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company going backwards

2/18/15       
David

Hi, I am looking to get some feedback on an issue we have going on in our shop. In the past two years we have switched cabinet software from cabnetware to cabinet vision. The transition wasn't too bad and I admit it was a little difficult for myself as well. For all the reading I've done I am told vision is the way to go and is a much more powerful program. That being said we're sticking to it. We have three draftsmen who generate code and drawings to the shop using vision. The problem is we have a salesperson who still uses cabnetware and hasn't made the switch to vision yet and am not sure they are going to do so. Anyhow, when we get the drawings from them we have to redraw in cabinet vision. How are we ever suppose to get ahead this way? Every time I redraw cabinets it's frustrating because I feel like we're taking 2 steps backwards and in the end losing time and money as a company. When I bring this up to management they say treat it like you're getting drawings from a designer not in house. But our designer is in house and on our payroll so we are basically redrawing the same job twice. I just got another big project that I am suppose to redraw because it is drawn in cabnetware. Had this already been drawn in vision I would be well on my way to getting this project out to the shop. Does anyone have any insight on this that I am missing? Thanks

2/18/15       #2: company going backwards ...
Leland Thomasset  Member

Website: http://www.cnc-cabinetparts.com

We started with CW in 1995 I had switched to CV later that year and never looked back. You can do anything with it so IMO you made the right choice and a productive good choice. To be blunt the sales person is a boat anchor. It sounds like your request has been heard and ignored. Even if this is a great salesperson if they are not willing to change they have to go!! I found a similar situation in 2007 when we added S2M and a CNC there were a couple of very good employees that would not adapt and actually started to poision the atmosphere. They no longer work for me. I know this is a person that has a family and relies on his job and income but they must adapt or leave.

2/18/15       #3: company going backwards ...
Leo G

Look for a different company that will use the same software. After you find them tell your current company that you plan on switching if they have to stick with the other software instead of complying with your company change.

If they refuse then drop them and switch.

2/18/15       #4: company going backwards ...
David

Thanks for the response Leland. This person actually is a very good employee and has said they would be willing to make the switch, however, I believe it is management holding him back. We are very busy and mgmt. thinks that he will fall behind and get backed up with all of his projects but in the end the draftsmen are the ones getting behind having to redraw these big projects. Redrawing these projects is very similar to rebuilding cabinets out in our shop in my opinion. How can we be profitable if we are redrawing the same projects twice? We took a lean manufacturing course not too long ago as a company and it seems like this very process is breaking many of their rules. It will take time to learn a new software program and usually mngt. doesn't want to hear that. Either we all get on vision or we keep going backwards I guess.

2/19/15       #5: company going backwards ...
cabinetmaker

A drafting key for the salesman is 1800. I just got one for me- That is a joke of a price. We have 4 keys now. Copy your library and settings and transfer to the laptop or pc of the salesman.

I am of the same opinion as Leo. Your boss or management can see the forest...... You might want to start looking,

I sent a guy to a week of training @ at a Cabinet Vision course. Between that and his intelligence, we all just draw it once and it goes to code. END OF DISCUSSION. Best money I have ever spent getting us all on CV and the latest version.

On the average, your correct assumption has saved us 3k a month in my time alone, not to mention the bullshit of chasing the drafter around and opening up the damn blue prints 10,000 times to get a job done.

2/19/15       #6: company going backwards ...
Rich Kuban  Member

Website: closetexperts.com

I think there may be more to the story.
Yes, having one software is ideal, no doubt. But this is a common scenario in many companies.

Does your CV version have all the pricing details worked out for the salesman? CAD producing proposals and contracts is a major feature salespeople rely on. I suspect mgmt may be waiting to make sure CV is fully set up before addressing pricing in it, recognizing the complexity of getting all the right pricing in place.

Also, due the power and flexibility of CV, salespeople may be more likely to introduce inadvertent errors that may not show up until too late.

The way I interpret your post, one salesman produces enough work to keep three drafters busy? And you want to mess with that? Would you need three drafters then?

Producing drawings is just a part of a salesperson's job. Really good salespeople are more creative and good communicators, and tend not be strong on detail and technical issues.

Maybe management recognizes some of these issues and do see the forest and not just the trees.

2/19/15       #7: company going backwards ...
David

Rich, I do agree with you on some levels. The cabinet vision pricing is not set up yet but then again our salesperson does not do the pricing, mgmt. still does it the old fashioned way. The salesperson does not feed work to all 3 draftsmen. Technically we have one salesperson who does drawings in ware and 2 owners who also go out to jobs that us draftsmen have to draw in vision. One of our draftsmen is full time on commercial, one is full time on residential, and the other floats between both. You're right, producing drawings is just the main part of the salespersons job but wouldn't it make sense to have done with the same software that the rest of us are using. I believe there is more room for error having to draw it twice. If the salesperson can't quite figure out how engineer a cabinet the way they want it, put a cad note or comment on that cabinet. The bottom line is we are doing drawings twice and I think any company would try to cut that out of their operation if they could.

2/20/15       #8: company going backwards ...
cabmaker

David,

If you have a salesman that can sell enough work to keep three draftsmen busy you have the right guy in the right job. Hire some more draftsmen if that is your bottleneck.

2/20/15       #9: company going backwards ...
Mel

When I was a younger I worked in a medical clinic, doing data entry. An old school practise with several doctors that had just switched to a computerized system.

Here they go, they buy the expert, the software and database system, the necessary equipement, training, and some poor sucker to proccess it all (me). A month into scanning/data entry of thousands of medical charts, they informed me that I need to add formal filling and paperwork to my task list as one of the doctors decideds she wants to play it conservative and to continue with the old paperwork system. So they comply.

I was young and inexperienced but I still remember thinking... "what the *@#$ is THAT??"

And that feeling was towards both--the doctor for being a diva about it, and the owners for being unjustifiably compliant. No one is irreplacable. And "I don't have time" is not an excuse, because lets face it, we make time when we need to.

I beleive, kind Sir, give yourself some credit and don't be afraid to ask for more if you deserve it :)

2/20/15       #10: company going backwards ...
Rich Kuban Member

Few thoughts:

The fact pricing is not done with the software is the biggest crime to me.

I question drawing is the main part of the salesman's job. If it is, then not really a salesman. If producing drawings in front of a customer, not a place to be learning.

Is initiative frowned upon or appreciated in the company? The answer would steer my direction. If lean is truly adopted would provide some clue as to what to do.

There should be some planned transition to minimize workflow disruption. If the salesman is on board, why not have him start with basic training, and then coach him through selected simpler projects looking over his shoulder? Again, there is more to the story.

Don't misunderstand me, I agree one program would be ideal. It is a matter of getting there. I would recognize the progress made thus far, and figure out how to get the rest of the way.

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