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Responsibilities Versus Job Titles

From the October 2001 issue of

Business Advantage has analyzed its database of 20,000 UK CAD/CAM user sites to explore how the responsibility for key functions is covered by different job titles. Why? Knowing who is responsible for making decisions enables CAD suppliers to target their sales and marketing approach more precisely.

A. The Function of CAD Manager

When updating the database, we ask for the job title of the person with overall responsibility for CAD functions. Across all business activities, only 16% of CAD/CAM using sites actually hold the title 'CAD Manager', or 'Head of CAD'. Looking at individual business activities, civil/structural engineering sites have the highest proportion of people with these titles at 24%, followed by architecture with 19%. At the other end of the scale, 13% of electronic engineering sites have a 'CAD Manager'.

The Size Factor

Not surprisingly, the proportion of sites with a 'CAD Manager' or 'Head of CAD' increases with company size. You'll only find these job titles in 13% of sites with less than 10 staff, compared to 21% in sites with over 5,000 staff. 

CAD Under IT

Looking again at CAD/CAM using sites overall, 11% of them have an 'IT Manager' as the person who is responsible for CAD functions. There are no major differences when we look at sites by business activity - looking at either end of the scale, 9% of mechanical engineering sites have allocated responsibility in this way, compared to 14% of architecture sites. 

The 'Others'

The biggest category of job titles used for those who control CAD functions is best described as 'other'. The titles in this group individually make up less than 4% of those in this particular analysis - but together they make up 60% of the sample. Of this group, 15% have the word 'manager' somewhere in their job title. 

The architecture sector has a very high proportion of small businesses, so we find that one in five sites have a 'Partner' or the 'Director' responsible for CAD functions. 

B. The Function Of IT Manager

Looking across all business activities, nearly a third of people carrying out the function of IT Manager actually hold the title 'IT Manager'. The high proportion of SMEs without dedicated IT managers is reflected in the fact that nearly a quarter of sites have a 'Director', 'Managing Director', 'Owner/Proprietor' or 'Partner' responsible for IT. 

Industry Specific 

There are wide variations between different business activities; actual 'IT Managers' are present in:

  • 13% of architecture sites 

  • 27% of civil/structural engineering sites 

  • 33% of electrical/electronic and mechanical engineering sites 

  • 51% of process engineering sites

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The Size Factor

No surprises in the fact that the percentage of sites with an 'IT Manager' rises as site size increases; they are present at 13% of sites with less than 50 staff, compared to 60% of sites with between 250-1000 staff.

C. The Function Of Technical/Engineering Director

Looking at the engineering/manufacturing sectors, 18% of sites with someone carrying out the function of technical/engineering director give that person the title of either 'Technical Director' or 'Engineering Director'. Breaking this down by business activity, the proportion of sites who have allocated job titles in this way are as follows:

  • 23% electronic engineering 

  • 19% electrical engineering 

  • 19% 'other' manufacturing 

  • 18% mechanical engineering 

  • 14% process engineering 

  • 12% 'other' construction 

  • 10% civil/structural engineering

"Managing Director" is however, the most common title (on 32% of sites) for individuals carrying out this function. 


It's worth noting that the data on decision makers in our database is collected primarily for direct marketing purposes, and not to analyze how various functions are distributed within CAD/CAM using sites.

We know that four out of five of UK CAD/CAM using sites have less than 250 staff, and that the smaller the site, the greater the chance of finding multi-functioning managers. The distribution of job titles illustrated above provides further evidence of the scope of the challenge that suppliers face in attracting the attention of managers pulled in every direction. 

In a previous issue of CAD SPAGHETTI (see "Understanding SME Markets") we heard how Microsoft differentiates small businesses according to those that have an IT manager, and those that do not - and then targets them differently. Paul Tollet, Small Business Director for Microsoft, told us: "...companies with IT managers have made it the sole responsibility of this person to bring the benefits of IT to their business, rather than juggling IT issues with running the whole business. It is therefore a more receptive market." Such targeting becomes possible if you have access to a database that pinpoints the businesses that have appointed specialist managers. 

These findings also show the value of acquiring multiple contacts for each target site when building a prospect database. Gathering single contacts on the basis of responsibility for a particular function will not always provide an appropriate decision maker, or the scope to target a sales or marketing approach to the most relevant individual. For example our database shows that 6% of sites stated that the job title of the person with overall responsibility for CAD functions is 'Draughtsman'. In these cases, holding details on the individual with overall responsibility for IT is likely to be more relevant.

CAD Spaghetti is a free monthly newsletter published by the Business Advantage Group Plc

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