Small Business Tax Center
Small Business Ideas, Grants &
Plans to Start & Run a Business:

Small Business Grants
Network in Cyberschmooz Community Ask Questions Questions and Answers Share Tips Small Business Ideas List Your Business Business Advice from Idea Cafe Experts Coffee Talk with Experts Starting A Business Business Plan Biz Planning | Sample Plans Small Business Ideas Idea Name Your Biz Name Plan Your Biz Plan Financing $ Starting a Business Do It! Running your Business Marketing Tips Promotional Merchandise Marketing Tips Marketing | Sales | Customers Human Resources HR | Employees | Contractors Legal Forms & Tax Information Legal | Biz Forms Managing a Business Managing | Operations
Financing Resources Financing Your Business E Commerce & Webhosting eCommerce Take Out Info Trade Publications FREE Trade Publications Business Books Biz Books Your Own Business Small Business News Small Biz News Gen X Biz Gen X Biz Work at Home Work @ Home Business Information The Fridge - Biz Info on Ice Destress Send Awards Send Awards & Greetings Yoga At Your Desk Yoga @ Your Desk Fun Guide Guide to Find FUN Online About Idea Cafe Press Idea Cafe has received Idea Cafe in the News Idea Cafe's Kudos Kudos for Idea Cafe Advertise on Idea Cafe Advertise on Idea Cafe Privacy Policy Privacy Policy Contact Idea Cafe Contact Idea Cafe Link to Idea Cafe Link to/from Idea Cafe Join Idea Cafe
Search Idea Cafe Site Directory Site Map Online directory to business resources Biz Web Guide

Expert Answers to Biz Questions

Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

color business bar

How to Evaluate Software Tools to Use in Your Business' Product Design


Computer aided design, or CAD, has become an essential thing in product design in the past couple of decades, and to be able to make your ideas a reality as an inventor you will definitely need CAD on your side, whether it is to help with the highly technical side of things like printed circuit board design (PCB) for electronics, or even just packaging design.

With designing and building products of any sort, however, you need to choose the right computer software for your team to use. Evaluating tools and selecting them for incorporation into your own business' way of working is a big choice, and so it is important that you know how to compare different products to your needs before investing in a given brand.

Here are some things you need to know when evaluating software:

Start Early

In most fields of software – including PCB and other product design – there are a number of products on the market and while some people may swear by one, others may be devoted to another. You are going to have to work your way through this to establish which software package is worth your time and money.

You may need to train people to use the PCB software, or limit yourself to only hiring people with the software you have chosen as their discipline. This means you can't make the decision lightly after toying around with a few packages for an hour or two. You need to establish there is a need and start evaluating the options on the market a decent while before you actually need your team to start working with them.

Bring Experts into Meetings with Software Sales Experts

All software sales people believe in their companies and believe their product offers a good solution. Indeed, all software products that have made a name for themselves do offer good solutions – they just may not be exactly what you need. While it may seem like a strictly business decision which company to go with when evaluating software service providers, it isn't all about the bottom line and the people who will be working with the product may have a better idea than the business owner when it comes to what it has to be able to do.

Whether your experts are in house people or external contractors, make sure you don't entertain important software sales conversations without them!

Know Your Requirements Well

One other thing you'll need to do to evaluate CAD software or any other software key to your products is to know exactly what you need it to do. You may assume all packages do similar things, but they don't – and if you find you are missing something you really needed in the tools you opted to pay for, this can cripple your business. Always set out clear requirements and compare these to product specs before evaluating products.

By evaluating products well, you can be sure you only buy things that will serve your own specific design process needs perfectly.


Small Business Tax CenterIdea Cafe HomeSign UpBiz Grant CenterCyberSchmoozCoffee Talk with ExpertsPeople in Biz ProfilesStarting Your BizBiz PlanningRunning Your BizFREE Trade PublicationsMarketingFinancing Your BizHuman ResourcesLegal & Biz FormsManaging Your BizeCommerceYou and Your BizGen XWork@HomeThe FridgeDe-StressSend an AwardSend an eGreetingYoga @ Your DeskWeb GuideIdea Cafe in the NewsAbout Idea CafeAdvertise on Idea CafeContact UsPrivacy PolicySite MapSmall Biz News

Copyright 1995-2024, Idea Cafe Inc. Downloads are for personal use only, not for resale to others, and may not be reprinted in any form without written permission from Idea Cafe Inc.

DISCLAIMER: We hope whatever you find on this site is helpful, but be cautioned that it may not apply to your own situation, or be totally current at any given time. Idea Cafe Inc. and all of its current and past experts, sponsors, advertisers, agents, contractors and advisors disclaim all warranties with regard to anything found anywhere on this family of websites, quoted from, or sent from Idea Cafe. and its related sites, publications and companies. We also take no responsibility for comments published by others on these pages.

TRADEMARKS: The following are Registered Trademarks or Servicemarks of DevStart, Inc.: Idea Cafe®, Online Coffee Break®, The Small Business Gathering Place®, Take out Info®, Biz Bar & Grill®, Complaint-O-Meter®, A Fun Approach to Serious Business™, CyberSchmooz™, and BizCafe™.