What do you like best?
SketchUp is a simple tool with which you can get amazing results. I often compare it to Lego bricks in that with only a few tools/pieces, there are endless ways to build. At our rapidly expanding (albeit small) company, we cherish this program that can be picked up in an afternoon, but really mastered over time. If you are trained in architecture, design, engineering, or planning, you probably already think in 3-dimensions. SketchUp is the drafting equivalent of that spatial intelligence - the tool that brings those abstract ideas into reality.
What do you dislike?
We use SketchUp Pro to model complex buildings, complete with finishes, furniture, lighting, equipment, etc. We use LayOut to memorialize our designs as Construction Documents. Our team has found several issues and inconsistencies with the two programs. Many are a matter of opinion, or could possibly pigeon-hole the program into the architecture- and design-for-construction field, but there are frustrations nonetheless. Also, with high-functioning and well-established programs out there like Adobe InDesign, I would really encourage Trimble to tear a page from their playbook when it comes to Layout. To be specific, and borrow terminology from the Adobe CS, a more approachable way to package a LayOut document would be beneficial, as would as the ability to place more than one or two file types into a document. Inherent guides (vertical center, horizontal center, edge of page, etc) would be helpful, and larger symbol previews in the scrapbook pane would reserve some sanity. Then there is the issue of file size. Obviously not educated in the field, I cannot recommend a solution for the slow save times, constant crashes, and file deletion (yes, it's happened to multiple people on multiple machines in our office), but I hope it's addressed in upcoming versions/updates. A very small side note about working with SketchUp on a PC - if you have your preview pane open in Windows Explorer and select the model you'd like to open, SketchUp will give you an error message that the file is already open. An easy fix (just turn your preview pane off), but causes a lot of confusion if you don't know the source!
Recommendations to others considering the product
Watch any video or tutorial you can (we're obsessed with Nick Sonder) and figure out what works best for you and your team the old fashioned way - trail and lots of error! Just because it's a simple program doesn't mean it is simple to master!
What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
Our company is design-focused. Where others have turned solely to production and profit, we still believe in a balanced aesthetic, good architecture, and smart detailing. For this reason, we often build upon the drawings of trusted engineers and architects, adding our own spatial branding from partition plans all the way through finishes and signage. SketchUp has given us a means to do this efficiently, creatively, and clearly (in the eyes of our GC).