CAD Manager's Q&A: Making Presentations

21 Jun, 2006 By: Robert Green

My company's project management and marketing teams expect my CAD group to do more 3D walkthroughs, flyovers and graphics work for presentations. Should I be expected to do this? Are other CAD managers facing the same issues? How do I cope?

Robert Green responds: First off, you’re not alone because I get this question often. Because we design buildings, cars, subdivisions and so forth using CAD, the expectation is that we can add some sizzle to the marketing process. I actually view this trend as good news now that CAD tools are viewed as an integral part of the entire lifecycle of a project rather than a tool to grunt out engineering and architectural designs.

To meet this challenge I recommend a “can-do” attitude combined with some practical approaches to fulfilling the needs.

Ask for resources. Tell your marketing or project management teams that you could do a lot more in terms of project support if you had the resources to do so. Go to the Internet and find some cool examples of renderings, video, fly-throughs and so forth, and show them to anyone who’ll watch. Make it clear that your group would be happy to investigate these new technologies but that it’ll take some training and money to really “play the game.”

Build staff interest. Find the person(s) in your CAD group or company who would really like to get into the graphics, rendering and video areas and start grooming them for a marketing support-type position. You can assume that when the marketing people find out what can be done, this person will become a full-time marketing support person, so be sure that you can replace that person within your group.

Savor the possibilities. Rather than thinking, “Gosh, this is one more job we have to do,” think, “How cool is it that the CAD department is assuming a high-profile role in the marketing of our products or services!” When viewed from the positive angle, you can see that CAD will be much more visible to more people within the company, right?

Use your new-found visibility. Now that more people appreciate what CAD can do, ask for the tools you need to do the job right. This is your chance to take your CAD department to the next level so do it now while you can!

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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