Archoncad Newsletter – Upgrade Your Training, not Your Software


As CAD users we are all encouraged by salesmen to look at their competing products. One of my customers had a demonstration recently of another product and called me to say “I think I am going to change” Naturally  my reaction to this was one of surprise.


Talking about the issues that he was having trouble with in Vectorworks I was able able to show him in a couple of hours how to achieve exactly what he wanted – much to his satisfaction!

The cost of this was, as you will imagine, a mere fraction of the cost of throwing away his accumulated knowledge of Vectorworks, purchasing new software at considerable extra cost, learning the new software, non productive time, plus significantly higher long term running costs for the other software,  and on and on…….

When you see one of these BIM programs demonstrated, it’s really tempting to think that they are better and more powerful than Vectorworks. The reality is that they have a fantastic demonstration using a custom designed template. This template makes it appear as though the program is magic compared to Vectorworks. However, if you build a suitable template for your company in Vectorworks you can achieve the same productivity gains that they demonstrate to you. And yet there are still many people out there who will struggle for hours when a small investment in training will pay huge dividends.

Some of my clients have looked at these demonstrations of other BIM software and have seriously thought of changing. When I talk to them about training, it’s often hard to get them to see how training will improve their bottom line. However, if they change computer programs, not only will they have to invest in training for the new software, they will also have to rebuild their libraries, learn the new ways of working, and something they often forget, they will have to use the extremely structured way that these other programs work. To me, this is always an interesting part, because often the same clients have resisted using Vectorworks in a structured way. So, they don’t use Vectorworks in a structured way to get the benefits from Vectorworks, but they want to use another program in a structured way to get its benefits. What they really need is to upgrade their training.

I was talking to an old client the other day and I was looking at their website (see theitr image at the top of this post). On their website they have some fantastic photos of work they are carrying out. They still using some of the same productive techniques that I showed them over 10 years ago, and they still getting a very high quality presentation. This got me thinking about the training that I carry out. If I teach a client to become more productive and they stay productive for over 10 years, how much did that training cost them? More importantly, how much was that training worth? To learn how to become more productive and Vectorworks and then be able to use it for more than 10 years is a fantastic outcome.

One thought on “Archoncad Newsletter – Upgrade Your Training, not Your Software

  1. This article hits a very relevant tone with me. As a one man shop investing in “new” software is a very “big” deal. Training on the other hand, is a very wish and much more lucrative investment in the long run. I’ve been a Vectorworks user for 19 years and I am constantly amazed at how much I still continue to learn and improve by continued education. My productivity continues to increase and the product I produce gets better and better. It’s a “no brainer” financially; a few hundred dollars to get smarter versus several thousand dollars and hundreds of hours of downtime for new unfamiliar software.

Leave a Reply