CAD Manager's Newsletter #482

12 Jan, 2022 By: Robert Green

January 12, 2022

Issue # 482


New Year, New Realities: Predictions and Resolutions for CAD Managers

2022 will continue to be full of COVID-19 realities, high project loads, and a tight labor market. Make some important resolutions now so you can prepare and succeed this year. 


It’s now 2022 and even in a world bogged down with COVID, there’s still a human tendency to craft a fresh start for the year, make resolutions to be more informed, and do better. But, what should our resolutions be for this year? Well, that depends on analyzing current trends and making a strategic forecast of how things may go. So, here are my predictions for the New Year along with resolutions that should help you meet the challenges we’ll all face in 2022. Here goes.

Author’s note: I base my opinions on my interactions with CAD managers, senior management teams, and personal .

Image source: cdcd/

Management and IT Takes Center Stage

A piece of advice I always throw into my CAD manager talks is, “Write out CAD management and note how much bigger the word management is than CAD.” In 2022, I expect this trend to accelerate and even become worse as we appear to be stuck with a work from home paradigm that causes more coordination and managerial work than ever. Add to this that the IT burden of dealing with file sharing, cloud apps, scattered resources in Teams silos, remote access issues, and CAD licensing changes and management is an even larger part of the job. Think you can just focus on CAD or BIM work as a CAD manager and be happy and successful? No way. We all must improve how we manage everything from software to projects to people. This theme will recur in the items below, so keep reading.

So, what resolutions can we make to assist with this increased management burden and how do we know where to place our emphasis?

Resolve to: Manage your CAD resources in a way that saves money, increases employee output, and maximizes speed of output for your company. If any task you are asked to do doesn’t support these objectives, then it is low priority.

Resolve NOT to: Change software just to make changes, undertake big organizational changes, or enter into expensive new software contracts without seeing PROOF from vendors that it’ll work.


Software Costs Become Unsustainable

Any of you who participate in budgeting know that software continues to become more expensive. But, it isn’t just the cost per license that is driving costs up so fast. Consider the following:

  • Named user policies mean license sharing or “pooling” can no longer be used to keep costs down.
  • More “extras” and “upcharges” are being applied, like premium fees for Single Sign On (SSO) or cloud data tools.
  • Migration from traditional desktop-based CAD/BIM tools to a patchwork quilt of cloud applications costs a substantial amount of implementation time and time is, after all, money.
  • Administrative burden is ever increasing as licensing compliance becomes a more difficult task.
  • Dealing with licensing issues such as AWS server outages can cause serious loss of production time.

Taken together these trends are making CAD/BIM a lot more expensive these days and causing a lot of consternation in corporate boardrooms. 2022 may be the year where software budgets will be capped and somebody — we all know it is the CAD manager — will have to figure out how to move forward.

So, how should you approach this problematic budget reality?

Resolve to: Optimize what you already have — especially if you can leverage perpetual software tools rather than annual subscriptions.

Resolve to: Skip software updates to keep implementation costs down unless absolutely required.

Resolve to: Analyze what software your users need to do their jobs and lower license counts aggressively to save.

Resolve to: Be creative in using remote access and machine sharing to keep software costs down. I’m not telling you to violate any licensing policies here, but I am saying that you should do everything you can to keep seat counts down.

Resolve NOT to: Buy software that isn’t mission critical at your location or cave-in to software company pressure to buy things you simply don’t need.


CAD Software Becomes More Plugged-In

Way back when the first CAD programs came out, you just bought the software and hoped you could make it work. Then, the market evolved to offer add-ons for task-specific undertakings like BIM or mechanical modelling. The add-on market gave way to entirely new, specialized software products, but now even those products are being added to via specialized plug-in modules for rendering, surface modelling, analysis, etc. These products are frequently not produced by the same company as your CAD vendor. Think Enscape, Grasshopper, Lumion, etc. and you’ve got the picture.

So, how do we navigate this this complex, plugged-in landscape?

