For me personally (not the CAD manager....this is from the Peon's point of view, so maybe this isn't what you want):
I have worked with sales guys who have told the customer that I can knock out a design in a couple of days even though they never contacted me or gave me any information about the project or checked what my current load was.
Ultimately, what I do, is try to keep a list if priorities. When a new one comes in, still steaming because it is so hot, the previous one gets tabled. Sometimes I can turn the previous one over to another designer, but not often.
Most of the time, I can get things done by the deadline that was given to me my the inexperienced Salesman (Most of the time, this is because (s)he promised something and the customer reacted based on that promise and not the other way around).
For the odd project here and there, I will work the overtime (not really overtime, because I am salary. LOL), but if overtime is required EVERY week, then I do the math. Infinity minus 60 = Infinity minus 40. Taking a 60 hour chunk out of infinity is the same thing as taking a 40 hour chunk out of infinity.
My wife and kids come first. Always. Poor planning on the part of the salesman does not necessarily constitute an emergency on my part.
If the customer wants something yesterday, then I will work hard to get it, I am always trying to find more efficient ways to do things.
But in the times where the 70 hour project is handed to me a week before it is due....well....If I have family obligations, then they are going to wait until next week or find another designer. (Sometimes we can split this up between Designers, but that is not often the case because of the nature of the designs).
I do similar to Dan in many ways but my current company (of 17 years) is small and the sales guy is my Boss - but I have earned an amount of respect and my voice is well regarded and considered.
My self and other designers / Engineers here have worked out a reasonable system where, before a delivery schedule is promised, we will have a design / delivery meeting (sometimes the meeting is very quick "customer wants it in 3 weeks - can we do it? In not when?"). We discuss what needs to be done first and what can be pushed back or others can help on.
In the past when a promise was made without first checking the workload or schedule, if it was unreasonable and the customer insisted on the delivery time, I would drag my boss into the project and make him help. My attitude is/was - if you want me to work extra, then you should work extra with me. If he refused I usually worked extra anyway (hope he doesn't read this) but kept telling him it wouldn't get done in time and then at the last minute it was miraculously done on-time or closer to it than I originally said (providing he got me what I needed when I needed it). "Team work is a key"
This will not work the same in bigger companies (which I have also worked in). There, I would do my best to make the deadline, but would say right away, that the sales guy/girl needed to ask before making promises, check what was possible and, if necessary directly contact other customers and beg their forgiveness and ask if their projects could be delayed. That's part of the sales guys job.
The Sales guy screwed up - it is on him/her to fix the problem or make the apologies where needed. I would go first to him / her and request they did this and not make them look bad to management, but the sales guy definitely would know I was upset and would think twice before doing it again.
If the sales guy didn't cooperate, I would not hesitate to take it over his head - he messed up, didn't want to own up to his mistake, he will get the blame before the product is late. This also lets the manager know the sales guy just wants to make himself look good by getting the order and doesn't care about who has to suffer to make it happen.
It usually only happens one time.
What about the cad process? How do you manage the design ?
What methods can be used to reduce design time? İs Modular design( something else) method a solution?
I suppose you already used timeline sheets. Is ıt possible to obey the timeline in a company which who on customer demands.
This was originally posted here (The Design Intent Thread ), but I think it has relevance here as well (see attached PDF File).
Quote from the summary of the paper:
On a broader scope, our results reveal how important the use of formal modeling methodologies can be when targeting CAD reusability. Although the majority of the educational practices related to CAD focus on declarative and specific procedural command knowledge (generic commands, operations, and tools that are typically available within CAD systems), the approach does not provide sufficient strategic knowledge, which is related to the selection of the proper modeling strategies. The concepts of CAD quality, complexity, and reusability are also omitted. In this context, it becomes evident that practical mechanisms to incorporate these methodologies throughout the entire CAD training process are required.