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How are Subscription Costs for Engineering Software and CAD affecting your bottom line?

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I recently decided I had to end my subscription to TEDDS Maintenance & Update (MU) agreement. It appears that they raised the price from the last two years for their MU from $150.00 per year for TEDDS during the 2006 year to approximately $250.00 per year for Release 10 & 11 and now $350.00 per year for the M&U on the current Release version that was recently sent out – TEDDS v. 11. As with AutoCad and other software developers, they will reinstate your MU if you renew with the next three years based on the fee times the number of years expired. So in three years, you can reinstate to the most current version of TEDDS for 3x$350.00 (if the annual fee does not change in that time) or $1,050.00. This is currently approximately the cost of a new seat.

 

As a small business owner I have had to make a decision. Business is down, the bottom line is down and the Codification of the 2006 IBC and ASCE 7-05 this year has he hard. It is not an issue of competition since the majority of us in my area are hurting for new work of any substance. I have decided to let AutoCad go for this year, but will probably try to reinstate the year since the cost before Autodesk orphans the software is similar to TEDDS – in my case for AutoCad Architecture 2008; $595.00 + tax times the number of years delinquent. There is no comparison, I could live without TEDDS and may go back to a prior version of MathCAD™ which would be more competitive and do the work that TEDDS does without the library that I have mixed feelings over. AutoCad is more important in the operation of my business than TEDDS but with these companies needs to keep cash flow moving through the company for development they will charge increasing annual M&U fees that are cumulative is simply, in my opinion, a bad marketing decision for small office engineers.

 

Does this strike you as a potential problem for small offices who are harder hit on their bottom line with the increased cost of tools and references? Would you believe that if small offices are driven out of business that the large firms in the US will be competitive with base offices in the US who outsource their design and analysis work to China and  India or other countries that have a much lower labor rate?

 

I’m interested in whether or not many of you are starting to see a hit from the current economic situation that is causing you to tighten your belts and give up tools that you once felt were your competitive edge. In fact, is this idea of software becoming the reviving “Competitive edge” a resurging prospect?

 

Dennis S. Wish, PE

 

Dennis S. Wish, PE

California Professional Engineer

Structural Engineering Consultant

La Quinta, CA 92253

760.564.0884 (Phone, Fax and Answering Machine)

dennis.wish(--nospam--at)verizon.net

http://structuralist.wordpress.com

http://www.structuralist.net