If you are an architect or engineer, you would have long since seen this writing in the sky: “Outsource the major portion of your CAD drafting to low cost service providers or perish.” However, did you see the fine print?
Once you locate a prospective CAD drafting service provider, look for the following:
They should be technically skilledGive them a sample to do and see if their output is accurate
They should be deadline-orientedThey should deliver on the nail every time
They should understand technical English well A lot of tech-talk is involved in any CAD drafting outsourcing exercise. The provider should be fluent in CAD-speak. Talk the language and see if they comprehend
They should be good communicatorsIf you email them, you should get an answer in 24 hours. If you ask for something, they should act on your request immediately
They should have labor resourcesIf you occasionally have more than the usual work for them to do, they should have spare labor so that your other delivery schedules are minimally affected
They should have strong references or testimonialsOut of the two, a reference that you can inquire with is always better than a non-verifiable testimonial
They should have a strong set of Internet toolsLike these: An ftp server, a broadband connection, a backup email address and Skype. Most importantly, they should have a screen-sharing application (where you can see their screen in real time) so that you can look at drawings together online
Their decision-maker should always be accessible to youThis way policy decisions (like those concerning pricing, extended services and joint ventures) will be swift and the outsourcing relationship will evolve faster.
There you have it. If you see all these characteristics in a CAD drafting service provider, grab them fast!Good luck and may you prosper from these guidelines.
Lakshman Balaraman, MSEE (University of Michigan), is Executive Director of The Magnum Group, a CAD drafting service provider located at Chennai, India. Talk to him and his team at:http://themagnumgroup.net