat and provide feedback on cats. So exciting stuff like that, and also better integrations too with a lot of the systems and tools that are right there. Like, again, from a ease of use and and security perspective being integrated directly with the PDMPLM tools are customers are using. Again, we were very open about the fact we're not trying to replace these, so we need to integrate with them well. So that's a that's a large focus of rus at the moment as well. So those are some of the some of the things we have on the horizon. Lots more, of course, but yeah, there may get lots of good stuff. You can't tell you. That would be the fun stuff you see later this year. Yeah, so Jeremy runs the product or, of course, as a result of that decision to switch seats a very long time ago. So, Adam,... still sort of where the chief business development officer hat, which means you talked to a lot of people in this market. So I'm curious what are some of the trends that you hear through all of these conversations with all of these engineering leaders inside of organizations and what's something that people are still missing right now? Trend Wise, I guess I've had like the blessing and the curse on this role. I've been doing this for a long time now and I didn't have a clue what I was doing in the beginning, and also the market just was not ready. Like when we started this company, there was zero appetite for cloud technology, like just full stop. There was. We would get in a fight every single time just trying to explain why we were cloud based tool. Now there's still due diligence to be done, but everybody understands why this is the way things are going and even those who don't are open enough to going through the process that we ate. I would say ninety five times out of a hundred come out the other side in the right place. So the first thing is like just adoption of clouds, like fundamentally changed perspective. The second is that people actually are starting to care about what it's like to work. For a long time the attitude is just like get your job done, no one cares at all, just get it done. People actually care about the people, I think now, and you're seeing that, because companies are having retention problems, there's a talent war, like all those things have changed. That, plus like covid going remote, like just life has changed and the fact that they have crappy tools every day when they could go do something else is really we see a lot of people do mechanical engineering switch to software because it's just a better life, more money, better tools, more flexibility. Like people like it. So people are investing in like technology that makes their teams more productive, more effective more happy. I think the third part is that there was this attitude when we first started that the PLM should do it all, and there's just like unbundling happening in the ecosystem now, where the P LM is a core part in that. But it's not the be all and all only way to do it and it shouldn't be. It's almost a conflict of interest right it's your record keeping control system and if that thing is super easy to work within, there's going to be mistakes. And that's the whole point is that Coalab is this engagement layer that should make that data very accessible. It's immutable because it goes back to the source, integrated, but it should be fluid fee to work within. If you're going through the designer view and Collab we get to the very end, everyone's lined. You still got to click that big red scary button in Plm to say this thing is finally getting released at the Wilderness, because we don't that's not what Coab is, and you're in Coali you're thinking creatively, you're thinking about engineering feedback. When you're inside your plm you're thinking about, all right, if I clicked this button there batle manufacture, whole bunch of different things, or a major change is going to happen. And I think that's starting to be very well understood and should. You see analysts talking about it now, you see companies embracing it, you're seeing all these different trends around and model based enterprise, which in general is talking about packaging tools together. It's not about a single source of truth, it's about authoritative source of truth. I think that's really what's, you know, working out. I think what's not well understood still is what are those puzzle pieces around your P L M? You get a cat tool, you get analysis tools, you get a plm like those are very key pillars. Other big companies obviously manufacturing the RPS and other tools, but they're not used to this like other stack. So if you've ever seen a map of like all the software tools for marketing, there's like five thousand tools and you can't even see the logos because they're so small. But they're in like twelve buckets. Those buckets don't exist very clearly yet. There's Iot and VR and a are but like even those are so general, like they're so general. It's like there's just way more points applications on the engagement front. I think that's what's not understood yet, is what should your tool stack look like and what are the right tools? But people are asking the questions now looking so give it another ask me this question again in a year or two and I think that's a very different answer. I think that's a great place to wrap it up. So, Adam and Jeremy, thank you for telling US your story. Thank you. Thank you.

M All right, this has been an episode of Peer Check. I'm not quite sure how we usually wrap it up, but I'd like to thank you all for joining us and you can subscribe to the podcast or find it on any of the major podcast platforms, which is probably just apple and spotify. Thanks for listening and have a great rest of your day. COLLAB is on a mission to accelerate the pace of engineering innovation by giving design teams a better way to work. As an engineering leader, you know it's crucial to empower your team to do their best work. Let collab help you achieve your goals with our web based tool that makes it easy to share and review cad files with anyone, so you can focus on the work that batters without missing a beat or a bolt. Learn more at COLLAB SOFTWARE DOT COM. You've been listening to peer check, a Colab podcast. Keep connected with us by subscribing to the show in your favorite podcast player, and please leave a rating on the show. That helps us keep delivering conversations about how the engineering world is changing and how you can challenge his status quo. Until next time,.

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