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One important factor in software management is the actual software that is used.
Recently, a roundtable of experts convened at Autodesk headquarters in San Francisco, where they addressed challenges and opportunities they face as CAD managers, as well as their perspective on the industry and its changing landscape.
Each of these experienced CAD managers agreed that using Autodesk software was the key ingredient in making them excel in their roles. Autodesk software helped in many aspects including hiring, training, as well as developing their own skillset.
When the software is the industry standard, as Robert Green, a recognized leader in CAD management, mentioned, it makes every part of the CAD manager role easier. For R.K. McSwain, CAD manager at LJA Engineering, Autodesk software even helps with the hiring process.
“The benefits of us using Autodesk software are primarily that when we go out to make a new hire and the people that come in, they know AutoCAD, they know AutoCAD-related software or Autodesk-related software,” McSwain said.
Shaun Bryant, director at CADFMconsultants, added that the benefits of using Autodesk products comes with the ease of implementing service packs by clicking a button on a pop up menu, migrating styles to a new version by checking the boxes, training, as well as the consistency when working across multiple products.
“The user experience teams at Autodesk have been brilliant in making sure that all of the products have a similar interface, a similar feel,” Bryant said. “So they’ve all got the ribbon across the top. They’ve all got the status bar on the bottom. And everything looks the same even though you are doing different things. My primarily environment tends to be AutoCAD and Revit Architecture. The nice thing about both of those products is that they kind of look the same. They do different things, but everyone knows to go to the ribbon, for example to find a tool that might draw a line. Or to find a tool that might place a Revit family into a Revit project. The benefit of that is because of that, they [the user] kind of get it if they move on to a different product. So an AutoCAD user might go to Revit and go, ‘Oh, I need to go to the ribbon to drive this thing.’ “
Michael Viscetto, CAD manager at Bastien and Associates, had a slightly different take on how Autodesk has made him a better CAD manager.
“I trust Autodesk software,” Viscetto said. “It has never failed me. Autodesk wants me to succeed. So, there is an enormous amount of help out there. Between the news groups, the knowledge bases, the mentor program. And now I have people I actually call who are experts who are experts in this field, who help me solve problems.”