Engineering Implementations vs. Installation

The Engineering Industry has helped humanity usher in the modern world like no other time in humanities revolution and history. If one were to try and define the industry with a single word, Implementation comes to mind, as this is at the core of what the industry does on a daily basis. All those meetings, all the mass data, physics, and math, etc., are fundamentally being applied to help implement some final goal to create something, be it a road, building, car, or any other ‘Built Concept’; the list goes on and on; it is endless. Without Engineering, we would all live in a world of chaos.

Photo credit: The GET SMART television series

Good Engineering is all about good control, yes? So, it could be safe to say, ultimate control is the best form of Engineering. Yet with my 43+ years in the industry here in Australia and now, with my recent venture into the online world of all things CAD-related and listening to all the CAD Managers on Eric Deleon’s CAD Manager Confessions it would appear this is a global problem. I have not worked in a CAD office that was not embroiled to some degree in a state of chaos on a daily basis. I cannot help feeling that the industry thinks this is normal, it is just the process and there is nothing that can be done about it. Any attempts to get the full CAD process under control over the past 40 years has yielded only great expense, failure, and disappointment. And here we are in 2023 still asking the question, “Why can we not get it under control and work in a less stressful and more unified, efficient and consistent environment?” Is this not the whole point of the technology’s creation/purpose?

Back in the early 1990’s I became rather burnt out by all this chaos and constant problems within the industry, it was never-ending and relentless. So much so that I left it for a year and started my own business in the fitness world. But the recession of that era put a quick end to that plan, and I was faced with contemplating the idea of having to go back to Drafting. I managed to find a new fire in my belly to return with the realization I was not actually a ‘Draftsman’; I was a ‘Problem Solver’ and drafting was just my tool to convey my Engineering comrades and my ideas, insights and solutions with accurate documentation to support the next stage of the process; the construction and/or manufacture of the clients project with a clear vision of what is required.

Big global Engineering companies with 10’s of thousands of employees spend millions of dollars on software every year. One of the biggest expenses is their CAD systems software and hardware. Despite it being the ‘Engineering Industry’, the CAD department is the engine room of the industry. Engineering is a goods and services type industry and the Drawings produced within the CAD department are one of the products they sell to their clients. Yet so few assign the correct proportional percentage of this budget to the CAD systems development, configuration, and most importantly, implementation in the hope to gain greater Drawing quality, produced more efficiently, on time, and on budget. What would even a meager 10% improvement be worth to their bottom-line profit margins? It would be significant for sure.

The fact that this is not happening to the degree required does not make sense, one can only assume. Therefore, my own personal assumptions, beliefs, and observations are the Engineering industry is over (tired) of all the past broken promises and disappointments made by well-intended CAD Managers suffering, innocently from what is known as the Danning-Kruger Effect (please research this for full clarity). Hence, they have given up; believing it is just not possible.

Introduction of the AutoMENU CAD System

Back in 2003, I worked as an employee for what was one of the most chaotic (out-of-control) Engineering companies of my 43+ year career. Ironically, they should have been one of the most controlled, because it was at this very company I witnessed and used my first version of a fully customized AutoCAD, (AutoCAD R14 still but that is another story).

In the typical fashion that fits my super-curious nature, I was excited, fascinated and as the months passed, I naturally delved into the customization to attain a full understanding of why, who, when, where etc. to fully understand AutoCAD customizing features and power that I was witnessing, saving all those thousands of daily mouse and keyboard movements, and standardizing the finished drawing product quality in a unified, efficient and consistent manner. This was the first Implemented system I had ever seen and used and one of a few I have ever seen since.

20 years later and approximately 20,000 hours of Research and Development, I believe I have found all the answers for implementing the perfect CAD system and office. What was once complex even to me seems rather simple now. There are certain systems, staff and strategies that need to be in place for it to work properly but these are all achievable with a clear vision, effort, and implementation. And no, I do not believe that I am suffering from the Danning-Kruger Effect anymore that I also once was that night I sat-down and started developing the AutoMENU CAD system in 2003.

We can obtain those ‘Prefect Set of Plans’ as Eric Deleon talks about in his ‘CAD Manager Confessions’ podcasts.


Anyone with the funds can purchase the CAD technology (hardware and software), anyone can hire CAD staff and then try and manage it all (The Trilogy). But if you feel you are ‘Flying Blind’ into something you do not understand, with constant, on-going, common CAD issues; then may I suggest you STOP, re-group and re-think your strategies. Are you just purchasing and installing software or does your company have an implementation strategy to develop the technology to try and standout of the crowd. Without it, your company cannot legitimately claim to be better than any other, because you are all on a level playing field.

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