How to Hire Expert CAD Services
When you’re up against the wall with CAD requirements, but you’re not quite ready to take on the expense of additional in-house staff, hiring a CAD to outsource service may be just the answer for you. Often by going the outsource route, you can hire highly experienced professionals at much lower cost than in-house staff, and without the expense of setting up additional workstations and software seats for them to work on. Businesses also use CAD outsource services for seasonal fluxes in business — CAD outsourcing gives you access to a scalable workforce that’s there when you need them and gone when you don’t.
Whether you need to hire one dedicated CAD professional or a ready-made team of professionals to cover a large project, having a reliable CAD outsourcing partner can give your business a boost. You may be able to take on larger projects, or additional projects that you couldn’t handle with your current in-house staff without expanding infrastructure. Outsourcing is frequently described as a win-win solution for growing a business.
Many of our current customers say that when they began to look into outsourcing, they weren’t quite sure how to go about vetting a CAD services company. They’ve suggested that we provide some guidelines, and because customer service is what we’re all about, here are our suggestions:
- Customer service should be the top priority in selecting any outsource firm. No matter how technically advanced the CAD technicians and engineers are if the outsource company is not focused — first and foremost — on your needs, you’re not going to have the successful results you want and need. To this end, here are some questions you should ask:
- Will you have an assigned account manager that you can deal with? There’s nothing worse than contacting “customer service” and speaking to a new person every time you call, who has no idea what’s going on with your project.
- How will you communicate with him? It’s important to ascertain upfront whether there will be a language barrier or a time zone difference. This is one of the biggest complaints that companies have when they outsource off-shore.
- What processes are in place to ensure that they understand and respond to your needs? In general, we think it’s a good idea to put the work order in writing, with a written acknowledgment. This doesn’t have to be a formal many-paged contract — a few simple emails that spell out the scope of the job and an understanding of what needs to be done should suffice.
- Industry knowledge is important. CAD services are required in manufacturing, architecture, engineering, aerospace, construction, dentistry, medical, design and other industries. What is specific to your industry and the products you’re designing that the outsource must know?
- Trade secrets are secret. Do you need a signed Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)? If you’re outsourcing a project that your competitors would be interested in, get an NDA from the outsource company before they start the project. Remember, outsource services work for many different companies, and one of them may be your competitor. While most outsource services are not going to go out of their way to leak trade secrets, if they’re not aware that the project has sensitive information, they make leak it accidentally. An NDA emphasizes the fact that the CAD information they’re working on belongs to you and no one else.
- Working together as a team. Even though the CAD service is an outsourcing company, they are part of your team for the duration of the project and need to be available to you during your business hours. Some questions you could ask are:
- How do they facilitate project coordination?
- What project management tools do they use?
- Will you be able to have real-time interaction during your business hours?
- How will revisions and updates be communicated?
- How do they handle version controls?
- Can they provide resumes of the staff who will be working on your project?
- What should you bring to the table? As a client of a CAD outsources service, you have responsibilities, too, if the partnership is going to work. You will need to ensure that the outsource staff gets the same direction and feedback that you provide to your in-house staff. Initially, in fact, you will need to oversee them as you would a new employee until you know that they understand what you want and that they are performing the job to your satisfaction.
- Know what you should outsource. Before outsourcing a large project, we recommend reviewing your internal processes, so that you can determine what tasks should be outsourced and which should be kept in-house. Using both the in-house staff and the outsource staff for the portions of the project for which they are best suited will improve cost-effectiveness and efficiency.