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. The Importance of Tailoring the 3D CAD Justification to Your Specific Business: Quantify wherever Possible
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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. In terms of justification, it may be the last chance you get to make the case to senior managers for a couple of years. If you are ill-prepared and they say no, this may represent a lost opportunity for the business, as well as for you personally. Remember the skills are highly sought after and significantly enhance your employability.
Start with your business’s high level objectives. Review the ‘Senior Management Backing and Alignment to Business Objectives’ section. Can you identify how the CAD benefits listed above (in the ‘Why 3D CAD? Investment justification for Small Manufacturers: Key Business Drivers for Adopting 3D CAD’ section), can directly be linked to assisting these aims as specifically as possible. In addition, look at the benefits listed in the ‘Commercial and Productivity Advantages’ section. Try to quantify, by estimating as best you can. Costs reduced, time saved, products rolled out etc.
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’ve 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. This covers numerous benefits that apply at different stages of the product development process. Groups of advantages include:
For the most effective CAD justification, tailor these examples to your unique business circumstances. Specifically mention your products, your costs, your departments and employees, together with your suppliers. As ever, quantify wherever possible. Use known factual examples, figures and amounts where 3D CAD could have assisted if you had possessed it during development. Estimate as closely as possible where you don’t have exact figures, perhaps using past examples.
Importantly, if there are product development projects or manufacturing engineering activities scheduled in the future, clearly identify how any of the 3D advantages listed in earlier sections could make a real difference. Another idea is to do some online research for case studies where comparable businesses to yours, have made the 3D CAD leap or completely integrated it into the way they work, and subsequently have fully reaped the benefits. CAD software websites may include further examples.
For the most credible CAD justification Consider approaching 3D CAD suppliers for their experience in convincing senior management teams. They will have seen it achieved countless times, some of which may be with businesses similar to yours. Tap into these experiences to build a case unique to your business.
The whole idea is to personalise the CAD justification you set out, such that those making the final decision quickly visually 3D CAD working and fully integrated in your business. Alongside this, quantifying improvements is also important. Examples include money and time saved, together with quality improvements (for example reducing the number of defects, which are often measured by the quantity of 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. Anybody refusing should have to refute the strong commercial and technical reasons you put forward. Make it your business to make this nearly impossible.
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