Alex - I'll Take 3D CAD Models for the Design Win! - The Halpin Group

Alex – I’ll Take 3D CAD Models for the Design Win!

How industrial suppliers can make 3D CAD models accessible to technical buyers as part of a holistic digital strategy to enable the “design win.” Learn more today!

In the industrial and MRO marketplace, there are few strategic sales and marketing activities that enable the “design win.” If you’re not familiar with the “design win” allow me to explain. Some manufacturers or distributors have products that lend themselves to being “designed in” or “specified” into a drawing, CAD design and bill of materials (BOM). The decision makers typically consist of CAD designers or engineers because they have the authority to design in components or materials of their choosing.

CAD models for technical buyers

It would be impossible to identify all of the design or specification criteria CAD designers and engineers use to make their decisions because the applications they oversee are wide-ranging. But in the instance of a CAD design, there are some safe assumptions that can be made to position your business for the design win.

Let’s assume a CAD designer or engineer is working on a CAD design of a system that has some functional purpose in their company’s newly constructed Spokane, WA plant. It’s a new plant and this system is core to the plant’s primary output with uptime requirements of 99.99%. The system cannot go down, ever. And if it does go down, it cannot be down long or the plant will hemorrhage money and create supply chain problems for its customers within 24 hours. 

In the scenario above, a CAD designer or engineer wants to:

  • Design in standard components to –
    • Facilitate the ease of sourcing for his/her purchasing team
    • Simplify system installation, maintenance and repair for his/her maintenance team
    • Specify suppliers known to be a major stocking source to ensure short lead times
  • Find readily available 3D CAD modelsto streamline the design process
    • 3D CAD models available in all major CAD formats save the CAD designer time because he/she doesn’t have to draw them from scratch

Suppliers making 3D CAD models accessible on their website, online catalog or ecommerce platform are positioned for the “design win.” When a CAD designer downloads the 3D CAD model and drags and drops the model into their design, the supplier’s part number automatically goes into the bill of materials. Once in the bill of materials and CAD design, the probability of the component being ordered is extremely high. Simply put, the specification authority of a design engineer is rarely questioned by purchasing departments which is why changing out a specified component is unlikely.

Making 3D CAD models available as part of a holistic digital strategy is a strategic play to win the specification sale or “design win.” In addition to circumventing the bid-quote loop so pervasive in industry, being locked into a CAD design can pay dividends indefinitely.