Meet a Mastercam Reseller in California: Q&A with Sierra CAD/CAM
Sierra CAD/CAM continues to grow with customers in mind. From Auburn, California, the organization has been a leading Mastercam Reseller from its very beginning in 1995. Sierra CAD/CAM provides personal customer service to its clientele all over Northern California, from Fresno up to the Oregon border. The attentiveness with which the business cares for its customers has been recognized with no fewer than 11 Reseller awards over the company’s lifetime. Not satisfied to rest on its laurels, Sierra CAD/CAM is currently making plans to further its customer service to better provide for local job shops, as well as the military and medical manufacturing industries. President Dan McGourty shared an inside look at the ever-growing company.
Q. What Mastercam services do you offer customers?
A. We do a lot of training and tech support, usually on the phone or over the web. We can go to our customers, but usually we can handle problems from the office. We also have two-day training classes held at our office, and we can do on-site training at our customers’ locations. Of course, we also sell Mastercam University online training if they want to do that. We’re working towards hosting webinars and trying to reach out to more customers directly where they’re most accessible. We want to do more for our customers. We’re not as big as other Resellers, but we want to offer the same services you might find at a place with 20 or so employees.
Q. What’s the latest or most exciting customer application you have?
A. We’ve been hearing a lot about customers using Dynamic Milling. One of our guys, Jack Tiffany, works with a global bicycle manufacturer and designer of very high-end road bikes, mountain bikes, and general-purpose bikes. They use Dynamic toolpaths for roughing bolt cavities, among other things.
Q. What’s your favorite feature in Mastercam?
A. My favorite feature is the Dynamic toolpaths. They save a lot of time when it comes to milling in 2D and 3D. Our customers really appreciate that they can save that much time by roughing and machining at all once. It’s more automated and figures out its best options for you.
Q. What are you looking forward to?
A. We have added a new tech support employee with Mastercam experience who can troubleshoot for our customers. We are looking to offer more services, more help. As far as Mastercam, we’re also looking forward to updates to the lathe and mill turn options. We’ve heard a little bit about that, so we’re excited to see it.
Q. What are some challenges/opportunities you find that are unique to your region?
A. The manufacturing environment here can be a real challenge. Taxes are high and rules are strict. Some people move out, maybe to Nevada or a place like that. That’s the biggest challenge in California. As far as opportunities go, I don’t think we’re too different than the national average. I do know that everybody is very busy here, at least all the customers I talk to are. All the shops in the area are busy compared to five years ago when things were slow. I think the industry has been slowly building every year. Even with us, in the last three years we’ve had our two best years ever. Manufacturing businesses keep growing.
Q. What are some unique issues that you can solve as a local support hub for Mastercam?
A. I think our tech support sets us apart. When someone calls, they talk to an actual person and get a real response right away rather than what they might get from another CAD/CAM system. Their customers might be lucky to get a call back in two days. With us being local, we talk to them right then, get on their system, schedule a day to come out and figure the problem out. California is a big place, so most of our customers are about three hours away. We can’t always just jump in our cars immediately and go help, but we do our best to get out the next day. When it comes to the software, Mastercam’s been around forever. Most people in the industry use it. Sometimes the younger group tries different things, and you have to explain to them that other software might be cheaper right off the bat, but Mastercam is where you’ll get your money’s worth. Other systems don’t give you the control you need, and the support just isn’t there. We can give you help and fast responses to your post-processing questions, your technical questions, your programming questions.
Q. Do you sell any other products besides Mastercam?
A. Mastercam is the only product we sell.