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The World is Flat AND 3D. How CAD visualisation crosses borders

June 8, 2011

Hi Everyone,

Some of you will be familiar with the book ‘The World is Flat’ by Thomas L Friedman, which was hugely popular and controversial when it came out in 2005.  In it, Friedman told us how a convergence of technologies like the commercial airline, the internet and telecommunications have allowed companies in places like China and India to compete for global opportunities and take their rightful place in the world economy. He pointed to the growing middle classes in both countries and proclaimed that ‘the world was flat’, sending a chill through some in the west.

6 years on, and from my desk in Auckland, New Zealand, I am in no place to comment on economic development in India and China, although I am reliably informed that this is continuing with good pace. What I can do is tell you how one technology, CAD Visualisation, is being used to help companies operate internationally, and by extension make the world a flatter place.

International Sales in 3D

One of our clients is a tooling company based in New Zealand. They had a prospect contact them from Thailand about designing a custom plastic-injection moulding tool for one of their packaging products. Usually, this sales process would involve a flight, a detailed design brief,  a mock-up in CAD and several iterations of design reviews before the customer is satisfied and the deal is closed.  This doesn’t sound too difficult, but in reality time-zones, language barriers, cultural barriers and the technical nature of the product makes selling overseas incredibly challenging.

With Deep Exploration, our client could reduce the effects of all of this by communicating in 3D. Their prospect installed Deep View on their system, and using mark-ups, animations and model views, our client could clearly communicate how their product works, and capture all of the relevant design feedback against the model. Communicating in 3D meant fewer misunderstandings, a happier client, and a successful outcome.

Here is an online demo using one of their tools. Not about International Sales, but interesting nonetheless.

International Service and Support in 3D

Another client of ours sells large, heavy equipment for the energy industry worldwide. One of their customers (based on the extreme, polar opposite side of the world) reported a fault, so their maintenance department (in Australia) were faced with two options:  ship it back, or fly over. This was until they thought of a third option: teach their customer how to fix it themselves.

Using a 3D model, they could clearly show their customer how to fix their product, using the right tools and safety equipment, and coaching them through the procedure. This saved them thousands of dollars, and resolved a very tricky client situation quickly and professionally from the other side of the world.

Visual Communication for International Business

Visual Communication using 3D models is such an enabling technology for international businesses.  Whether you are pitching your product to potential resellers, sourcing new material suppliers, or teaching your field service team how to maintain your new range, animations in 3D will deliver your message  more clearly and effectively than any other medium.

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