Why Quality Control is Important for CAD Outsourcing
So, you think you’re company needs to outsource a CAD project. The reasons for outsourcing can be many… maybe you have a big project that you can’t complete in time, or you’ve just lost your prized CAD engineer, or your company is having “growing pains.” Whatever the reason, outsourcing can be a powerful tool for your company, providing a scalable CAD team that’s there when you need it, and when you don’t need it, it’s not a drain on your bottom line.
The first thing is you need to do is determine just what CAD activity you need to outsource:
While each of these CAD Conversion activities requires different skill sets and skill levels, one thing that they all have in common is the need for QC or quality control. Quality control is a process by which an organization or individual reviews the quality of all factors involved in the process or production under review. QC is practiced in many different scenarios and business operations, but for the purpose of this paper, we will be discussing QC specifically as it applies to the CAD Conversion process.
What is CAD QC?
Quality control in CAD Conversion activities requires specified control, intelligent job management, defined processes, reliable performance, and integrity of data and records maintenance. Quality control in the personnel who perform CAD conversion requires competence, including software knowledge, process skills, experience in the type of conversion required, and proven qualifications such as personal integrity, motivation and a desire to do a good job.
Specific controls need to be in place, including reviews of each converted file by a peer or superior who was not involved in the original conversion process, as well as customer review and feedback to ensure that the customer’s standards are met. If you’re looking for one particular type of conversion, and have a small project, you may be able to find a single individual that you can hire on an outsource basis who has the skills that you need. However, if you’re looking for a variety of CAD conversion jobs, or a sophisticated service, such as converting 2D to 3D, or if you have more than just a few drawings, then you’ll likely do better finding a company with varied experience and expertise. An internet search is a great place to start looking.
“The quality of the final converted files is at risk if any of these aspects is deficient in any way.”
Scott Shuppert, President CAD / CAM Services Inc.
Quality control in CAD conversion emphasizes testing and maintaining processes that guarantee the accuracy of the conversion, whereas quality assurance seeks to ensure that each and every drawing, 3D model or BIM is an accurate CAD Perfect® representation in order to avoid, or at least minimize, issues which could lead to problems during construction of the building or manufacture of the product.
QC is especially important when a construction or manufacturing organization decides to outsource their CAD conversion to a CAD CAM Conversion Service provider. For this type of outsourced or contract work, particularly work awarded by government agencies, quality control issues are among the top reasons for not renewing a CAD Conversion contract. This may be one good reason to find out before you start how many current and renewed government contracts a CAD Conversion provider has before trusting your work to them.
It’s not enough to just have the CAD conversion service provider’s assurance of “the highest degree of quality and accuracy” or their assurance the “files are checked and rechecked.” Any CAD conversion outsources company which is dedicated to providing consistently accurate work will have both processes and personnel in place to make sure that all CAD standards are followed and that all documents are converted accurately.
In the end, it comes down to choosing the CAD conversion to outsource company that you’re most comfortable with. Especially if this is your first time for CAD outsourcing, it’s important to find an outsource that you can trust. You’ll be sending them your project assets and you want to rest easy knowing that they’ll take care of them and that the work you get back is top quality.