How will you handle it when you get a Revit file from a client and you only have Auto CAD 2006?What about when you get a Solid Works file from a client and you only have Auto CAD 2008?Even if you can afford the cost of a rushed replacement, can you afford the project delays and employee downtime that will result from the failure? I have a customer that has modern CAD tools, very progressive management processes, and a well-trained workforce, yet persists in running two 15-year-old plotters in one of its departments.
" and the reply was, "We’ll deal with that when it happens." The CAD manager fully understood the gravity of the problem, but felt powerless to do anything about it because he’d been told "no spending" for years.
I told him, point-blank, "When this machine fails, management is going to blame you." At that point we developed a strategy for reporting on the risk of the situation, and senior management began studying the possibility of replacing equipment based on risk management.
Questions to consider: What will happen when you can’t plot? For example, I have to maintain an old computer/compiler for some legacy software I develop for a specific client.
For that purpose, I have a dedicated 32-bit Windows machine with old versions of Visual Studio and Autodesk development tools on it.
Now there are people reading this newsletter who have no clue what I’m talking about, but let me assure you that this computer was at least 19 years old.
My question to the CAD manager was, "What’s your plan for when that machine or serial interface stops working?
One conversation I have with many CAD managers — more than you’d think — goes like this: "We run [fill in software name here] version [fill in the year] on seven-year-old computers, because my boss says everything works fine and he doesn’t want to pay for anything newer. " In this edition of the , I’ll address this all-too-frequent problem from financial, staffing, and marketing perspectives by relating actual client stories and drawing conclusions as we go. Acknowledge the Objections Because old software or hardware is still in use, senior managers often see no need to replace it — they think, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." The phrases I’ve heard management teams repeat over and over when defending the continuing use of old software and computers include: My immediate response to all these objections might surprise you: Every one of them is right, to an extent.
The thinking CAD manager will acknowledge that management has a point, and that it simply wants to limit spending in any way it can.
Summing Up The challenge now falls upon us all to estimate the financial risk our companies are taking when they choose to work with outdated computers, peripherals, operating systems, and CAD tools.