When Chuck Norris enters a room, he doesn't turn the lights on. He turns the dark off. 

Similarly, CAD champions are needed to illuminate a path forward for others in today's fast-paced world of design and engineering.

Look around and you will see even your smartest colleagues settling for file-based CAD software and legacy PDM workflows that are causing them to waste about a day a week on non-design-related activities. You can read about this and more in “The State of Product Development & Hardware Design 2023-2024” survey report. 

File-based CAD is outdated and cumbersome. It’s like trying to win a fight with both hands tied behind your back during development. It's time to demand more. 

Here are 4 reasons why the fight for better CAD and PDM software is one worth picking. 

#1 The Sanity Factor, Otherwise Known as Productivity

CAD software that doesn’t crash will undoubtedly reduce your stress at work. Imagine the relief and psychological safety of knowing that you will never lose your design history or CAD data due to software crashes or human error.

Cloud-native platforms are reliable and stable. Your data is always there when you log in, autosaved, backed up, and easy to restore to any previous state. You never have to worry about hitting the save button or unexpectedly losing hours of painstaking work. 

Additionally, cloud-native CAD tools offer more modern workflows. They can turn what used to be hours of work – often with many unnecessary steps unrelated to actual design tasks – into minutes. Imagine the competitive edge you gain when you can focus 100% on designing and innovating versus wasting time with unreliable and unproductive CAD software. 

#2 Collaboration Without Boundaries

Collaboration is another critical reason to speak up and champion change. 

Traditional, file-based CAD systems create communication barriers. Files need to be emailed, uploaded/downloaded, shared via FTP, or worse, manually copied, increasing the risk of errors and miscommunication. If you’ve ever paused and thought, “Did I send the right file?” you are doing it wrong. 

Cloud-native CAD solutions are changing the way we communicate design information. They allow users to share by secure URL or QR code and give you the power to grant or revoke access to design data instantly. No more emails or copies of files. You deserve tools that support clear communication with context, such as sharing full 3D designs with comments, markup, and assigned actions that stay with the CAD model. 

Only cloud-native technologies enable multi-user access, so you can call up your colleague and look at the same CAD design together in real-time.

If there is still confusion in your organization, and everyone needs to work off the same design data consistently, you should champion change. You know you can do better than emails and screenshots.

#3 Continuous Innovation

Innovation is the lifeblood of design and engineering. The best product designers aren't content with just keeping up with the CAD industry standards; they continuously educate themselves on how to leverage the latest technologies.  

If your CAD software is outdated due to the complexity of upgrading, you aren’t designing with the latest features. You may want to try that new surfacing or analysis tool, but you can’t, because you’re three versions behind, and IT told you ‘No.’ 

Upgrading should not be such a cumbersome investment of time and resources that design and engineering teams only do so when it is really necessary. 

So be a voice of reason; don’t just champion for the next upgrade. Champion for cloud-native CAD and PDM so you can benefit from continuous updates without disruption to your work. Imagine you and your whole team innovating, always on the same and latest version, as soon as it is available. 

#4 CAD Skills and Professional Growth

Lastly, consider the long-term value. Embracing cloud-native CAD technology isn't just about adapting to new tools; it's about investing in your future. With better CAD tools at your disposal, your capacity to produce high-quality work increases. Better quality design projects not only lead to more satisfied customers but also open up leadership opportunities for yourself.

Investing time to master cloud-native CAD and PDM positions you as a frontrunner in your field. You would build a reputation as someone who not only understands the current landscape but shapes the future of product design for your organization. That's a powerful position to be in.

Becoming a #CADChampion

You don’t have to be Chuck Norris to be a champion for change in your organization. Besides, HR wouldn’t want you to round-house kick anyone. 

Any pragmatic engineering leader can see what the right path is. It’s cloud-native. 

Demanding more from your CAD software isn't a mere preference – it's a strategic move towards greater efficiency, collaboration, innovation, and professional growth. Don’t settle for the status quo. Strive for excellence in every aspect of your work.

If you’re still reading this, then I believe you can build the business case to adopt the best CAD technology for your company and watch as it transforms not just your day-to-day but your career trajectory. 

Speak up and become a #CADChampion today.

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