Expert Manufacturing Advice tailored for step-by-step implementation in the workplace. Small Manufacturers, Machine Shops and CAD Engineers improve and thrive with our hands-on help.

CAD Engineering Plan 3

Making it Happen:

CAD Engineering Action Plan 3

CAD Engineering Plan 3...


Tailoring the Justification to Your Business: Quantify wherever Possible

When building the case for why your business should invest in 3D CAD software or alternatively expand the number of CAD seats you use, you really want to be as credible and convincing as possible. A big part of this is tailoring the justification to your business situation, ensuing you quantify wherever possible. Start with your business’s specific high level objectives. Review theSenior Management Backing and Alignment to Business Objectives’ section.

Additionally look at the benefits listed in the ‘Commercial and Productivity Advantages’ section. To strengthen your case, demolish any argument as to why it isn’t for your company, by reviewing the ‘Perceived Barriers – Why Small Manufacturers are Reluctant to Adopt 3D CAD?’ section and identifying reasons why it is definitely possible, extremely desirable and ultimately a path many small manufacturers have already taken, on the way to reaping significant benefits.

To add further substantial weight to your justification, consider recent products you have developed or existing ones you have customised. Alternatively, think about manufacturing engineering modifications you have had to implement in production, for example jigs, fixtures, fittings etc. Now look at the extensive list of advantages in the ‘Significant Benefits of 3D CAD and Digital Engineering’ section. Tailor these examples to your unique business circumstances. Specifically mention your products, your costs, your departments and people, as well as your suppliers.

As ever, quantify wherever possible. Use known factual examples, figures and amounts where 3D CAD could have assisted you during development. Consider approaching 3D CAD suppliers for their experience in convincing senior management teams. Quantifying improvements is also important – consider money, time saved and quality improvements (such as number of defects, often measured by engineering change requests). Realistic facts and figures are crucial for adding to the credibility of your case. Ultimately, aim to make it very difficult for senior managers to say no.


CAD Software Evaluation and Selection

So, you’re thinking of taking the plunge? Whether you are considering investing in 3D CAD for the first time or expanding what you’ve got, it’s critical to select the software that best meets the unique requirements of your business. Start by identifying your business’s unique CAD requirements. Which business objectives are you attempting to address? What business processes are you attempting to improve? For example, new product introduction, existing product redesign or alternatively production engineering improvements, such as jig and fixture design or the introduction of Computer Aided manufacturing.

To assist, consider the following questions: What is your budget? When do you need it up and running by? How many CAD seats do you require? Who will use the CAD software and for what specific purpose? What are you training considerations? Have you thought about support and maintenance? Are there any special CAD features or modules that are ideal for the nature of your business? What are your hardware, network and systems requirements? Are upgrades necessary? What about your data management requirements? Have you considered the workstation location and design environment and are they conducive to CAD work?

Put together a CAD specification tailored to your business. Prioritise your list of requirements. Next, undertake some research and investigation into 3D CAD Software.

Compare the CAD software packages on a range of criteria most relevant to your business. After careful examination, consider using a simple score and ranking system to rate the CAD packages. Depending on the outcome, you may decide to make your final purchasing decision, or call the top couple of vendors in for a demo.

 Finally, you may opt to undertake a more in-depth CAD system evaluation specific to the explicit needs your business. This involves choosing an actual project - where 3D CAD can demonstrate real value. Get a number of CAD vendors in, working with your design engineers, answering detailed questions and solving real problems.

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