What Drives a Change in CAD Tools?

It’s becoming more and more difficult to compete in today’s global economy. Successful leaders recognize the need to adapt to the ever-rapidly changing ways to do business in the global environment. These leaders seek to build competitive advantages around the core competencies of the organization, while also reducing costs to conduct their business.

In the world of product development, building competitive advantage revolves around improving products and optimizing the development process. To differentiate their products, manufacturers must consider a variety of factors, such as product performance, innovation, quality, and personalization. In the Tech-Clarity study, “Product Lifecycle Management Beyond Managing CAD,” 192 companies were asked how they differentiate themselves from their competitors.


Investing in Product Design 

Companies make investments in product design to lower their costs as well as to improve efficiency, both of which impact top and bottom lines. Quick product cycles shrink the window of opportunity for maximum revenue potential. Before long, products are superseded by even newer products, diminishing the opportunity for additional revenue. In addition, the faster a company releases its product, the smaller the development investment, making it easier to recoup those costs. Also, first to market has a competitive advantage for capturing market share, leading to higher revenues.

The below chart lists the top reasons for companies investing in their design process, including changing CAD tools. The top two reasons were lower costs (63 percent) and shorter product development schedules (61 percent), closely followed by better product quality/reliability (59 percent).


Additional cost savings can also come from IT. Tech-Clarity’s “Consolidating CAD” report finds there are other benefits of CAD consolidation beyond saving on licensing and hardware costs. The report states, “From the IT perspective, consolidation provides the ability to focus resources on a smaller number of solutions. This reduces workload and cost and allows IT to provide a higher level of business support with today’s lean organizations… Beyond cost savings, though, are even greater strategic benefits… For example, a single CAD environment can enable a ‘design anywhere –build anywhere’ strategy. This approach allows companies to rapidly adjust to market changes and resource shortages by offering the ability to transfer design or production tonew facilities without concern for incompatible design data, tools, or processes.”

A potential design investment may involve a change in CAD tools. There are many reasons why a company may switch CAD tools. For example, Arihant, a water park and playground equipment manufacturer, sought a design solution that was easier and faster to use so the company could boost productivity. “We needed to become more efficient to increase throughput,” says Assistant Manager–Design Mithun S. Mandal, “Other goals related to switching platforms included better graphical representation of product designs, shorter design cycles, and enhanced recruitment.”

The change has certainly paid off. Since implementing SOLIDWORKS, Arihant has realized meteoric growth, boosting annual revenues by 250 percent in just two years. To learn more read the entire case study, “Sliding Through Water Park and Playground Equipment Development with SOLIDWORKS.”

Learn more about how your company can achieve real-world business benefits from switching CAD tools by downloading the Tech-Clarity white paper “Are You Changing CAD Tools? What You Should Know.”




Barb Schmitz

Barb Schmitz

Senior Marketing Communications Manager at SolidWorks
Barb Schmitz is a Senior Manager in Marketing Communications with BA in Journalism and over 30 years of experience in the CAD software industry. She started her career as a journalist covering technology and served as an editor for several leading industry publications for over 20 years. Besides being a sleuth of tech, she is a loyal dog owner, travel bum, mom, lover of hoppy IPAs, red wine, and alternative music lover living in the great city of Chicago.