I am going to try to make a point here to these two mentioned software authors but in truth it applies to every program out there in some way. Why are simple things left not done because, well because I don’t know. It baffles me why the authors deliberately leave these loose edges for every user to have to deal with.
Here is an example from SE. Now this is being worked on finally but there is a principle here I am going to touch on. Why oh why have users been told from day one until now that if you don’t like the thread data here is where the text file is and you go edit it? We who write these programs and do not have to make things with these programs see no reason for you to get accurate manufacturing data from us on threads when after all you can do it yourselves appears to be the principle here to users. After 20 versions of SE and six versions of SE ST the data for threaded holes is finally right but threaded shafts are not. Now let me explain something here. It is not that we users can’t change this on our own. It is that we resent this having to be done at all. So the answer for many of us, and you may not understand this at all but none the less it is true, is to get mad for years over this and post notes on our drawings that can and do get messed up. Our answer is not to go in there and do your job for you but rather to resent this every time we send money in or work on an effected file. Looking into my own mind and assuming this is a typical response my choice, irrational to you guys or not, is to get mad. We EXPECT these simple basic things to be right for the money we pay. We do NOT expect to be told that our time has so little value in your eyes that each and every user has to make these edits on our own. How about we have hired you guys to do this right and you need to put your intern on this. Here is the equation to keep in mind. One guy x hours is what we pay for and not 50,000+ users x hours. Kinda get my drift here and see why users resent this stuff? This one has popped up at the BBS periodically so I know others feel this way.
Here is one from CAMWorks for SE and I understand SW. It is the pitiful tool library that was put in the program from day one and NEVER updated. The difference here though is that users are forced into correcting this because the program will not work right without you doing do. So once again lets look at the human equation of one guy x hours is what we pay for and not ???,????+ users x hours. When I finally get my seat I will have to add one by one every tool I use in there. There is not one 135% split point bit in there. There is not one type of coated carbide endmill in there. There is not one three flute endmill in there. There is not one five flute endmill in there until you get to .75″ and above. So here we have Volumill as an important part of CW4SE and SW and there is not one thing in the TDB that reflects that this program is even there. The answer is, that is the lazy programmer and software authors answer is, well we know you will need to set this up to reflect your unique and individual needs. So here I am, a user and the first thing I am expected to do is create a tool database to work from. We are each and every one of us expected to manually addin everything we use. You can’t import a data base here by the way is my understanding so it is one by one. Now I get that proffered cop-out that well we can’t tailor make this for everyone and everything. I understand evasion of responsibility to give your customer a better out of the box experience because you are to lazy or cheap to do so. How ever, you do understand someone will have to do it and who does it as long as it is not YOU is fine with YOU. This is something that will offend every looker or buyer. No it is not a show stopper but it is a major days long irritant that we users all will have to suffer under. A three axis mill package with lathe and Volumill is north of $15,000.00. Buyers expect these things to be taken care of up front and if you think it does not aggravate us, think again. It is expected that there should be a decent and complete tool library. See Surfcam’s tool library for a great example. Gosh looky you mean it can be done? Yup it sure can Ethel. We can fine tune things from there. The whole idea of feature recognition with CW is powerful. And it would be far more immediately powerful with a real tool library. I bet your demo guys would sell more to if this was in there by the way. Instead you say here it is and it is great and after a couple of days of work your tools will be ready to be a part of this. And don’t ask me what I think of the procedure to add these tools in by unless you want an earful.
Part and parcel of customer satisfaction is the implementation of practical databases and libraries that reflect what we all have to deal with. When a customer starts to dig into the program these things are expected as a part of the purchase. Useable information to be incorporated into whatever we are doing with minimal input from our ends. These things are cumulative and if there are enough of these irritants it results in alienating potential customers and in aggregate perhaps eventually running off existing customers when they find a program that does care about these things and does the rest to.
OK you industrial psychologists, you want to make more sales and happier customers don’t look exclusively to tabs and layouts on tool bars or ribbon bars. Don’t limit yourselves to vernacular and syntax. Find out some of these simple but egregious things in our eyes and measure user satisfaction incorporating this to. A powerful sales tool, at least it would be to me if I was looking, would be how complete the implementation of your program is to immediately produce trouble and hitch free workdays. In this day of the internet you can run but you can’t hide this stuff from people any more.