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Is Your CAD Drafting Service Helping or Hindering?
Today’s design world is highly competitive. Every company is looking for ways to cut costs and improve their processes and workflow. Outsourcing is a logical step to take, but how do you ensure that your product design ideas are drafted correctly, the first time, every time? Choosing a run-of-the-mill CAD drafting service can cause you to pay a high price for inferior CAD drafting services. It’s better to choose wisely and get it right the first time. But how to choose wisely?
There are lots of CAD drafting services around the world, some are risky offshore or multi-national outsourcing organizations; many are one-man operations with a fancy (or not so fancy) website. It doesn’t take much to put up a website and work a few weekend jobs to pick up some extra money. A one-man set up may be okay for an occasional small job, but consider what will happen if this one-man shop gets behind or backed up. How will that affect your processes and job outcomes?
If everyone in your organization is already feeling the pressure of a downsized workforce, you don’t need to add more pressure with missed deadlines from a cad drafting service that just can’t seem to get it right or on time. What you need is to increase productivity and stay within budget to alleviate internal pressure. That’s the main reasons for outsourcing your CAD drafting services in the first place.
Choosing Wisely – Finding the Right CAD Drafting Service
The right CAD Drafting service can help you reclaim your product development strategies and get back on-budget and on-time. Regardless of your organization size or the size of your project the right CAD drafting service can play a major role in your overall success. Here are some questions we’ve developed to help you choose wisely:
- How long have they been in business? This matters in terms of experience and reliability. Companies that have been around for a while have a track record that you can verify. You also want to make sure they are an actual company.
- Do they have legal and valid copies of the software you will be using? Software piracy is alive and well. A reputable company does not pirate software. They have legal, valid versions of AutoCAD or whatever software you require.
- How will you communicate with the CAD service provider? Establish this up front and let them know your preference. There are so many methods available that there is no reason for not having daily or weekly updates on project status.
- Can they meet your deadline? This may seem obvious, but if you don’t give the CAD service company a firm deadline that they must meet, they won’t be able to plan their workload to accommodate your needs, and you risk having the deadline slip.
- Can you agree on goals and strategies? In any field, an outsource company becomes an extension of your staff, but we think there’s no place where it’s as important as in CAD drafting. Everyone needs to embrace the same corporate goals and strategies if an outsource arrangement is going to be successful.
- Are they flexible? Can they tailor their services to match your needs?
- How do they handle red-line reviews? Make sure your CAD drafting service provider is willing to have at least red-Line review with corrections. This should be included in the basic drafting charge and not treated as an ‘’add-on” cost. Be clear on the difference between red-Line reviews and change orders. A red-line review is a way to manage and correct mistakes that can slip into highly complex drawings, with multiple views, complex geometry, and multiple layers. A change order is just that…an order to make a design change to a drawing and that will incur extra charges, and rightly so.
- Can they deliver the documents in the form you need them? Define deliverables before you assign the job to the outsourcing firm. Do you need printed drawings, plots, binding or presentation folders, digital or some combination of all of these?
- Are there additional charges for title blocks? Discuss and define all drawing content, especially title blocks. If title blocs are an issue for you, you should provide the title block format for the CAD drafting service in order to avoid additional development fees. Make sure you also agree on specifications, tolerances and standard notes as well.
Moving Forward with CAD Drafting Service
They’ve answered all the questions correctly, now you can turn over your CAD drafting and relax, right? Wrong! Until you have established a healthy on-going relationship with your CAD drafting service, you will want to monitor their work closely to make sure their work meets all of your standards. Keep your CAD drafting and product engineering and design consulting organization well informed and you will be on your way to a long and prosperous business relationship. Remember, when you team up with the right CAD drafting service provider, your company will realize major benefits.