Red Claw Engineers, Inc. is a full-service MEP engineering design and consulting company based in Canton, GA. In business since 2003, Red Claw handles projects of all sizes from small retail stores and restaurants to multi-family apartment buildings to a 200,000 sq. ft. high school, and recently the renovation of an historic, high-rise building in downtown Baltimore.
Crawford Murphy, founder and principal, first purchased Design Master Electrical in 2006. Red Claw now uses Design Master HVAC and Design Master Plumbing as well.
According to Mr. Murphy, “Before I finally found Design Master I was constantly on the lookout for software that would meet my needs as an engineer designing buildings. I love tinkering with software to get it to do more. But with Autodesk products I found the learning curve was way too steep and the product was not intuitive from an engineering standpoint.
“I could see immediately that whoever created the Design Master products had worked in the trades--it’s like I was in the room making design suggestions myself,” Mr. Murphy continues. “They’ve anticipated the problems that we need to solve.
“They keep making the product better, and our ‘wish list’ keeps getting smaller. It’s reassuring for us as a small business to know that Design Master will continue to meet our needs going forward. We can do our jobs and not worry about having to find the time and resources to make technology changes. Design Master has our back.”
“Design Master really works for us,” states Mr. Murphy. “It’s extremely intuitive to use and scales right up from the smallest projects to the biggest we’ve done, so we don’t need different tools for different size jobs.
“Plus the Design Master products all interoperate,” Mr. Murphy adds, “Someone can do a lighting sheet and another engineer can work on something else on the same project at the same time. There are never any data conflicts and everything moves smoothly.
“I also appreciate how easy it is to customize and extend the Design Master products. Whatever your company standards are, you can implement them.”
Mr. Murphy continues: “On a lot of projects we work on, the client comes in the door and basically asks me to call them later that day and tell them we’re done! Design Master lets us hit the ground running by making it so easy to reuse work from similar past projects. I tried to do that with Autodesk programs, but it only led to frustration because the software is so complex.”
“For example, we’ve done quite a few multi-family apartment buildings using Design Master. We can go back to past jobs and move items around, add or change the numbers for mechanical stuff or whatever, and we’re there. It’s so great that your calculations move with your drawing elements.”
“Design Master also does a lot of error checking automatically. It makes it easy to spot errors, and you can use various features to check the quality even more. That built-in quality assurance is a real comfort when you need to quickly modify one design to create another--especially compared to transferring everything by hand.
“Getting solid designs out the door fast, with no errors--that goes a long way with our client relationships.”
“It’s also nice that we don’t have pieces of the project--Excel schedules and this and that--laying all over the place. It’s all rolled up in Design Master, so you never have to search for things or recreate something,” Mr. Murphy explains.
“Because Design Master accelerates our design process so much, we can put the same level of detail into smaller jobs that we put into much bigger projects where we have more time. That’s a selling feature to clients--they won’t typically get that elsewhere.”
“The past few years we’ve been asked to do some projects very, very cheaply,” Mr. Murphy relates. “Many jobs just wouldn’t work if we didn’t have Design Master to enable us mobilize so quickly and efficiently.
“Design Master Software has helped our business to keep going and make a profit in situations where our competitors just couldn’t--that’s been a huge asset.
“Most of our business is word-of-mouth. So for our company it’s a complete picture: we’re serious about quality on every job, and our use of Design Master reflects that.”