I have been planning on writing this post since the first day of 2012 and am only now getting round to it and we are almost 5% into the year! [Updated: I didn't complete this till the 19th January so we are now over 5% into the year!]
One year ago I was beginning my 15th year at Cadimage Group (formally Cadimage Solutions) and my 7th year as the Managing Director.
In general I spend more time thinking about the future than looking at the past, but I find it good as I plan for a New Year to review and reflect on the previous year.
Without going into a huge amount of detail as I look back on 2011 I would say that like most years Cadimage Group has achieved a lot. A few highlights across our Group include:
GRAPHISOFT New Zealand
We started there year by reaffirming our commitment to Architectural Education in New Zealand by sponsoring the Victoria University FirstLight House. This was the first time a Southern Hemisphere team had been picked to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. As keen observers we followed the progress both in New Zealand in preparation and then in the US as they were competing and we were stoked to see them take out third place.
In mid-year we released ArchiCAD 15 throughout New Zealand. This was the first time I had visited Christchurch since the disastrous earthquakes and I was a little nervous. Overall I was impressed with the resilience being shown by our Christchurch based customers and there approach to simply getting on with the job at hand.
The end of the year saw the fourth year of the NZIA Graphisoft Student Design Awards which saw 60 Architecture Students receive prize money totaling $60,000 and Software to the value of $30,000.
2011 started with us securing the distribution for Solibri Model Checking Software in New Zealand and Australia. Taking on a new product is a major undertaking and we were pleased to complete the year with a handful of sales and a strong position for 2012.
In March we launched a couple of new websites which marked the completion of the Strategic Branding work we had done with Brian Richards and his team.
Mid-year in conjunction with the ArchiCAD 15 release we released the updates to all our Tools. This is the sixth successive version where we have launched our Tools on the same day as the ArchiCAD International release. June was a record month for our export sales in conjunction with the ArchiCAD 15 Upgrade but this was short-lived with July trumping June by a further 15% increase.
Later in the year we expanded our website to include additional ArchiCAD software from different suppliers and relaunched ArchiCAD Objects.
Overall we have continued to grow our international business during a tough world economic climate. While growth is not at the level we would hope for progress is being made!
Cadconsult & Cadconsult PLM
Andrew Ecker the founder of Cadconsult has been involved with ArchiCAD as our South Island Reseller for 20 years and has also been selling and supporting Solid Edge Mechanical Engineering software since 1997. We merged the South Island ArchiCAD business in to GRAPHISOFT New Zealand and created Cadconsult PLM to focus on the Sales, Service and Training of Solid Edge and a number of other Siemens PLM Velocity Products.
As with all mergers there have been challenges and teething issues but 3 months in the entire team is excited about this achievement and the platform it has created for 2012.
As a result of the merger and growth we were pleased to see our team expand by 3 full-time and 2 part-time people. The New Zealand economy has had a bumpy recovery and still has a long way to go but I do enjoy being able to grow and expand our team.
On the personal side there were a few achievements as well. In April I took [almost] a month off. The reasons behind this were two-fold. One, it was time to have a break and, Two, it was a chance for others within the company to take the lead. While in hindsight the timing was not necessarily the best the team stepped up and as mentioned above we achieved a successful launch of ArchiCAD 15 and our Tools.
In 2010 I ran 15 times for a total distance of 105km – the main catalyst was being stuck in Hungary as the Icelandic Volcano did it’s thing. As a result of this lack of exercise (and a couple of other factors) the pounds went on. 2011 started and I wasn’t overly impressed with my weight so I started running. For the first time in a long time I ran without a goal or an event in mind. Over the year I lost almost 10% of my weight and for the first time since I have been tracking it I ran every month of the year. As I was not training for an event I gave myself little goals. The one I am most proud of was the goal of running ten, 10km runs in May. Over the course of the month I managed to achieve 13 runs and took a total of 5 mins off my time.
By the end of the year I had clocked up 82 runs for a total of 753km.
2011 saw the Rugby World Cup come to town and I was finally able (after two previous attendances) to see the All Blacks lift the trophy (just.) Having watched France knock out the All Blacks at my two previous World Cups I was almost banned from attending the pool match where the All Blacks made up for Cardiff. In the end I managed to watch 11 of the 20 teams play live and ended up watching the French 3 times!
2011 closed with me attending the Boxing Day Cricket Test at the MCG. While India didn’t live up to their quality on paper the MCG test has proved to be the closest in the series so far. The MCG is an incredible ground and attending a test match with 70,000 people on the first day and a total of 190,000 over the 4 days was something quite unreal.
2011 saw me make two European trips. One for the Graphisoft International Partners conference in Berlin and later a trip through Sweden, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary and the UK where I finished up attending the ArchiCAD Summer School held in Liverpool.
Overall I was away from home for 56 days which is a reasonably significant amount of time and in 2012 am looking to stay closer to home and allow other members of the team the opportunity to attend these events.
As our business continues to change we continue to look forward and plan ahead. 2012 is shaping up to be challenging for us with potential European recessions on the back of the Euro issues and with ongoing quakes in Christchurch the rebuild is further delayed. However, we have a number of exciting initiatives planned and with a bigger team we are all excited about the year ahead.