Three Reasons to Consider CAD Outsourcing
If you run a business that requires CAD drafting, whether it is construction, architectural or mechanical drafting, you should consider outsourcing these services. Drafting outsourcing has a variety of benefits for your business, including the following:
- Save on Overhead Costs
The first benefit to choosing CAD outsourcing instead of an in-house staff is that you save on overhead costs. You don’t need space or special equipment in your office to accommodate the CAD drafters, which means you can work from a smaller office. You can run a small operation with outsourcing and still earn your desired income. You also save on other costs, including not having to pay for health insurance or time off.
- Pay Only for Required Services
Another cost benefit to outsourcing CAD services is the fact that you only pay for the services you need. You no longer need to pay a full-time employee to sit in the office waiting for work but instead pay the contract drafters and CAD technicians only when their services are needed.
- Faster Turnaround
Outsourcing allows you to get many different kinds of CAD services completed — from simple drafting to 3D modeling — any time you have a new project opportunity. No more paying for full-time in-house CAD technicians, just in case you need them. When you need any CAD specialty, you can usually find an outsource service that can have your work done quickly.
While CAD outsourcing can be a big help for small businesses and large firms with unexpected workloads, it can also create more problems than it solves, if you’re not careful. There may be risks with outsourcing if you don’t choose the outsource service carefully. For instance, when working with an unproven outsource firm you may run into the following issues:
- Fewer Savings than Expected
One of the biggest risks associated with the outsourcing of CAD conversion involves the inflated expectations that the internal organization has about how much the savings from CAD conversion outsourcing will be. This is especially true if your company is going off-shore for outsourcing services. Unfortunately, many executives assume that outsourced labor will yield savings comparable to a person-to-person comparison (e.g., a full-time equivalent in India will cost 40% less) without regard for the hidden costs and added internal management efforts and operation modifications required for outsourcing. In reality, many organizations save far less than they had anticipated with off-shore CAD outsourcing. Our recommendation is to stick with the U.S.A. based outsource services.
- Lowered Accuracy and Performance
A significant risk of outsourcing the CAD conversion function is that the vendor may not be able to perform as promised. With off-shore outsourcing, this may be exacerbated as a result of language barriers, differing cultural expectations, delays in response due to time zone differences or lack of understanding of the work involved. For example, although English is one official language in India, pronunciation, and accents can vary tremendously. In addition, cultural differences include religions, modes of dress, social activities, and even the way a question is asked and answered may differ. Most leading vendors have cultural education programs, but executives should not assume that cultural alignment will be insignificant or trivial if they decide to go off-shore.
Ensure Outsource Benefits Rather than Problems
Here are three important facts to learn about the company with whom you plan to outsource CAD
- Do they specialize in what you need? Just because a drafting company doesn’t specialize in a certain area doesn’t mean they’re bad at it. On the other hand, you’re much more likely to receive the best possible final copy from a company that has done many other jobs like yours before.
- Have they been around for a while? This is something else that shouldn’t necessarily rule out a company, but you should be cautious about dealing with a particularly new company.
- Will you be able to be involved in the process? Many drafting companies allow their clients to participate in the process. This means the client company can examine drawings and ask for revisions until they are satisfied with the final copy. There are also companies that draft a project and submit it whether it’s what the company wants or not. You’ll want to make sure the company is willing to work with you on revisions of drawings before you write them a check.
- When will it be done? Of course, the schedule should be a little flexible, especially if you expect to do multiple rounds of revisions. However, some drafting companies can be more prompt than others depending on their workload and how efficiently they run their business.
When your company has a CAD project that you think would be better to outsource than to do in-house, look for a reliable, legitimate company with a proven track record.