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Architectural design and drafting support often includes, visually enticing renderings, building models, and technical drawings. Drafting production allows architects to convey their design ideas, provide instructions to contractors for construction, and record the building design as it already exists.  Many architecture companies are now turning towards outsourced CAD services to support their teams when resources are short, to save funds, and maximize time. Unfortunately, many architecture firms focus on saving costs when sending work to an offshore CAD team, although low cost outsourced CAD services can lead to poor work, delayed deadlines and a lack of project confidentiality.

Architectural industry leaders often use outsourcing for a number of reasons. Maximizing the use of an offshore CAD team allows your in-house team to increase and diversify their skills, without adding permanent members to the team. In cases where architectural drafting, modeling and BIM resources are short due to increased growth or employee transitions, offshore CAD and BIM teams are able to fill any gaps the team may feel in times of transition.  Similarly, outsourced CAD services allow for the maximizing of time and saving of cost. With an offshore CAD team working overnight or in parallel on your plan sets, Revit models, BIM models or renders, your project turnaround time decreases significantly, because it is as if your project is moving forward around the clock. Similarly, offshore CAD teams reduce company costs by removing overhead costs often required for in-house employees such as office space, hardware, software etc. Ultimately, the use of outsourced CAD services been used by industry leaders due to its many benefits such as efficiency, time, and cost related benefits. It is therefore surprising that some companies focus on cost savings – a strategy that can have a negative impact on the company’s overall project.

Considering the cost of outsourced CAD services is a reasonable way to stay cost competitive and cost conscious, one has to also consider that an offshore CAD team can cost in other ways such as leading to various problems along the life cycle of a project. Low cost offshore CAD teams may make sense initially but they may lack proper working conditions or established human resources departments. Such facilities and lower company standards can lead to higher levels of attrition of key team members, and thus affect the workflow for you as the architect. Retaining offshore CAD team members is actually very important as it allows you to maintain familiarity with the correct individual to communicate project updates to and it allows several individuals to hold thorough knowledge regarding the production of your work.

Similarly, poor working conditions can mean the software and hardware being used by your offshore CAD team does not meet performance standards, meaning your information may lack confidentiality and your design may become compromised due to the lack of use of legal software. Low cost outsourced CAD services can also mean that team member skills and quality levels can be poor. A lack of industry or software knowledge can lead to increased project costs and resentment over time. Low cost offshore CAD teams can lead to more project mistakes, an increase in project delays, an increase in project costs and frustration on the architect’s part due to consistent quality issues. Although outsourced CAD services may be the right fit for you one has to be aware that selecting the right firm is not just about cost but also about a multitude of variables such as quality, experience, financial standing, human resource policies and operating legally and with local regulations.

When searching for the right outsourced CAD service, assess the company and team members before moving forward, because low cost outsourced CAD services are rarely a good choice. Low hourly rates may mean the architectural models produced contain more errors, more project delays, and potentially an incorrect design. By establishing the company’s track record, and evaluating them for quality and expertise, your architectural design team can feel secure handing their work off to a qualified offshore CAD team.

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