Find out how best to manage software growth and expenses, plus what resolutions to make concerning hardware, staffing issues, and how to foster respect for your position as a CAD manager!  Read More >>


Tools & Resources

ARES Trinity of CAD Software Users

ARES Trinity of 2D/3D CAD software for desktop, mobile, and cloud from Graebert GmbH is now available for sale in the US from AERTWORKS, a provider of design and innovation management solutions. The ARES Trinity is a threefold solution with a symbiotic approach combining CAD software for desktop CAD (ARES Commander for Windows, macOS, and Linux), mobile CAD (ARES Touch for iOS and Android), and cloud CAD (ARES Kudo runs in an Internet browser). Britt Jonnaert, General Manager of AERTWORKS shared, “We’re excited about this collaboration with Graebert. With its innovative Trinity concept, Graebert leads the transition to the next generation of integrated .DWG CAD.”  Read more >>


Case Study:  Ansys Helps Drive Electric Autonomous Vehicle Safety for EasyMile

EasyMile, an all-electric autonomous technology supplier headquartered in Toulouse, France looked to Ansys software for a single-source, turnkey solution to demonstrate the safety of their driverless vehicles. With CADFEM France, Ansys enabled engineers to work from a single model for all safety activities across platforms—significantly shortening development cycles, speeding time to market and reducing operational costs for the company’s driverless shuttle and tow tractor solutions.  Read more >>


    5 Key Manufacturing Trends in 2022

    The manufacturing industry is expected to experience some major trends in 2022 that, if leveraged correctly, can fuel innovation and help businesses stay competitive. Read this brief guide from Dassault Systèmes’ Dr Hassan Rashidi which offers 5 key manufacturing trends to watch in 2022, and how they can be used to create value with the right technologies.  Read more >>


    What's New From Our Sponsors

    Sponsored: Fujitsu's CELSIUS H5511 Mobile Workstation Reflects the Evolving Demands — and Tastes — of Visual Computing Professionals

    The pandemic may have kickstarted a surge in mobile workstation sales, but it’s far from the only tailwind behind the mobile workstation’s prominence in CAD computing.  Read more >>

    DraftSight Insights: Lynn Allen Shows You Productivity Features in DraftSight

    One of the great things about DraftSight is the additional productivity features you won’t find anywhere else!  Join Technology Evangelist Lynn Allen as she shows you some amazing time-saving tools you will wish you had in your current CAD product.  Be prepared for some serious “Feature Envy!” By Lynn Allen   Watch the video >>


    What's New at Cadalyst

    SoCal Takes GIS to New Levels

    GIS Solutions: With Southern California experiencing dramatic, ongoing population growth, a regional planning organization is ramping up efforts to share GIS data and resources to help manage this growth in a sustainable manner.
    By Andrew G. Roe 


    Herrera on Hardware:
    The Metaverse: Separating the Wheat from the Chaff, from a CAD Perspective

    Much of the early conceptual pitches might feel like marketing fluff, but the metaverse will hold some real value, particularly in CAD-centric computing. By Alex Herrera 


    Dynamo Enables Programming without Coding

    CAD Programming: Learn how to create objects in Civil 3D and Revit using Dynamo. By Andrew G. Roe  Read more >>


    CAD Cartoon

    — By Roger Penwill                                                                Keep on laughing!


    Free Resources

    White Paper

    Implementing Generative Design for AEC

    Cadalyst and Z by HP joined forces to write this white paper on generative design for AEC. Find out how you can get your design firm bought into this technology, what hardware you require, and how to secure funding for any upgrades you may need. 



    Cadalyst's Fab Freebies for
    CAD Users 2021

    "Why buy it if you can get it for free!"


    The editors of Cadalyst, with help from our contributing editors and readers who are in the CAD trenches day in and day out, have updated everyone's favorite guide to helpful tools and resources that don't cost a cent. The latest edition of the “Fabulous Freebies for CAD Users” guide has something for everyone, including unit converters, file and text utilities, PDF converters, BIM tools, CAD management tools, and more!  


    About the Author: Robert Green

    Robert Green

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