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Dispelling 6 Common Myths About Outsourcing CAD Drafting

If your architecture and engineering firm is like most, you’re enjoying a surge in demand for your services, fueled by continued 5G deployments, government investments in infrastructure, and an accelerating need for charging stations to keep up with a rise in electric vehicle sales. But an incredibly tight labor market makes it more challenging than ever to keep your firm staffed up to handle an expanding workload.

Many leading architecture and engineering firms are outsourcing their CAD drafting to meet rising demand for their services. If you haven’t considered outsourcing as an option, these 6 common myths about outsourcing CAD drafting may be holding you back.

Myth #1: Outsourcing CAD drafting is more expensive than hiring internal staff

The notion that outsourcing is inherently more costly than hiring in-house staff is widely held, but typically not true. In the case of CAD drafting, it’s especially not the case.

Working with an offshore firm can give you access to a large labor pool of talented CAD drafters at an affordable cost, which can actually reduce your staff expenses. When you consider an FTE’s salary and benefits, the dedicated office space and equipment they require, and the expenses of rehiring, onboarding, and training when your internal staff inevitably turns over, an outsourced drafter is likely to come at a lower total cost.

Myth #2: Outsourcing CAD drafting will sacrifice quality

When you hire an employee, your candidate pool is usually restricted to a certain geographic market, which is a major obstacle in today’s competitive hiring environment. On the other hand, outsourcing provides access to a broader labor market from which to select the most qualified and skilled CAD drafters. For example, regions like the Philippines are home to a large market of experienced, licensed drafters who take pride in the quality of their work. By using offshore labor, leading engineering firms are tapping into a larger network of talented CAD drafters who are committed to delivering high-quality work.

An outsourced firm’s quality control (QC) processes also are key to ensuring the quality of your final deliverables. Typically, the assigned project manager will conduct a QC review to ensure the firm’s drafters are delivering exactly what you expect. Consistent processes and quality standards also help ensure all drafters on a project are delivering at the same service levels.

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Myth #3: Outsourced drafters are unable to deliver on a fast timeline

When you receive a new bid request, but the project has a tight deadline, the last thing you want to do is turn down the opportunity simply because you don’t have the internal bandwidth to meet the due dates. But if your only option is to draw from your internal bench, you could end up having to walk away from the work.

Outsourced CAD services firms have greater flexibility to respond to a surge in demand or a fast timeline as compared to in-house drafting teams. That’s because they’re specifically staffed and organized to respond quickly, maintaining teams that are ready to start on short notice when your engineering firm has overflow work or you’re bidding on a new project. When you hire an outsourced provider that’s solely dedicated to CAD services, you gain a partner with the resources to respond fast, even for projects involving a large volume of work.

Myth #4: Your firm will lose control over your projects if you outsource drafting

One of the biggest objections to outsourcing is a concern that you could lose control of the project. With client satisfaction always a top priority, you can’t afford to jeopardize the quality of your deliverables or the client’s experience simply because you’ve lost oversight.

Outsourced CAD firms assign a dedicated project manager to every project to ensure the work progresses according to plan. It’s the project manager’s job to assure success, from kickoff to final invoicing, through diligent planning and sound execution. When a dedicated project manager does what they do best—organizing, prioritizing, allocating talent, and scheduling and tracking the work, all while keeping the big picture in focus—then the client can rest easy knowing the project is in good hands.  

Myth #5: You won’t receive good communication about your CAD work if you outsource it

If your firm has never outsourced work, you might have the misconception that you’ll be left in the dark when it comes to the progress and status of your work. The reality is much different. 

Outsourcing companies fully understand that engineering firms depend on accurate, timely communication about their projects to ensure the work stays on track and their client is satisfied in the end. So they make strong communication a top priority, ensuring every interaction between your team and theirs is fluid and clear.

For example, when you have questions or need clarification, you can expect a project manager or team lead who fully understands the project scope and expectations to respond in a timely way, either by phone or email. Your dedicated project manager will provide regular status updates on the work in progress. And if there is ever a need to move the work forward while waiting for a response, the outsourced firm can implement a temporary workaround in the meantime.  Depending on your outsourced provider’s time zone, you may find they are communicating with you nearly 24/7!

Myth #6: Outsourced drafters won’t know your client’s industry

For large projects, or when you’re working with clients that are especially demanding, you might need drafters with experience in a particular industry. If you don’t have that industry-specific experience sitting on your internal bench, outsourcing may be the best solution.

Contrary to what you might expect, some firms that offer outsourced CAD services employ drafters with in-depth knowledge and experience in certain industries and applications, such as telecom, retail, and large infrastructure projects. When choosing a partner for outsourced CAD services, look for firms with a large network of skilled drafters with industry-specific experience, so they’re ready to hit the ground running when you have projects that require a specialist in a particular sector or application.       

If you’re ready to dispel the myths about outsourcing and leverage this effective approach to augment your internal bench, contact Cadsourcing. Our large and growing team of skilled, experienced drafters regularly handles large volumes of CAD work with tight deadlines for top A&E firms across the US.