CAM Tech Support Is Needed When It Is Needed

OK today you get to hear Dave vent again. An unprecedented action I am sure. But I think something needs to be made clear here about the value of time to customers VS the value of time to VAR’s and CAD CAM companies. This involves CAM and it has an entirely different concern than CAD and here is the situation as I see it.

You have a part and a deadline for this part and you need to cut it TODAY. It is not like CAD where there are other things you can do in the mean time. You have one goal and one purpose in life this day and it is to cut this important part. So the VAR and the software companies try to walk a fine line between being frugal with their costs and I get all that. I do the same thing and that is why when I have an $84,500.00 dollar mill sitting there and a customer breathing down my neck with a rush job I really really understand costs. The cost to ME when I can’t get timely support for whatever reason. There are other times when you have a part on the mill and a problem and you really don’t want to take it off and do another part. You are dialed in and no relocation zeroing problems until you remove this part just so you can move on and come back to it later. There is some kind of immutable law written somewhere I am sure that says the more variables you introduce into your manufacturing life the more problems you will have. So we like to finish what we have started from beginning to end. It is not in any way shape or form like coming back to revisit your CAD file which is pretty painless.

That $400.00 chunk of metal sits and looks at you because you could not get support and it has problems from bad cuts. You machine shop owners all know what I am talking about. You have heard that silly stuff about just wait until tomorrow or Monday because you have the nerve to be cutting late at night or on a weekend. So you can’t wait and you take a chance and now the scrap that comes out of your pocket. Since it seems that all these CAM companies and VAR’s that sell this stuff do this is has become a condition we buyers have to suffer under. Where the customer is not king except for our customers who demand this from us and we have to service them to pay our bills. They never cut us any slack is the way it is most of the time.

Today I want to mention a rather good experience I had happen in regards to support. I call Ally PLM and I am sure I sounded as frustrated over the CAM support guy being out of the office as I was in real life. However I get a call from the CAM guy about ten minutes later and he pulls to the side of the road and gets his laptop out and has an answer for me in short order. Now I know I am not going to get him after hours but I can say for sure today I am off the hook because of a timely response.

I can’t begin to tell all you CAM authors and program vendors how important this is to us and we do not view what happens with CAM the same forgiving way we view what happens with CAD. Tip of the hat today to Ally PLM, thanks.

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