CAD Manager's Newsletter (#235)

9 Mar, 2010 By: Robert Green

Get Your Users to Help You

Once you make the benefits of cooperation clear to your CAD users, they'll be happy to help build a more efficient workplace.

In the previous installment of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I discussed how winning over your users makes them more productive, you more relaxed, and everyone happier. It is my hope that you used the concepts presented to examine how you can win over the users in your environment.

In this installment, I'll share some ideas for how you can use your newly persuaded user base to help you make things even better in your CAD environment. Here goes.

Strike a Bargain with Users

Now that your users like you and trust you — thanks to your thoughtful communication and efforts on their behalf — it is time for you to strike a bargain so that they'll help you in return. What do I mean by that? I'm talking about establishing some mutually beneficial agreements, where your users help you be a better CAD manager so you can help them be more productive users. I'm going to share some areas of mutual benefit that you can bring to your users' attention, tips on how to start the conversation, and an explanation of what the benefits are for all parties. Read more »

:: CAD Manager's Toolbox: CAD ROI Worksheet

Delight upper management by organizing your cost-saving ideas with this spreadsheet analysis tool.

Over the years, I've found that being able to produce a return on investment (ROI) analysis for my CAD management projects helps me get projects funded with greater success than any other tool or tactic. The premise is pretty simple: Demonstrate that a project yields savings that are greater than its costs, and a positive return is the result.

To help you perform your analysis, I've posted a slightly edited version of the spreadsheet analysis tool I use on my web site for your use. You can download the spreadsheet, then follow along as I walk through the simple process below. Read more »


Do you have a helpful tip or item for the CAD Manager's Newsletter? Send it to me at If I use your tip in the newsletter you'll receive a cool Cadalyst prize!

Expert CAD Manager book by Robert Green

:: Resources

Free Cadalyst Benchmark: Evaluate Your Hardware Performance
Evaluate the performance of your workstations running AutoCAD (2000-2010) using the Cadalyst Benchmark Test c2010. Use our free download to compare your hardware with the latest systems on the market today, or compare performance before and after a system upgrade. Sponsored by Intel.

New Book Explores Safety and Economics of Cloud Computing
Risk-management firm IT Governance has published Above the Clouds: Managing Risk in the World of Cloud Computing, written by Kevin T. McDonald. The author, a cybersecurity analyst for ICF International, asserts that cloud computing does not necessarily offer weaker data protection than an in-house server. The book is available in paperback and e-book formats.

Softcover Blog Addresses CAD and CNC Conversion Problems
Softcover International, the publisher of Scan2CAD automatic raster-to-vector conversion software, has launched Raster to Vector Auntie, a blog dedicated to providing AEC, CAD, GIS, and CNC (computer numerical controlled) users with professional advice on how to convert scanned paper drawings to DXF vector files suitable for editing in any PC CAD or CNC program.

Vico Offers Collection of Recorded BIM Webinars
Vico Software, a provider of software and services to the building construction industry, produces a free, educational series of webinars. The ongoing "Fridays with Vico" series addresses best practices and case studies, as well as new product functionality and industry trends. Vico has archived the individual classes on its web site, including those in its BIM (building information modeling) Master Class series.

:: Events

East Bay Revit Users Group: Shared Coordinates
March 16, 2010
Oakland, California
Ideate AEC Application Specialist Teresa Martin will walk attendees through the steps of utilizing shared coordinates within a Revit building project. Read more »

MSC.Software Technology Day Workshops
March 16–18, 2010
Santa Ana, California
These workshops are designed for analysts and design engineers interested in learning how to work with Adams, Marc, or MD Nastran. Read more »

Developing a Design Simulation Framework
May 12, 2010
Cincinnati, Ohio
Industry analysts from CPDA (Collaborative Product Development Associates) and members of CPDA's Design/Simulation Council will participate in this one-day workshop, which will explore the latest thinking on the critical issues facing design and simulation. Read more »


For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to

:: What's New at

Please Pass the Parametrics
AutoCAD users can finally enjoy the benefits provided by geometric constraints: easier drawing and editing. Read more »

Computer-Aided EcoDesign
Sustainable design tools are springing up all over the building industry, and green options are taking root in product design as well. Read more »

User Review: InspectionXpert First-Article 2010
CAD-based tool for quality-inspection reporting allows one person to do the work of five and still meet the demands of customers. Read more »

:: About the Author

Cadalyst contributing editor Robert Green performs CAD programming and consulting throughout the United States and Canada. He is the author of Expert CAD Management: The Complete Guide. Reach him via his web site.

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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