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

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OK Dennis, I'll take this one on.  I'm fairly passionate about
software and your message has been rattling around in my head since I
read it yesterday.

While those prices don't sound horrible to me, I can certainly see
where slow times like these put pressure on to reduce costs wherever
possible.  We don't use TEDDS, but it seems to me like $150 software
could pay for itself fairly quickly, assuming you have enough work to
keep you busy.  Your time is worth a lot.   At $350, it has a lot more
work to do to be worth it's price tag.

Of course, if the work isn't coming in, then you can "afford" to spend
more time, and less money to get each job done.

Other than CAD and Enercalc, all of the software we use is custom
scripts that I've written to automate our calculations.  Those use
Excel (which is a one time purchase and fairly necessary, though
OpenOffice would work as well) and Perl, which is free.  The nice
thing is that if we want to add an additional calc, or change the way
we do things, all I have to do is change my script.

I've looked into competitors to AutoCAD and while there's a few out
there, it seems like they all have a long way to go.  Some run on
Linux, and after just spending two days de-virusing a couple of our
workstations, it's tempting to make the switch, but the lack of
AutoCAD pretty well shuts that door.

Not sure if I've answered any of your questions, or just rambled.  My
$0.02 at any rate.


Chris Slater, PE
JDWylie Engineering, Inc
(209) 577-2339
Home Office:  (530) 268-1440
Cell Phone:  (916) 303-0889

On Thu, Jun 12, 2008 at 11:44 AM, Dennis Wish <dennis.wish(--nospam--at)> wrote:
> 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)

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