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Managing a busy CAD design office can be difficult, with constant time pressures and the need to prepare drawings of the highest standards. The following tips may help ensure success within the role and contribute to the speed and efficiency of all drawing office team members.

1. Assemble the best team

One of the most important tasks for any CAD manager is assembling the best available team. However, interviewing all new candidates can be extremely time-consuming. One of the easiest ways to cut time spent interviewing and carry out a thorough assessment of all candidates is to draw up a CAD test which will be completed prior to the face-to-face interview. This provides a base for assessing candidate speeds and the CAD expertise they actually do possess. The results of the test can be used for reference purposes throughout the interview process and will enable you to weed out the weaker candidates immediately. Ultimately, any busy CAD department needs new hires with the ability to produce results from their first day in the office, so your testing process should be thorough and enable a realistic assessment of a candidate’s practical CAD skills.

2. Plan all major purchases

Running a tight, well-organized CAD office isn’t just reliant on finding the most effective staff members, though. You’ll probably have responsibility for all procurement within the office, so it’s important to be as diligent as possible when making buying decisions. Buying the right hardware and software is not always an easy matter, so opting for at least three quotes is the best way forward to ensure you get the most value for money. When you receive final quotes, take time to read all the small print. Many providers offer incentives to purchase, but if you don’t really need the extras on offer, there’s no point accepting these deals. Choosing the most inexpensive quote is not always the right decision, either. You need to be assured that the equipment or software you’re buying does exactly what it says “on the box” and the supplier offers reliable support, for times when it’s needed.

3. Maintain your skills

You should also be prepared to muck in yourself at busy times. Many CAD managers achieve their desired promotion and then lose touch with basic skills in software like AutoCAD, Revit, Sketchup and Solidworks. Ensuring your team meets all deadlines may well mean you need to participate in the drawing or modeling of designs needed urgently. So, keeping up to speed within your specialism is one way to ensure production in your design office is maintained at the highest possible level. This can also contribute to team building and greater levels of motivation.

4. Open door policy

Keeping any CAD team motivated and on board with all company objectives means keeping loads of balls in the air at the same time, but it’s always important to keep drawing office teams engaged. Maintaining an open door policy helps encourage team members to approach you with ideas which can help improve productivity or efficiencies and also leads to a happier working environment.

Working as a CAD manager in any sector can be hard at times: whether you’re inundated with design work and need to maintain continued contact with a reliable CAD outsourcing company; or when work dribbles in slowly, leaving no option but to lay off manufacturing workers or drawing office staff.

Jensen Consulting provides specialist CAD services across all sectors and can help ensure your deadlines and goals are fulfilled. Our professionals have abilities across a wide range of drawing office software and provide the speedy, efficient service needed to meet client objectives. Get in touch for more information.