Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Andekan Starter Packs

Andekan recently posted some Starter Packs. There are US and UK plumbing packs, an IKEA product pack and a Victaulic pipe fitting pack for metric and one for imperial.

Now before you pass out when you see the price for a pack do some math. For example the US Plumbing pack sells for $3999.00 and there are 67 families that represent 702 models/types. This works out to about $59 per family.

Consider what you normally charge per hour (billable work) for your most knowledgeable Revit user. If your user can build one of these in just one hour how does that stack up? If it compares well, then let them try...if they give up...give Andekan a call. If the pack doesn't thrill you then you can look at an ala carte approach instead.

I first read about this at Alan's blog. Thanks for the post!


deesee said...

Waaaaayyyy too expensive! And sorry, I don't buy your per hour calc leading to the conclusion that each family costs you $59. That sounds nice, but $1900 for some IKEA stuff...and not even that much stuff at that!

No thanks. I'll take the hour I need to build what I need, when I need it.

Steve said...

That was my reaction at first too. Obviously that price isn't going to work for everyone. Considering that most people that can build a complicated (pipe fittings aren't for the faint hearted) family in one hour and works correctly the first time are usually getting paid a lot more than $60/hour or at least they cost the firm more than that.

When given the option to pay $60 for a family or take someone off billable work for the same time, or more likely much longer time frame, some will choose to pay.'s not my battle to fight, it's their pricing.

Wesley said...

You're also making the rather large assumption that all of the content will be of use to the purchaser. If we are generous, and say 70% is of use (probably very generous) then that dollar value starts to climb pretty rapidly...

I, obviously (I build and sell stuff too), have no problem with for sale items, and the per item price you quote is acceptable - it just doesn't actually work out to that number in this circumstance. If you could buy those pieces on an individual basis as well, then fair enough.

BIMbo said...

Sorry Steve... I'm gonna have to agree here with Wesley and others... We all had a rant about Andenkan content the other day - so I feel compelled to at least voice my opinion publicly. Let me just say - I can’t knock the quality of their content, nor can I validate it - since I have not opened the families themselves - but I find the content to be offensively over priced.

I realise that the content relates to real products but creating separate families because a material has changed to me is just bad practice. (Four desks in four colours does not equate to four families! It’s madness.)

I feel offended that some prominent content creation companies seem to be double dipping when making their content. Many are charging Manufacturer and consumer (Architects/ Designers etc.) for the same product.

I think this topic raises an important issue that content creation firms need to realise that their market is becoming increasingly more skilled at creating Revit families and also that we don’t like to be ripped off or patronised. Many Revit family creation leaders have invested years to become competent at creating content and yes, for one-off content sales these kind of fees could be justifiable but not for mass commercial content.

Of course there is a skill to creating good families. And it does take patience, consistency and accuracy …..And of course content creators need to be trained and mentored but let’s face it – It’s not rocket science!

As for ‘doing the maths’…… Ohhhh spare me!

Remain of a fan of your work though! LOL.

Anonymous said...

BIMBO, it's quite interesting that while you're knocking Andekan about their content, you don't disclose that it's what you do for a living and it would seem that you're knocking the competition probably because their content is better than yours.

It would be a bit nicer if you were a bit more forthright in your position. Never say anything bad about the competition, especially on the internet. It's going to be here a long time to haunt you.

As for you Wesley, you didn't disclose that your own company sells content. Your CD for $4900 seems very expensive as well.

I find it amusing that the two of you work for the same company. Very coincidental that both you of you posted your comments here with the same negativity.

Wesley, what's even more amusing is the fact that you work for AEC Systems, the same people who sell Andekan's products. http:// Well, it's listed as Broutek, but it's the same company essentially. Too bad you don't read the company newsletters.

Very classy and my hat's off to the two of you.

I hope the owner of this blog will be open enough to publish this comment in the fairness of openness and honesty instead of deception and attacks. A little google searching can really open ones eyes.

GarySprague said...

Hi Everyone,

We at Andekan are followers of Steven's blog as well, so I wanted to take the opportunity to respond to some of the points being made about our pricing, business model, and overall value proposition to customers. There seem to be some misconceptions out there, which are probably due to poor communication on our part more than anything else. Due to the character limit for comments, I'll be breaking this up into two parts.

First of all, we have never charged both end user and manufacturer for the same content. We create families for both groups, but, with manufacturers, the families belong to them outright, so they decide what to do with them. To my knowledge, no manufacturer we have worked with has later charged customers to download their families. For end users, we create manufacturer-specific families, but they are not paid for by the manufacturers. So no double dipping here, though we've encountered it in the past as well.

Secondly, family modeling may not be rocket science, but it is a high skill, high concentration job if it's to be done well. I would add that it's a job architects and engineers really shouldn't spend their time doing, both because the required skill sets are different in key ways, and because that is simply not what architects and engineers are hired to do by their employers and clients. So the value of our service for end users is entirely a question of the value of their time working IN Revit versus their time working ON Revit. Not everyone is going to find that it makes sense to outsource content creation, but many do and that number will only keep growing as the amount of quality "pre-made" content available increases.

Now, presuming that you decide it makes sense to buy pre-made content, is Andekan and its content packs the right choice? With each pack, we've aimed to identify the most commonly used and preferred products within that category. We realize that no customer is likely to need all of it right away, but we do expect that you’ll be able to put the vast majority of it to good use in your firm's Revit projects now or in the near future. We offer a free sample download for each pack so that you can judge for yourself whether the quality of the families merits the price.
I should also clarify that we do in fact sell content (including pack content) on a per family basis if a customer wants a particular family or set of families (email us or use our Get A Quote form on the website), but in doing so the price of a family goes up. In short, the content packs represent a way for us to bring down the price of each individual family by selling a bunch at once on a repeat basis. Needless to say, the model depends on bundling the right products in the right ways for our customers, and that is something we will continually seek to improve on. be continued

GarySprague said...

continued from previous comment...

Regarding the IKEA pack, there are reasons based on experiences with multiple customers that led us to split the families the way we did. IKEA and other furniture families are primarily aesthetic architectural and design families. The choice of which one you want to use is most likely to be based upon outward appearance, form and finish. The ubiquitous Expedit bookcases, for example, have been divided by finish for ease of selection within a company's family library. We also wanted each of them to contain all of the necessary render materials for immediate use in images for client presentations. And since the number of render materials carried by a family can increase the file size tremendously, it made sense to split them by color from a file size perspective as well.
I would also note that each IKEA family contains all the size variations in the series (which can’t be seen in the single images on our website), along with all of the appropriate IKEA product numbers, schedulable for ordering and pricing purposes. These families are as adjustable and customisable as the real thing. Shelving heights can be varied, desk legs can be switched, doors can be opened and closed within the limitations of the actual object. One member of our team spent a very enjoyable day browsing a store to verify certain ranges of motion for use in renders and to assist in making the final images for client presentations look more natural. We briefly considered making sets of books that fit into the shelves with real renderable covers and small stacks of printer paper to store in the cupboards (maybe for the next version)...but the point is that a great deal of time and effort went into designing and building these families so that they give you the absolute most of what Revit has to offer, and that is what we aim to do with every single piece of content we deliver.

I appreciate having the opportunity to answer these questions in a public forum, and want to thank the other readers for helping identify areas of our communications that we need to improve. We welcome any questions by email ( or phone, and are always happy to talk about ways that our content can better meet users' needs.


Gary Sprague
COO, Andekan

Objectstop said...

All valid points guys. Monetizing BIM content is a tricky business.
So if Andekan's pricing is working for them, good on them.