How to Evaluate Your Software Reseller

Your CAD/CAM reseller plays an important role in your use of software by offering technical support, answering your questions and making sure you are productive as quickly as possible. Therefore, it’s important to consider the following nine factors when evaluating them before choosing a new CAD/CAM system.


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1. History

How long has the reseller been in operation and selling the product you are investigating? Does a newer reseller have previous experience with the software or a good background in manufacturing or CAD/CAM? Look for evidence that a new reseller is willing to go the extra mile for you.

2. Local Support Offering

Make sure they offer the training/support you need, such as through support contracts that allow you to call with questions; training on or off-site; a Web site; user groups; seminars/training for new versions; and, connections to schools/colleges that offer training in specific CAD/CAM systems.


3. Territory

Some CAD/CAM developers assign a specific territory to a single reseller. If the territory is small, the reseller may handle all sales/support through his company. If it is large, they may have their own network of sales/support staff to ensure proper customer service. This allows a single reseller (and any support network they have) to concentrate on servicing local users and handling local issues.

4. Dedication to the CAD/CAM Software

Top-notch resellers try to find the best CAD/CAM package and stick with it. One who sells several competing CAM products may have their time and skill spread across too many packages.

5. Skill Level

When you schedule a demo, ask them to program a part that is similar to your work and be sure the representative is proficient enough to program your part while explaining the process clearly.


6. Reputation

Ask for references and call some local users to find out what they think of the reseller’s support and service.

7. Software Literacy

Your reseller should be able to help you choose hardware with the correct system requirements to get the most from your CAD/CAM system. Some resellers offer computer hardware as well as CAD/CAM software, while others may be able to recommend a hardware reseller.

8. Industry Knowledge

Make sure they have a working knowledge of your industry in general; local issues affecting you; the ability to give advice and industry contacts; and, be familiar with different types of machining to ensure that if you add more machines, they’ll be able to set you up with the correct NC programming software.

9. Network Strength

Ensure they are part of a strong worldwide sales/support network, which is useful because resellers rely on one another for advice and others in the network may develop add-ons to a CAD/CAM package and know of software utilities to help you in a highly specialized application.