Skip to Main Content
Firms can obtain computer-assisted design (CAD) capability through the use of engineering consultants, in-house development of the technology, or some combination of internal staff and external consultants. Four realistic strategies with different degrees of external consultant involvement which firms can utilize to attain CAD technology are identified. Through the cooperation of two nationally recognized CAD engineering consulting firms, six projects completed for client firms within the durable parts/durable good (DP/DG) industries were studied. Performance improvement estimates for successive similar projects were obtained for each strategy from the consulting firm personnel and from the client firm personnel assigned to the original projects. Mathematical descriptions of these perceived performance improvement curves (PPIC) were established and the rates of performance improvement calculated. These were examined to determine if the performance improvement changed depending upon: 1) the strategy selected to obtain the CAD technology and 2) who (consulting or client firm personnel) provided the data. The factors which the client firm and the consulting firm personnel felt would be significant in influencing the performance improvement are reported and compared. Implications from the findings are discussed and areas for future research are proposed.