CAD Manager's Newsletter (#153)

21 Jun, 2006 By: Robert Green

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CAD Management Finances, Part 2

More strategies for getting the funding you need to equip your CAD departmeNT

In the last issue of CAD Manager’s Newsletter (click here for archives), I started a general discussion of the financial angle of the CAD manager’s job and presented some strategies you can use to approach your job using financial metrics. If you haven’t had a chance to read Part 1, please take the time to do so now because I’ll be building extensively upon the concepts from the first installment.

In this installment I’ll focus on taking your ideas for improvement and turning them into savings-generating ideas that you can take to your management. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a financial CAD manager, take the time to read through these ideas and consider the possibilities. Here goes.

It’s All About Savings
In the previous edition I asked you to ponder three questions and come up with some possible answers. To recap, those questions were:

  • Where can I save?
  • Where are the broken processes in our company that cost us money?
  • Why do we do things the way we do?

If you haven't already done so, now is the perfect time to get out a blank pad of paper and start brainstorming all the answers. The end result of your brainstorming session should be an extensive list of cost-saving ideas that also result in faster, smoother, more-efficient processes. These cost-saving ideas will form the foundation of your CAD management savings plan, so it is important that you think the list through using some suggested guidelines. Read more >>

:: CAD Manager's Q&A

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.Read more >>

Submit your questions to Robert Green

:: Resource

Online User Community: CAD Manager's Newsletter reader Lori Dankovic alerted us about one of her favorite Web sites.With the motto "Get Below the Surface," provides a forum for programmers, designers and drafters to share ideas, resources and information. The site, which is owned and maintained by Mark Thomas, currently boasts about 1,200 members. Registration is free; the only requirement is that users maintain professional decorum in their posts and contributions. Two upload-download areas are available for registered members. TheSwamp reports that it is completely independent, with no business ties, and it is not part of any other forum or message board.

Send us the address of your favorite Web site or other resource and a few words about why you like it. If we publish it, we'll send you a Cadalyst t-shirt!

:: Events

"Success with 3D" Web Presentation
June 23, 2006, 10 a.m. PT
Cadalyst hosts "Success with 3D," an exclusive Web event for the manufacturing community. Sponsored by Autodesk, the 45-minute presentation will discuss how to successfully deploy 3D design software. It will bring together Cadalyst contributing editors Robert Green, Jeff Rowe and Bill Fane, as well as product specialists from the Autodesk Manufacturing Solutions Division and Larry Schester, mechanical design supervisor at Gefit Liverrnois Engineering. Read more

2006 Best Firm to Work For Summit
September 28-29, 2006
Chicago, Illinois
ZweigWhite hosts this event designed to help AEC leaders learn the essential elements for attracting and retaining the best employees in order to maintain their firm's continuing growth and success. Read more

2006 Design-Build Conference & Expo
October 18-20, 2006
Nashville, Tennessee
Annual conference for DBIA (Design-Build Institute of America) members and partners. Read more 

Fall International IAI Meeting for Building Smart
October 30-November 4, 2006
Washington, D.C.
IAI (International Alliance for Interoperability) is promoting effective means of exchanging information among all software platforms and applications serving the AEC/FM community. Read more

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

:: What's New at

Polywell PolyStation 939CF-V7350—Dual-Core Workstation: Polywell's PolyStation 939CF-V7350 workstation incorporates a lot of memory and a powerful graphics card.

NEC MultiSync LCD2190UXi—21" LCD Display: The NEC MultiSync LCD2190UXi 21" display adjusts to environmental lighting conditions by checking ambient brightness.

Get the Code for June! Cadalyst’s June code from Hot Tip Harry is now available for download. This month's $100 winner is Edit Text from Leonid Nemirovsky, which lets you specify text objects to display for editing. Congratulations also to May's $100 winner, Pedro Ferreira, for the tip Erase Inside a Closed Pline.

Cadalyst Daily Update: For all the latest news and new products, subscribe toCadalyst Daily e-newsletter. Plus, every issue includes a feature you won’t find anywhere else – hardware and CAD software reviews, success stories, AutoCAD tips and much more! Here’s a sample of what you missed in recent issues:

  • First Look: Deep Exploration 4.0: Highly recommended Right Hemisphere tool can translate, author and publish graphics to communicate CAD designs, procedures and more