Outsourcing is one of this decade’s top industry trends. Engineering and construction companies are beginning to embrace these solutions. But how do you make sure outsourcing doesn’t compromise the quality of your work?
The benefits of outsourcing aren’t immediately obvious in some industries. This is particularly so for industries that focus on on-site work. Construction and Engineering companies are good examples.
But engineering and construction outsourcing companies are experiencing a meteoric rise in popularity.
In these competitive industries, it’s important to stay ahead of the game. Outsourcing can give companies an edge.
Engineering design/drafting outsourcing and construction project management outsourcing are becoming commonplace. You can also rely on third-party support for administration, finances, and marketing.
Outsourcing gives companies a chance to focus on their core task. It helps reduce overhead costs significantly. It can also help speed up deliverables. So, working with outsourced employees leads to improved customer satisfaction.
However, not every outsourcing partner provides reliable results. It’s natural to approach this with some hesitation. Some Companies expect that outsourcing will bring down the quality of their work. Offshore security concerns are widespread.
It can seem daunting to find an outsourcing partner that you can rely on. But it’s possible to separate the wheat from the chaff.
We prepared a list of red flags about outsourcing in the construction industry, mining, and engineering. We based this on our experience as one of the top E&C offshoring companies in the Philippines. If a potential partner exhibits these behaviours, you’re right to be wary.
The Red Flags
Working with an insufficiently qualified outsourcing partner leads to considerable difficulties. Here are some of the problems you may have to deal with:
- Missed deadlines
- Lack of understanding in your industry
- Lower client satisfaction
- Inconsistent results
- Errors that go unnoticed for too long
- A lack of motivation or initiative
- Communication problems and misunderstandings
- Scheduling issues and time zone incompatibility
- Empty promises
But none of these has to be present in a good outsourcing relationship. In fact, choosing the right partner can help your Company avoid these problems.
As you save on overhead costs, you can invest in development and improve the work process. Your current team may become less overwhelmed with multi-tasking. You can make use of fresh perspectives and avoid thinking too much about the details. Your bottom line should improve, and you can expect consistent and reliable results.
To recognize a good outsourcing partner, you need to learn the hallmarks of a bad one. So let’s go over some danger signs. Any of these may be present in companies that offer engineering and construction outsourcing. If they are, consider looking for a better fit.
1. They’re a Jack of All Trades
Some outsourcing companies offer a wide range of services.
This is not in itself a danger sign. You can benefit from working with offshoring firms that cover different needs. Ideally, you’ll rely on them to take care of HR for you and make sure collaboration runs smoothly.
But it’s highly advisable to work with Companies that specialize in your industry. Engineering and Construction all come with some unique challenges and requirements. It’s important to find a partner who can keep up with that.
You need people who understand the big picture. This is true whether you’re looking for design work, administration, or other services.
Perhaps you need a specific project completed and parts of it are beyond your experience. In this case, you may have better luck with a more general company. But the best offshoring partnerships provide long-term collaboration.
2. No Track Record of Previous Client Successes
Ask questions before you hire remote engineering staff or outsource construction tasks. Take note of excessive vagueness or platitudes.
A reliable outsourcing company offers case studies and testimonials. While the details may be obscured to protect the clients’ interests, you’ll want to look for concrete proof of past successes.
Pay attention to the specifics. Did the outsourcing company help their client free up valuable resources? Did they have a positive impact on the success rate or timeline of projects? They need to quantify and back up claims of outsource efficiency gains.
Many companies rely on outsourcing for sales and customer service. But before you choose a partner for that, you have to know what to expect. Learn which strategies your prospective partner uses to improve sales. You want to know how they interacted with their clients’ customers in the past.
If you’re thinking of offshoring, you may worry about cultural differences. In this case, it’s important to ask whether the firm has worked with companies in your area.
3. They Offer No Sample Work
In addition to case studies, an offshoring company should have a portfolio. This applies to engineering design outsourcing, web design, marketing, etc.
It’s also important to consider whether the company’s own marketing is acceptable. Do they have a website optimised for different platforms? If you’re going to rely on them to represent your company, start with their own presentation. It should match the quality of what they offer in their portfolio.
4. They Are Unclear About Employee Qualifications
When you hire remote engineering staff or architects, you want qualified professionals. That’s true for finance and accounting tasks too.
So it’s important to know your potential partner’s hiring practices. Make sure to ask about the degrees and training that their employees receive.
It’s a red flag if the company deflects or refuses to give you information. The same applies if you’re looking to outsource tasks that don’t require formal training. Your firm needs experts who know what they’re doing and who’ve had great results in the past.
5. They Don’t Ask a Lot of Questions
It’s clear that you want to work with an outsourcing Company that answers all your questions. Deflection and ambiguity are warning signs.
But at the same time, you should choose a partner who asks you questions about your business. Before they agree to work with you, a responsible outsourcing partner will ask in-depth questions about your company.
This will give you a good idea of whether they have experience in your field. Remember that it’s better to choose partners who specialize in construction or engineering. If they don’t understand the inner workings of your industry, their questions will be generic.
Asking questions can also reveal the integrity and attitude of a company. If they agree immediately to every service you inquire about, odds are that they’re planning to improvise. This is an unacceptable approach to take.
Unfortunately, many outsourcing companies will try to overpromise and dazzle potential partners. You should watch out for unrealistic promises. If they make everything sound easy without asking for information, you’ll encounter problems down the line.
6. The Estimate’s Lower Than Expected
Research costs before you outsource construction or engineering jobs.
Reducing costs is one of the top attractions of outsourcing. In the case of offshoring companies, the payment should fit the cost of living in the country in question.
If a potential partner offers an estimate that seems too low, they’re cutting corners somewhere. This might go beyond underpaying the employees. For example, you should be wary of companies that might use cheap or outdated software. You may even risk legal issues if you choose a partner that undercharges for design work.
Once again, you want to avoid outsourcing that sounds too good to be true. Another situation to consider is companies that immediately give you an estimate. If they don’t ask any questions first, they aren’t really considering the amount of work that lies ahead.
7. They Don’t Provide You with Enough Information about Security
In the engineering and construction industries, discretion is of the utmost importance.
Every business partner needs to respect your customers’ data. Plans and designs must stay confidential. The same applies to your finances, methods, and staff information.
But some outsourcing companies don’t have adequate measures in place to protect your data. Even if they have no malicious intentions, they could leak information. You want to choose a partner who fully understands and respects this aspect of your business.
So make sure to ask enough questions about security. Your prospective partner should give you a detailed roadmap of their usual security measures. If you have additional requirements, they should be willing to consider them.
A Note on Problems That Appear Later in a Partnership
Sometimes, the quality of outsourcing work declines over time. This could have various reasons, and you don’t always notice it in time.
One of the first signs to watch out for is missed deadlines. Customer satisfaction, leads, and sales can go down. If any of this happens, you need to look into the situation. If solutions aren’t obvious, you may need a different outsourcing partner.
It’s important to understand the standards of quality that you can expect from a good outsourcing partner. When you see how well this arrangement can work, you will know how to recognize any duds right away.
But at first, it can seem daunting to look for an adequate partner. There is a world of empty promises to navigate.
At Cybalink Solutions, we offer case studies that can give you an idea of the scope of our services. We’re also happy to answer any questions about how we work. If that sounds right for your engineering or construction firm, you can schedule a consultation here or use the form below.