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Saturday, May 16, 2009

ROI of Buzzsaw and a story by BIMBoy: Autodesk says its will maintain constructware - - Blog on Building Design & Construction

On a personal note, I am saddened by the Constructware announcement below, yet I can understand the rationale. I got my start in the Autodesk channel in June of 2004 at the Orlando International Airport Hotel. 14 years earlier, I worked on the Orlando International Airport expansion. I was a project manager for the commercial sound system contractor on the Airside and Landside projects. Having spent my life in construction, recenlty passing my Florida General Contractor Exam (with a 91% on my first try), none of the contractors on the project knew of my background. I was just a young whippersnapper trying to get my job done.

I remember one sunny spring day where I spent the day reviewing the architectural floor plans, ceiling plans, electrical layout drawings, sound system drawings and all of their related specifications. I found 68 discrepancies and walked into the Airside GC's trailer and handed the project manager 68 RFIs. 6 months later as I was standing in one of the Delta terminal wings, the project exec walks up to me and says "you better take down every one of the speaker grills and paint them beige." I replied, "If you had only responded to RFI #34 which noted the conflict in the the sound system specs which mandated white speaker grilles and the architectural ceiling plans which noted that speaker grilles should match the ceiling color, I would have been happy to do just that. But you never responded, so it's your problem now." He stormed off grumbling and I had just won my first battle of the RFI discrepancy.

Moving forward 14 years, I landed at the Orlando airport where I had spent the whole year in 1990. I never got to see the finished project, so it brought back a lot of memories. I was there to attend Autodesk Buzzsaw training. Those were the good old days and I enjoyed being wined and dined by Autodesk that night. I fell in love with Buzzsaw instantly. The ease of use, superiority over FTP, ability to collaborate, markup drawings and the overall benefit of sharing documents for everyone on the project really impressed me. The price? Not so impressive. That is until you do the math.

In the chart below, you can see that Buzzsaw is around 58 cents/day per user based on 50 users. 58 cents to not have to search for files, manage versions of dwgs, markup online and wonder if that document is on the server, in your computer, in your email, on your thumbdrive or on a DVD and are you using the latest version of that file.

# of users 50 25
Price/year $ 7,495 $ 3,748
Cost/User/Year $ 150 $ 150
Cost/User/Month $ 12.49 $ 12.49
Cost/User/Workday $ 0.58 $ 0.58
Cost/User/Workhour $ 0.072 $ 0.072

Well, Autodesk now has created a 25 user account for small firms. Take a look at how much time you spend looking for files, uploading them to your FTP site, making sure you are working with the latest drawing.
So, let's take a sample employee making $35,000/year. Their cost/minute is 28 cents.

Employee Salary Breakdown $ 35,000.00
Cost/Month $ 2,916.67
Cost/Day $ 134.62
Cost/Hour $ 16.83
Cost/Minute $ 0.28

Now, how much time do you spend a day managing files? If it's just 5 minutes a day, there's a 243% ROI owning a product like Buzzsaw.

Time spent on file management/day Salary cost/minute Buzzsaw cost/day ROI
5 minutes $ 1.40 $ 0.58 243%
10 minutes $ 2.80 $ 0.58 486%
15 minutes $ 4.21 $ 0.58 730%
20 minutes $ 5.61 $ 0.58 973%
25 minutes $ 7.01 $ 0.58 1216%
30 minutes $ 8.41 $ 0.58 1459%

Stop thinking in terms of total cost for products like Buzzsaw or Revit. Take the time to figure out how much time you waste doing certain tasks. Investment in technology provides more time to spend on higher value tasks like
actually designing a project.

All that being said, Buzzsaw's sister product, Constructware, which is more for contractors than architects and engineers, is spending a little time in the news in the article below.

May 13 2009 12:29PM Jeff Yoders

UPDATE: 1:42 PM May 14, 2009 a comment from Autodesk Industry Marketing Manager, Construction and Real Estate, Tim Douglas

Autodesk will continue to develop maintenance releases and customer support for Autodesk Constructware, however due to a reduced number of resources dedicated to construction less development of advanced feature sets and other product enhancements will go into the web-based product.

"Maintenance releases will continue," Douglas said. "We're going to continue to support customers to help them meet tight construction deadlines and maintain the product as it is now. That's our plan right now, to support customers."

Sort of like the Uncanny X-Men when it was in reprints. Sources had earlier said the company had made the decision to suspend development of Constructware, a collaborative project management application. Acquired in 2006 for $46 million, Constructware was said to be a key ASP solution for the San Rafael, Calif.-based software maker because of its large general contractor and public sector customer base. Constructware has not been integrated more closely with Autodesk's other CPM program, Buzzsaw.

"There really was not a lot of overlap with the two customer bases, " Douglas said. "Customers didn't really see a value in integrating the two products."

Former Constructware CEO Scott Unger left Autodesk after a companywide reorganization last Fall.

Reader Comments
at 5/13/2009 8:02:54 PM, Rick Rundell said:
Hi Jeff, I have to say that "ends development" is a mis-characterization of how we are handling our Constructware product. It is true that, like many other businesses, we’ve had to make some hard decisions during these challenging economic times. However, we remain committed to our customers'' use of Constructware. It is not true we are ending development of this product. In fact, we just released a new version of Constructware this week that includes enhancements including such as new aggregate custom reports, the ability to rename additional modules, and new routing recall options. Your posting is bound to have caused some concern among our customers about an application that is important to their businesses. To those customers, I would like to reiterate that we are dedicated to their success, and will work hard to make sure that our plans for this product are consistent with that. Very truly yours, Rick Rundell Senior Director, AEC Simulation Product Line Autodesk, Inc.


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