Author Topic: Convince company to Upgrade to a better PCB tool?  (Read 5560 times)

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Offline Christopher

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Convince company to Upgrade to a better PCB tool?
« on: January 05, 2015, 06:28:35 pm »
The company I work for uses an old version of Eagle 5 for its test box PCBs, prototypes, etc. I think I am getting to the limits of this shitty old software now.

The main designs are done by a PCB design team in PADS. There is no way they could do our test box PCBs. I have tried Altium at home on a free trail and am loving it, especially the push n shove router.

My company does not like to spend a lot of money... Especially not on high priced software. Any ways I can try to convince them to join 2015?
 

Offline Richard Crowley

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Re: Convince company to Upgrade to a better PCB tool?
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2015, 06:35:34 pm »
If they are a heads-up data-driven company that understands technology, show them a demonstration.
Make a short presentation or video showing doing the same job with the current technology vs. the proposed replacement.
Show them the actual issues arising from dealing with designs made by others in a different tool.
It would be particularly impressive to them if you could quantify the time savings as £££ and show them a positive return on investment.
If there is no significant return on investment, why should they buy you a new system?
 

Online Howardlong

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Re: Convince company to Upgrade to a better PCB tool?
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2015, 06:50:03 pm »
While I agree Eagle is a crock (although it's still the only package I use), you need to be mindful that there may be others who are used to using it.

It takes a reasonable amount of time to get comfortable and adept at using a CAD package, and it will take some convincing to change.

Will you be able to import your Eagle designs and libraries into the new system?

Sometimes it's a case of the grass being greener I'm afraid.

I should say that I do find the upgrade pricing on Eagle to be rather excessive, money for old rope IMHO. I updated to V6 a couple of years ago from V5, but I don't consider that upgrade to be value for money. (I have the unlimited Pro version schematic capture and board layout but no autorouter).
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: Convince company to Upgrade to a better PCB tool?
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2015, 07:21:31 pm »
My company does not like to spend a lot of money... Especially not on high priced software.
if 7K is considered a lot of money for a tool that will save a lot of time work and prevent mistakes : time to look for greener pastures. I did that too. Feel much better now.
Professional Electron Wrangler.
Any comments, or points of view expressed, are my own and not endorsed , induced or compensated by my employer(s).
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: Convince company to Upgrade to a better PCB tool?
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2015, 07:55:29 pm »
My company does not like to spend a lot of money... Especially not on high priced software.
if 7K is considered a lot of money for a tool that will save a lot of time work and prevent mistakes : time to look for greener pastures. I did that too. Feel much better now.

Yup. Even a small business can afford that package. Don't fight their stupidity. Save the energy looking for a better gig. It never ceases to amaze me how much a company will spend on salaries to save on better tools.
 

Online Zero999

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Re: Convince company to Upgrade to a better PCB tool?
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2015, 07:57:03 pm »
I should say that I do find the upgrade pricing on Eagle to be rather excessive, money for old rope IMHO. I updated to V6 a couple of years ago from V5, but I don't consider that upgrade to be value for money. (I have the unlimited Pro version schematic capture and board layout but no autorouter).
That's the same for most software.

Software companies try to lock people into using their software so it's not something which is easy to change.

My company does not like to spend a lot of money... Especially not on high priced software.
if 7K is considered a lot of money for a tool that will save a lot of time work and prevent mistakes : time to look for greener pastures. I did that too. Feel much better now.

Presumably 7k is the cost per licence, per user? There will be other costs than that too and they like to try to get you pay an annual support fee.
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: Convince company to Upgrade to a better PCB tool?
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2015, 08:15:18 pm »
One question: If you walked into your bosses office and said "what about this? Is this worth considering?"

Would a mature, adult discussion ensue or ... would they tell you to fuck off and get back to you stone tablet?

I fully understand companies not wanting to change software packages like changing socks. There's a very real cost with that. I'm guessing that what you're expecting is an emotional response belittling you for your suggestion, correct? If so, that's your sign that there's no room for improvement in any aspect.
 

Offline rizzy

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Re: Convince company to Upgrade to a better PCB tool?
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2015, 10:50:42 pm »
Presumably 7k is the cost per licence, per user? There will be other costs than that too and they like to try to get you pay an annual support fee.

Exactly what I thought. Support is about 2k/year as far as I know.

If you are the only one using Eagle and wanting to switch to Altium then you only have to convince your boss that you are so much more productive that Altium pays for itself but if you have colleagues working with Eagle too (what I expect) then you should convince your colleagues first. Together you can try to convince your boss afterwards.
 

Offline calexanian

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Re: Convince company to Upgrade to a better PCB tool?
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2015, 11:03:41 pm »
+1 for us using Eagle and knowing it sucks. Its not bad software. Its just terribly dated and not intuitive. Once you learn its way of doing things its fine. If you can afford something better go for it.

Here is how I explain it to people.

If you have a full time PCB cad/layout person, or team. Or you as a design engineer use it daily, go with the better package and it will pay for itself in time. If you are like us, and many other small companies and only make a couple of new board designs every now and then, Save the money and live with the bad interface. Cadsoft as a company is strange. I have never gotten off the phone with them and felt like i had a great experience, only i am glad that is over with and I can get back to work now.

That's my two cents anyways.
Charles Alexanian
Alex-Tronix Control Systems
 

Offline sunnyhighway

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Re: Convince company to Upgrade to a better PCB tool?
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2015, 11:15:02 pm »
Make a simple proposal for your boss.

Finish with arguments by answering the following questions.

 - What is the investment?
 - How long wil it take for that investment to break even?
 - What will the profit be?
 

Online Howardlong

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Re: Convince company to Upgrade to a better PCB tool?
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2015, 11:22:03 pm »
Quote
+1 for us using Eagle and knowing it sucks. Its not bad software. Its just terribly dated and not intuitive. Once you learn its way of doing things its fine. If you can afford something better go for it.

That pretty much sums up my situation, I use it about once a month on average on small one off test prototypes that I fab myself, and then about once or twice a year it's a multilayer board for a new product. But use is sporadic, I might go six months without touching it, and then spend a whole month doing nothing but Eagle.

The lock in is (a) the existing boards and component libraries I've developed over the years and (b) understanding the workflow of that ass-backwards UI.

I assume that importing existing boards and libraries from Eagle to other packages is still not possible, or have I been living under a rock?
 

Offline Ribster

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Re: Convince company to Upgrade to a better PCB tool?
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2015, 12:22:35 am »
i'll answer this one with a link: http://www.altium.com/video-eagle-importer
Or two links:
« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 12:24:48 am by Ribster »
www.ashlabs.be
Design of hardware, software with stm32 and prototyping.
 

Offline Marco

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Re: Convince company to Upgrade to a better PCB tool?
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2015, 12:24:28 am »
Wouldn't it make more sense to get some extra seats for PADS?
 

Offline Wilksey

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Re: Convince company to Upgrade to a better PCB tool?
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2015, 11:15:15 am »
If it is anything like the one I work for, good luck!  :-DD
 


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