CAD Manager's Newsletter (#210)

27 Jan, 2009

New Year 2009 Predictions, Part 2

The CAD manager who plans for the future by improving efficiency in the downturn will position the company for greater success when the economy recovers.

In the last edition of CAD Manager's Newsletter I made some general predictions for the coming year. Here I'll finish up my New Year prognostications by focusing a little more on how the tight economy will affect the CAD manager's job this year. And as I do so I'll pass along some tips to help you stretch every budget dollar. Here goes.

Training Will Get More Difficult
It's a fact of life that training is one of the first things to be cut when money is limited. Therefore, simple economics dictate that 2009 isn't going to be the year for large training initiatives. So how can you continue to provide valuable training resources to your users in this climate? By thinking about the mission of training in a different way!

Here are the three metrics I've used with great success to approach training during several past recessions. I see no reason why these approaches won't work this time. They are:

Smaller training. Training doesn't always have to be in conjunction with big tasks like software migrations or even upgrades to be useful.

Cheaper training. Training classes don't have to take all day to be useful and, thus, they don't have to cost a fortune. Consider lunch-and-learn or after hours user group training classes to minimize impact on company time and cost.  Read more »

:: CAD Manager's Toolbox:
Don't Shun Vista Because of Old Plotters

Dedicate a not-quite-retired machine just for handling jobs with older peripherals.

My recommendations for taking the Vista 64-bit plunge in the previous edition of CAD Manager's Newsletter elicited a few anxious e-mails. Most of the questions centered on Vista and/or 64-bit incompatibilities for older printing peripherals, so I thought I'd outline the strategy I use for dealing with such problems.

The Spare XP Bridge Machine
I've had no real problems with printing devices using my 32- and 64-bit machine environments so far, but that may just be because I'm not using a bunch of older plotters. I have, however, had a show stopper of a problem with some Visual Studio 2005 legacy projects I've had to support for XP-based customers. Read more »

:: Resources

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:: Events

2009 Northeast American Society of Engineering Education Conference
April 3-4, 2009
Bridgeport, Connecticut
The theme of the 2009 conference is "Engineering in the New Global Economy." Topics include: chemical, biological, civil, and electrical engineering. Read more »

2nd Annual Carlson User Conference
April 5-7, 2009
Lexington, Kentucky
Attendees will learn about the fundamentals and advanced tools of Carlson Software, preview upcoming product releases, and receive expert training. Read more »

COFES 2009: Slipstreaming Innovation into the Mainstream
April 16-19, 2009
Scottsdale, Arizona
This event brings together engineering software vendors and users, developers, and analysts, for an open discussion about the future of the industry. Read more »

Open Design Alliance World Conference 2009
April 27-29, 2009
Leiden, The Netherlands
The first two days of the conference will include an exploration of industry topics and ODA technology, with presentations by ODA member companies and technical staff. Read more »

PLM Road Map 2009
September 22-23, 2009
Plymouth, Michigan
Attendees will learn about the issues confronting end users in design and engineering. Presentations will cover mechatronics and keys to driving a successful transformation. Read more »

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