29 September 2020
Using Outsourcing Firms for Homebuilding Design
Outsourcing is no longer a bad word. Scorn and distrust previously associated with outsourcing has given way to appreciation for technical accuracy, professionalism and overall cost benefits. Increased levels of trust have resulted from the tangible results of partnering with offshore companies with years of experience in delivering high-quality residential construction design for large homebuilders.
Large homebuilders face an increasing workload due to the need to provide accurate and more detailed design models and drawings. With growing skills shortages in their own markets’ homebuilders are increasingly looking for partner residential design companies to support their workload in residential design drawings, usually by looking for international support.
A reliable and capable partner company can relieve some of the workload for homebuilders by being integrated in their design workflow. An outsourcing partner can help a company in the following ways:
A shortage of skilled technicians in the homebuilding design industry is a looming reality. Outsourcing can help large homebuilders keep up with the rapidly evolving technological advances in residential design for niche skills, both in terms of mastering the relevant software and possessing the requisite knowhow with expert and experienced human resources. It also eliminates the need to train existing staff to the requisite level, saving time and money.
Team Size Increase
When a large homebuilding firm is faced with the attractive business prospect of a large project, one of the first thoughts that pop up is, ‘Can we create these designs on time with our existing competent but compact team?’ When the answer is no or if there is a moment of hesitation, it’s time to invest in an offshore partner. Outsourcing helps firms scale their teams up, with more technically qualified personnel, to meet a specific requirement for ‘All hands-on deck!’ Also, this is achieved without the need or challenges associated with hiring new employees or firing regular employees.
Spikes in Demand
Sometimes, large homebuilders may see a spike in demand for project delivery and they may not have the resources to easily meet commitments with the in-house team alone. This is an opportune moment to outsource some of the workload. If the offshore team is located in a different time zone, there is the added benefit of work being completed when the homebuilder’s team sleeps, relaxes or lets their hair down. It also works well during holidays. Many holidays in Western countries are not celebrated in other parts of the world, and human resources in the outsourced country are able to work during that time, saving time and effort for homebuilders when there are additional demands to be met.
Other Core Activities
Outsourcing technical services, such as CAD drafting, 3D modelling and rendering to offshore partners allows large homebuilders to the time and opportunity to concentrate on their core processes, such as sourcing other projects, meeting clients, discussing and developing design, which ultimately accelerates their growth.
In addition to reducing utility costs associated with a larger in-house team, especially during times when they are racing to meet tight deadlines and burning the midnight oil, outsourcing offers other advantages. A company dealing with emergency situations, such as natural calamities, unexpected technical crises or unforeseen market fluctuations, can rely on the outsourced offshore company to continue working on their projects. Then the offshore outsource partners can still keep working on their assignments. That way, once the homebuilder weathers the storm, so to speak, their work would not have suffered.
Costs associated with hiring technically qualified staff in Western countries are relatively high. Plus, homebuilding firms must invest in software to update their skills and new hardware for new recruits. Offshore outsourcing firms, especially in India, are able to hire resources for less wages. So, offshore firms are able to deliver residential drafting services on schedule for less cost.
Selecting the Right Partner
investing in a reliable homebuilding design partner is a strategic decision and homebuilders need to satisfy themselves of:
Homebuilders can narrow down their choices and ultimately decide upon a partner that is likely to be a close match by undertaking thorough and comprehensive due diligence checks. Effective due diligence will involve a review of the following:
- Local market experience – The partner must have experience in the homebuilder’s market and working on similar projects.
- Software utilisation and experience – The partner must use the same software version and their experience must be relevant for the homebuilder.
- Financial standing – The partner must be financially stable and have adequate resources to grow with the homebuilder.
- Resource turnover – Ideally, staff turnover rates should be low, an indicator of motivated, well-rewarded and therefore more productive employees.
- Cultural fit – How the outsourcing partner interacts and communicates internally and externally and how that compares with the homebuilder must be understood.
- Office environment – Visit the outsourcing partner and review the office layout and resources first-hand.
- Staff attitudes– Meet key members and technicians to appreciate the views of staff at all levels.
- References – Speak to previous customers of the partner, which may provide reassuring information about experience and their responses to any challenges that may come up.
To learn more about the key considerations to select the right design partner, read this blog ‘Using Outsourcing Firms for Homebuilding Design’.
Questions a Homebuilder May Have
Ideally, a typical conversation between a homebuilder and a potential offshore design partner should go something like this:
Do you have any experience working in our region?
Yes, we have experience working in several Western countries and we understand the local building codes for each of these regions.
What software does your company use and what services do you provide?
We use the latest versions of Revit, AutoCAD and ArchiCAD and we provide design models, construction drawings and rendered images for homebuilders. We can also use bespoke of customise software developed by customer itself.
How does the outsourcing process work?
First, we understand your scope, design process and design workflow and jointly identify the elements that you wish to outsource. We then familiarise ourselves with your standards and output preferences. We will typically undertake a pilot project to iron out all aspects and then we’ll set up a team devoted solely for your projects.
How will you adhere to our strict quality standards?
We’re ISO 9001 quality certified, so we take quality seriously. Nothing leaves us before it is checked independently, and all our employees are constantly trained to be efficient and effective.
When a large homebuilder finds the ideal design partner, the prospect of outsourcing can pose several benefits, but primarily, outsourcing residential drawing and design eases the burden of work, reduces costs and enables homebuilders to concentrate on core functions. Development of infrastructure, training and recruitment costs can all be virtually eliminated or put on hold. Highly trained expert delivery can be provided by experienced service providers who are well versed with area codes and zoning laws. There are so many advantages for homebuilders to outsource residential construction design services to offshore residential design companies that it almost seems remiss to ignore it.
XS CAD, as a design partner, has valuable experience in providing residential construction design services, residential drawing and design services, BIM modelling services and 3D residential visualisation services (3D rendered images) for global housing firms. Our range of services for architects, contractors and homebuilders across the world include residential design drawing services, 2D architectural drafting, residential BIM modelling services, and 3D residential rendering services.