As one of the leading providers of CAD software solutions in the APAC region, CAD International must make key decisions about which software to sell and support. There are a myriad of products available for all design disciplines, and providing the right CAD software solution to meet or exceed the needs of customers is paramount.
Product selection is a process that takes into account function, cost, ease of use, relevance, support levels, history, continuity of supply, expandability and productivity. Whilst it can be tempting to sell only ‘popular’ products, or those with a high margin for short term gain, successful CAD suppliers like CAD International are geared more toward long term relationships that keep clients returning for updates, related software, training and support services. This only happens when the product is the right fit.
The primary example of the selection process is with CAD International’s offering in the Mechanical/Product Design (MCAD) arena in which several products are offered as solutions to end users, IronCAD being the most prevalent. In an interview with CAD International’s MD, Mr Nigel Varley, he had this to say about the selection of IronCAD to include in the product line up.
“Choosing IronCAD came after a long and comprehensive look at a variety of products. We were sorely lacking in a viable MCAD solution to offer our clients and quite frankly we were losing potential clients by not having something high-end to offer” — “ (Traditional) software such as AutoCAD, Vectorworks or even our own RealCAD don’t compare with parametric solids modelers like Pro Engineer, Solid Edge or Solid Works – it’s a different league.”
“We’d been selling Solid Edge for several years when they decided to go it alone and sell direct in the region, skipping local resellers all together – Well that was a disaster, they had no idea how to keep clients happy and lost the market completely here. It was a good product and had some significant strengths, but that’s not enough to make it the right product for most users. Treating resellers and clients with contempt didn’t help either. We notice that quite often software developers can get too large to really care”.
“It wasn’t long after the Solid Edge experience that we were approached by PTC to sell Pro-Engineer (Creo). Powerful software and the first to implement parametrics into the model but clearly geared at big business with big prices and complex support plans, payment options and plug-ins. Clients virtually needed a pilot’s license to drive the software successfully, which wasn’t what the majority of our clients were asking for.”
“SolidWorks was gaining momentum in the region with a proactive Australian based reseller and we looked very closely at what it had to offer. In fact if we hadn’t stumbled across IronCAD we would probably have settled for SolidWorks instead. I’m pleased we didn’t. During the search process we adopted a French product, Solid Concept, which to this day is an excellent piece of software, especially for manufacturers – however being French in origin, English users were never at front of mind and support from France to Australia was just not viable. We also looked at Russian software and made a unanimous decision to avoid non-English origin products when support was so vital.”
“IronCAD was a surprise. We’d heard good things about it for years. Its origins as a blend between a mechanical design and free form animation style software known as Triforma hadn’t lured us to consider it. It also seemed that the marketing of the software outside the USA and Europe had either been minimal or non-existent. Fortunately we found out that it existed and was being represented by a guy in Melbourne who was a great user and had a great understanding of the software. We were blown away by the demo he gave us. There wasn’t anything we asked for or tried that the software couldn’t do during our test, and it showed a remarkable level of speed and flexibility beyond the limits of the traditional approaches to design used by its competitors. That’s where the seed of our involvement with IronCAD began.”
“It’s been a few years since we initially trialed the software and subsequently chose it as our major MCAD offering. It was a great decision – we haven’t looked back.
“We’re pleased to be part of the growth of this product globally and find ourselves receiving more and more unsolicited enquiries about it. We find that those who take the time to do the research always end up choosing IronCAD over its competitors. Clients simply love it”.
For more information on CAD International you can visit their websites: www.cadinternational.com | www.cad.com.au