Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Plotting and Paper

I spend a lot of time thinking about how to make the design process smoother. Most of the time that means customizing AutoCAD, but sometimes it's good to look outside of CAD for shortcuts.

If there was ever fertile ground for this it would be plotting and paper. A good first step is to determine how much you spend on plotting. This means tracking lease payments, maintenance costs, paper and toner, even peoples time. The longer you track this information the more accurate your information becomes and you can spot trends in seasons or workloads. Spotting trends allows you the opportunity to act proactively not reactively.

Here is a simple thing that saved me time and money. My main paper size is 30x42. We print quite a bit of half size drawings for the engineers 15x21. Paper manufacturers have started making a 15" roll not too long ago. Once I added a 15" roll to my plotter, my team no longer had to spend time trimming every half size print that they would send and we send some large sets.

What did I save besides time? Well, paper. We just tossed the excess before, now we use it all. That feels good.

There's more you can do, but for now, maybe you should just go hug a tree.
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