Wednesday, December 15, 2004

CAD Management & CAD Standards

It's been a week since I updated my blog due to being out of town.

If I solve a particular problem, I'll post it here. Otherwise, as I read through various newsletters that I receive or web sites that I frequent, I'll be inspired to pass something along. That's what's happened with most of the posts here to date.

Today's topic is my number one soap box topic - CAD Standards.

Like most CAD Managers, I found myself in that position with my former company, Jones & Frank Corporation; quite accidentally. Most users I talk to will say that no one is appointed or hired as a CAD Manager, but generally speaking one individual is considered the CAD Manager. The term doesn't equate with a larger paycheck, just more responsibility.

Probably the best authority in the country on CAD Management (at all levels) is Robert Green. He has authored articles, teaches classes, and speaks about CAD Management. You can find many of his writings at

One of the most important lessons I noted from his recent article this week is that companies need to keep our time billable with the least amount of overhead. That is why you don't see dedicated CAD Managers. You see users acting as CAD Managers.

We all need to find ways to become more efficient at what we do. This also will help prevent our CAD jobs being outsourced. Good CAD Standards will help that as will not being afraid to change how we work. Being an old stick in the mud will get you nowhere.

I'll keep this brief before I get into a long drawn out rambling about CAD Standards. Short and sweet!


W. Kirk Crawford said...

Though you might be interested in the goings on at one of the Big Three's AME group.

We are in desire need of a ‘Real CAD Administer’. The last one knew something about networking, and script coding. But we already have an IT group. He did learn AutoCAD fast. But he never put anything into place. All we ever got was a blank install. No customization, no menus, not even a place on the sever to put anything.

That is what we get when trying to cut cost.

W. Kirk Crawford
Rochester Hills, Michigan

Lucky Balaraman said...

Hi, I run a well-known CAD drafting service provider in India, The Magnum Group. Many US companies outsource their CAD work to us.

You've said, "We all need to find ways to become more efficient at what we do. This also will help prevent our CAD jobs being outsourced."

Companies like mine are very efficient (with low overheads). The fact is, the main benefit (not the only one) in outsourcing to India is the savings in hourly labor rates.

Labor rates are low here because until recently supply outstripped demand by a country mile. But that's slowly changing: skilled CAD draftsmen are becoming increasingly expensive because of a drastic climb in demand.

Five years down the road the wage differential with the US might have become minimal, and at that time the competitive elements will be, amongst other things, effieciencies in various spheres (operations, finance, human resource development and customer loyalty, to name a few).

Let me know if you want further insider perspective on the Indian CAD scene, Beth


Lucky Balaraman
Executive Director
The Magnum Group