In recent years, a growing number of CAD tools have appeared in parallel with the rapid development of the design software industry. So many alternatives have given companies more choices to pick their most appropriate solution. As a result, switching CAD tools is becoming one of the most frequently discussed topics among the CAD community. But changes always require careful thoughts. When companies plan to switch CAD tools, what criteria should be taken into consideration?
According to Michelle Boucher’s research, in the past 5 years, most companies have switched to a new CAD system because of the functionality (39%) and the productivity (39%),followed by the ease of use (33%) and the price (26%). One thing unexpected is that the influence of user preference (22%) and the relationship with vendors (20%) has increased dramatically over these five years. After studying the reasons for switching CAD tools, ZWCAD+ believes that 3 criteria could be summarized to help companies make the right decision.
1. Find CAD That Offers Unique Features to Increase Productivity
The main reason to switch CAD systems is that customers believe different CAD software would improve productivity and efficiency. A company seldom switches unless firstly, it may result in improved efficiency without costing more time in testing and retraining, and secondly, the existing CAD software can’t meet their increasingly complex needs.
So combining the two reasons above, the key is to find unique features that can improve productivity. One example is the SmartVoice in ZWCAD+. Users may find it more efficient to make vocal annotation rather than traditional revision clouds and texts, especially for onsite project review.
2. Choose Lightweight CAD That Improves Cost Effectiveness
Another big reason to switch is to save money. When planning to switch CAD software, companies should not only focus on the purchase price of the software, but consider whether there are too many seldom used features that drive up the price. For companies that seriously look into what exactly their design needs are and compare different CAD solutions, the budget can be dramatically reduced.
On this point, Kingdom Lin, General Manager of ZWCAD+ Overseas Business, commented, Actually many CAD users are now paying for features they never used, but we believed that a good CAD should not only have robust functionality, but also a reasonable price. So being light-weighted may be one effective way to achieve this goal.
3. Consider the User Preference, Technical Support and Upgrade Policy
According to Michelle Boucher’s research, in the past 5 years, the influence of user preference and relationship with vendors has almost doubled. This result shows that, firstly, a company may switch systems simply because they’re annoyed with the existing vendor, and secondly, companies start to realize that working in a happy and comfortable software environment may increase their design productivity. So factors such as ease of use and user interface should be taken into consideration when making decisions.
It is encouraging to see that more and more CAD vendors are realizing the importance of user preference and the relationship with their customers. Most of them have already developed great DWG compatibility and easy-to-use and customizable interface that enables users to work in their most familiar and comfortable environment. Their friendly upgrade policies and the full set of technical support also ensures users’ pleasure and satisfaction.
Ray Howard, CEO of CAD2BIM Solutions, commented in a recent interview with ZWCAD+, I am impressed with ZWCAD+. With the combination of ease of use, DWG native format, feature-rich commands, user interface, and affordable price point, it’s looking like I may have just turned the corner and freed myself from an old way of thinking.