CAD Management – Should you outsource?
As of late, many small to medium sized AEC firms are feeling pressured to implement the latest CAD and Engineering software. However, if you don’t know what it takes to properly organize, implement, and carry out a Managed CAD Environment, trying to do it in-house could be risky. To put together a Managed CAD Environment can take a lot of people and a lot of time, and can cost a lot of money.
Some of you might be thinking, “That’s why I run our firm’s CAD systems myself.” However, usually people who do it themselves also admit that they simply don’t have enough time to take care of support and plotting issues every day. Some other things we hear from CAD managers that are trying to do it all alone are: “it takes a lot of time,” “you have to be very involved,” and “overwhelming.” These are the people that generally aren’t convinced that the benefits of a Managed CAD Environment outweigh the costs.
True, there are some benefits of running your own CAD System, including saving money and maintaining full control over your projects. However, some downsides should be considered as well, such as the potential costs, which include lost production time, nonconforming client standards, missed deadlines, and more.
What would it take to create a Managed CAD environment and coordinate it properly with your current projects that are ongoing and client standards? To formulate an outstanding Managed CAD Environment, you’ll need a support team that includes expertise in either Autodesk or Bentley Systems (or both), a GIS expert to help with interoperability of your CAD data, a programmer to customize applications to streamline repetitive tasks and reduce errors, and a plotting system administrator to ensure standardized deliverables.
There are huge benefits to outsourcing your CAD Management. Such benefits include: gaining access to the knowledge of both Autodesk and Bentley Systems professionals, increased billable rate of the individual(s) currently performing CAD management tasks. Not to mention the reduction of overhead costs related to continuing education and research. Lastly is the one that is most difficult to quantify but has the largest impact on your organization’s ability to be both efficient and more competitive. Staff satisfaction and therefore retention, and marketplace competitiveness can be realized from optimizing your CAD Management and educational needs. If you are still not sure about whether or not to outsource, ask yourself the following questions:
What is my budget for outsourcing CAD Management?
Am I truly qualified to migrate my projects to the latest release?
How much is my time worth?
What can I do with the time not spent on CAD Management if I choose to outsource?
Answering these questions will give you a better idea whether or not outsourcing CAD Management is right for you.
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