CAD Manager's Q&A: Why File Names Are Important

11 Jul, 2007 By: Robert Green

How do I get people to understand that how we name and store CAD files are a big part of CAD standards?

Robert Green replies: Good question! And, from my experience, one that isn’t talked about enough.

Frequently CAD managers talk about what layers things are drawn on, how to plot/print, or how to send files to vendors or clients, but then they let people name files however they’d like and store them on local drives. This lack of naming and filing standards leads to improperly resolved reference files and needlessly complex searches at best, and leading to file loss at worst. Either outcome is not acceptable.

If you can make the case that being organized and storing files properly is always a good thing, then you can start the discussion about filing-based standards. Many companies seem to operate on the assumption that there is no problem until work is actually lost, in which case you’ll have to wait for data loss to occur before you can finally make your point.

Either way, you must point out the lost labor that results in time spent searching or recreating data and attach a dollar value to the lost labor. And when your project and senior management sees how much money they’re losing, they’ll see the value of following standards and will empower you to enforce them. So wait for your opportunity, make your point forcefully, and I bet you’ll succeed.

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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