CAD Manager's Newsletter #138

12 Oct, 2005 By: Robert Green

Cadalyst CAD Manager's Newsletter

Low-Cost 2D CAD: Could it Happen?

When you crunch the numbers, the answer emerges

Note on my CAD Manager’s Survey: Thanks to everyone who participated in my 2005 CAD Manager’s Survey. With 550 responses from all over the globe to an expanded base of questions, I believe this year’s survey will be the best ever. In addition to hard data, such as salary numbers and management trends, the results have also generated more topics for coverage in next year’s newsletter, so thanks again for participating.

Keep your eyes peeled for the November issue of Cadalyst magazine as well as the mid-November issue of the CAD Manager’s Newsletter for some of the results.

Low-Cost 2D CAD
I receive regular questions about low-cost alternatives to AutoCAD from current and aspiring users. Almost all the questions come from smaller companies that are struggling to keep their software legal under increasingly competitive business pressure that renders every dollar valuable. The questions break down along one of the following tracks:

  • Can you recommend something cheaper than AutoCAD?

  • I'm being forced to upgrade my current version of AutoCAD and want to know if there's anything else we could use?

  • I don't want to pay for annual subscriptions when I typically upgrade only every other year. What can we do to save money?

  • If I let my licenses lapse and use what I have for a few more years, will there be a promising lower-cost option available in the future?

When I reply to these messages, I encourage people to really think through their processes and figure out how integral AutoCAD is to their workflow. Most will admit, when pressed, that they would be stopped dead in their tracks if they didn’t have AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT.

The prevalence of AutoCAD has led me to examine what it would really take to replace AutoCAD with a low-cost alternative product. I’ll be interested to see whether you agree with my conclusions. Here goes.  Read more >>

:: CAD Manager's Q&A

I’m a CAD manager but I worry that I might be laid off. Is it still worthwhile to be a CAD manager in today’s outsourcing-intensive and uncertain job market?

Robert Green answers: I absolutely think that CAD management is still a viable career and one that gives you more job certainty than those around you.

Think about what your company would lose if the CAD manager’s role went away tomorrow morning, and the answer to the question becomes clearer. CAD managers have such a unique base of knowledge regarding their companies that they become invaluable over time if they do their jobs right.  Read more >>

Submit your questions to Robert Green

:: Resources

A Look at Offshoring for the Manufacturing Community: MCAD Online out of the United Kingdom offers the perspectives of leading MCAD vendors on the subject of outsourcing, where jobs are heading to countries where skilled labor is cheap. What they have to say will interest CAD managers everywhere.

Send us the address of your favorite Web site or other resource and a few words about why you like it.

:: Events

Adobe Acrobat 7.0 on Tour
Various dates in Fall 2005
Various U.S. and Canadian locations
Four-hour seminars cover use of Adobe Acrobat 7.0 Professional for project collaboration in specific fields, including AEC and manufacturing.

November 8, 2005
Bergen Community College, Paramus, New Jersey
A regional CAD training and networking event presented by Autodesk User Group International. Featured speakers include Cadalyst authors Lynn Allen and Robert Green.

COE 2006 Annual PLM Conference

March 19-22, 2006
Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia
Call for papers is now under way. Conference offers education, networking and product exhibition for users of Dassault Systemes and IBM-related technologies.

For Cadalyst's full calendar of events, click here.