What’s the ROI of Managing CAD Files With Cloud-based PDM?

You may have decided that your team needs a better way to manage CAD files only to find that there are other people you need to convince - people with "finance" or "budget" or even "CEO" in their title.  Although those people may not understand the intricacies of assembly structure or the benefits of part reuse, they likely understand the value of money.  And that often leads to the question of Return on Investment.  So what is the ROI of CAD file management?  We'll give a quick summary here, but the get the full story read our short whitepaper "The ROI of Managing CAD Files". iStock_000000745731Small

Benefits of CAD File Management

Some benefits of CAD file management are easy to quantify:

  • Avoid wasted time searching for CAD file or communicating about versions
  • Avoid time wasted working on wrong version
  • Avoid cost of prototyping or manufacturing the wrong version of a part

Other benefits are harder to put a number to. These include:

  • Time saved sharing CAD files securely with external parties like suppliers
  • Projects get completed faster because it’s easy for non-CAD users to give feedback early on
  • Increased security because users aren’t emailing CAD files or using consumer tools like Dropbox to share

Using some research and some assumptions (detailed in the whitepaper) we calculated the following:

Cost Area


Cost each time

Annual Cost

Searching for or reconciling version (30 min)




Work on wrong version (4 hour)




Make wrong part






Cost of CAD File Management

Obviously there are costs of implementing a solution.  If you go with a traditional PDM solution you'll run into many:

  • Cost of licensing software
  • Cost of buying hardware
  • Cost of upgrading and maintaining software and hardware
  • Cost of administering system
  • Cost of time spent changing workflows and training organization

But if you go with a cloud-based PDM like GrabCAD Workbench you can avoid most of those costs and simply pay $59 per user per month.

The ROI You've Been Waiting For

With benefits and costs in hand, we can now calculate the ROI of a cloud-based CAD file management solution.

One-time Cost of Workbench (per user) $0
Annual Cost of Workbench (per user) $708
Annual Benefit of Workbench (per user) $6,000
Annual ROI 850%

What Are You Waiting For?  We Did The Math For You!

Hopefully the more detailed analysis in our whitepaper can help you work with others in your organization to understand the costs and benefits to your company.  And if you have any questions we're happy to help! Download "The ROI of Managing CAD Files".

guide to CAD file management Struggling with CAD file management?  

Unmanaged CAD data can lead to wasted time and  expensive mistakes, but traditional PDM and PLM solutions are too costly for many companies. This guide, written by industry analyst Jim Brown, will help you find the solution that fits your needs.

guide to CAD file management