Group Mackenzie Improves Communication Between Project Teams and Clients With Autodesk

Aug. 27, 2003

Autodesk, Inc. (Nasdaq:ADSK), the world's leading design software and digital content company, today announced that Group Mackenzie, a multi-discipline architectural and engineering firm in Portland, Oregon, has significantly decreased its production time by implementing AutoCAD(R) 2004 software. The 2D drafting, detailing, and introductory 3D design tool introduced earlier this year has enabled Group Mackenzie employees to concentrate on high-level design work and increase client satisfaction, prompting them to also migrate to Autodesk(R) Architectural Desktop 2004 software and to the Autodesk(R) Land Desktop 2004 product, both built on the AutoCAD 2004 platform.

"AutoCAD 2004 is the most worthwhile AutoCAD upgrade I've seen," said Jeff Reaves, president of Group Mackenzie. "The product is already making us more productive by decreasing our production time and allowing us more time to design. This makes us competitive and is extremely valuable to our customers."

Key features in AutoCAD 2004 software can save the average user in a production environment between 3.3 and 4.5 hours per week per task, a time savings of up to 14 hours per week or 35 percent of a 40-hour work week, according to a recent research study and user survey by the University of California, Berkeley, Design Practice Group.

AutoCAD 2004 - the Key to Collaboration

With more than 1.5 million square feet in project work typically under development, Group Mackenzie needed to increase its workflow efficiencies and improve communication internally between its designers, civil engineers and interior designers, then pass the data along to contractors and ultimately share the collaborated work with its clients.

"Collaboration is important because they're working in one environment with many disciplines. Even the smallest modification needs to be seen and shared by all," said Reaves. "A big advantage of AutoCAD 2004 is the ability to update xrefs. If an engineer changes something, architects see the changes and can make appropriate alterations. Design is not a linear process; it's spiral. Changes need quick reaction and need to be seen by all."

Quick and Simple Implementation with Unexpected Cost Savings

Group Mackenzie, an active participant in the AutoCAD 2004 Beta Program, was instrumental in providing feedback that ultimately made AutoCAD 2004 into an award-winning application. Company CAD and IT Manager, Rusty Gesner, a registered architect, is one of the original AutoCAD customers, using the software for nearly 20 years. At first, he was leery of an upgrade, yet quick to purchase and implement 21 seats of AutoCAD 2004 across his firm after being the most active participant in the AutoCAD 2004 Beta Program, seeing that the new features offered tremendous time savings without the steep learning curve typically associated with software upgrades.

Within the first nine months of using the product, Group Mackenzie began using the fast, robust AutoCAD 2004 software on more than 8,000 drawings in more than 200 projects.

"Because we have a highly customized system with hundreds of AutoLISP(R) commands and tools and many demanding users who rely on specific features to do their work, upgrades have never been easy for our firm," said Gesner. "However, AutoCAD 2004 was the easiest upgrade yet. It was virtually a matter of installing it and introducing the new features to our users. There was no downside to upgrading to this version. Anyone who tries it will be sold."

Group Mackenzie's 3D graphics specialist agrees, "With AutoCAD 2004, all my graphics needs are right here. It would probably take me 10 minutes to fill in windows with AutoCAD 2004 gradients, where inside a graphics program, by the time I copied and pasted the gradient in, it would have probably taken me an hour."

Group Mackenzie manages and keeps its Autodesk software up to date through the Autodesk(R) Subscription Program. For an annual fee, the program will keep them up to date on the latest versions of licensed Autodesk software, including extensions, offering a budget-conscious way to stay current with the latest technology. For more information about the Autodesk Subscription Program, visit

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