CAD Manager's Newsletter (#208)

9 Dec, 2008

Dealing with Bad Economic News

No doubt, times are tough, but there are things you can do to soften the effects of company cutbacks.

This past week I attended Autodesk University, where I taught some classes, gathered information on new products, and spoke to a lot of CAD managers.  Ordinarily I would write an event report to catch you up on the details, but this year I found the economic news so serious that I'm dedicating this issue to passing along some tips for surviving the downturn.  Here goes.

A Little History
Over the years, I've conducted informal surveys of CAD managers to gauge the economic stability of the companies we all work in.  I usually do the survey by a show of hands and ask the following questions: 

  • How many of you work in companies that have too much work to get done?
  • How many of you work in companies with good/normal workloads?
  • How many of you work in companies that are laying off?

Throughout 2006, while speaking at 35 CAD manager and user events, I asked the "laying off" question and counted exactly seven hands. Roughly 50% of the group indicated companies that had "too much" work, with the balance in the "good/normal" category.  Clearly 2006 was a good economic year, particularly for those in civil engineering and architectural industries. Read more »


:: CAD Manager's Toolbox: Standards Enforcement via Auditing

You could see dramatic results if you get your whole production team involved in upholding standards.

I received a great suggestion for standards enforcement from reader Todd Schuler in Ohio last week, and I want to share it with you. Todd has found that by examining some production drawings in a team-training environment, all his users have become more aware of the errors they make. They also have a heightened awareness of following standards because the likelihood of having their errors spotted goes up. Read more »


Got a question for the CAD Manager's Newsletter? Send it to me at If I use your question in the newsletter, you'll receive a cool Cadalyst prize!


:: Resources

Cadalyst Job Search
Looking for a job? The Cadalyst Web site offers a job search section with extensive listings of CAD-related jobs in the United States. You can do a custom search with your own key words or search the listings by state. Check it out and bookmark the page now!


:: Events

California Electric Utilities Summit
December 11, 2008
Glendale, California
This event, hosted by U.S. CAD, will focus on how electric utilities can improve efficiency, response times, and decision-making by using Autodesk software to design and manage infrastructure assets. Read more »

Webinar: Introduction to ArcGIS Data Interoperability
December 11, 2008
9 a.m., 11 a.m., 3 p.m. PST
During the seminar from ESRI, attendees will learn about the features of ArcGIS Data Interoperability extension that support data workflows. Read more »

Cloud Computing Conference: An IT Paradigm Shift
February 11, 2009
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Plum Communications' conference will explore the assessment of PaaS (Platform as a Service) and infrastructure models, the challenge of scale, migration risks and rewards, and security. Read more »

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on