We are both installing EPDM, and considering hiring a CAD Admin. Would it be important to hire this person before installing EPDM? Will there be a big value in the understanding how it is installed, and possibly having control in that process?
I think if you get someone with a good ammount of professional experience with EPDM and you take the time to document and explain the setup of the PDM system, you can hire a CAD manager at any time. Any good CAD manager is going to understand that some systems are implemented with high-level goals and that the deployment is going to have to evolve over time and be tweaked for departmental stuff. Who's doing your implementation?
The operations vice president and director of IT are making the decisions, and occasionally ask for my input. So, the EPDM install may happen without my direct influence at all. I know they got a bid from our current reseller, Fisher Unitech.
The concern is whether we can dive right into installing EPDM, or if we need to hire someone first. The CAD Admin position may be a promotion from within, although I am not familiar with our other division employees to know if we have an eligable candidate or not. Hiring a good CAD Admin may be difficult to meet the exact type of person we are looking for.
Is this individual going to report to engineering or IT or directly to managment?
My goal is for them to work in the engineering group, reporting to an engineering manager of some sort (VP of Eng, etc).
I would really like to see some people lower down on the food chain making the decisions, or at least getting some significant input. Our earlier system got installed with almost all of the input coming from the Operations (production) people and almost nothing from R&D (design). It worked reasonably well for production and was a disaster for design.
It seems to me like the CAD Administrator would want to be around before you set up the system, since he is going to have to live with it. The down side is that it is probably going to slow down the process, as you go through the hiring process and as he comes up to speed on what you do now and what you want to do in the future. But the fresh eyes may be worth more than the time lost.
We got to give quite a bit of input early on during the early selection process. We are going through a corporate transition now, so we will see where the chips lay here soon.
As far as your second point, this is my concern!
My own opinion, if you hire the someone before the install, they may have a chance to mold it to avoid pitfalls they've learned from their experience. The risk is lack of familiarity with ancillary systems, so other mistakes may be introduced. However, if management doesn't provide a lot of leeway, then after is better. They can finese the system to work out the kinks. The risk here is that old habits of current staff any reduce the effectiveness of the new install which a new player may not fully appreciate right away. Just my opinions here.
I'd suggest hire the CAD Admin before installation, especially if they have experience with Enterprise and to a lesser extent other software (ERP) used within the company. This may help to avoid inefficencies or potential problems at the installation stage.
Since have previous experience the transition may be less painful than throwing them into the system after it's all live.
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