The decision to outsource engineering jobs is a tough decision for most companies. The dilemma is balancing the benefits of outsourcing and the risks it brings.
Engineering outsourcing requires assessment of less critical tasks to delegate. There is a need to consider contractors in the internal processes. Analyze how to strengthen reviews and audits in every engineering phase.
With risk management, engineering outsourcing has been successful for some identified positions.
Technical Support provides customer help for devices, systems, and services. To achieve outsourcing expertise, engineering graduates undergo comprehensive training. Technical documentation is available as guidelines for analyzing issues.
Third-world countries like the Philippines now dominate Technical Support outsourcing. With English proficiency, call center agents can support customers. Be sure to adhere to strict quality measures. Technical Support agents must undergo regular performance evaluation.
CAD projects are the most outsourced job in engineering. It started when companies reinvented their business model to focus more on what they do best. The rest they give it to contractors for outsourcing.
For CAD outsourcing, the level of designing expertise outsourced varies. A licensed engineer can do a design from scratch. The CAD operators have the skill to plot diagrams to the tool. When a project ends, you now have a pool of CAD talents that you can call in anytime. You can keep the best performers for the next project.
You can also take advantage of CAD in the cloud. It offers up-to-date access from anywhere in the world. It means that your permanent and outsource people can collaborate on projects. Technologies now provide more options to work on CAD projects. Draft review is more accessible with file sharing technologies.
Software development is the most popular when it comes to outsourcing. Like any engineering, Software Engineering has several project phases. A company may decide to outsource some stages of software development. They can outsource coding and testing but still own analysis and design.
When it is a full-cycle software outsourcing, it’s best to check the track record. Ask about the software development lifecycle (SDLC) processes. Discuss your involvement from the initial stage to project completion. Software project fails when a client doesn’t collaborate with the development team.
Most companies outsource their system during the maintenance phase. It involves fixing of bugs, adding of features, and refactoring. You spend time in training at the start. However, in the long term, your outsourced team would scale your business.
In the third world countries, high-skilled software developers earn high in their currency. However, their salary is more or less the same as that of a junior developer in the first world countries. It means you will get more by spending less.
If everybody in your team is busy to create formal documentation, then it’s time to outsource. Technical writers are out there willing to document for you. They know how to convert your meeting notes into formal documentation.
Most of these people are experts in their field and doing freelancing on the side. You can take advantage of their expertise and saves costs and time.
There are also instances that technical people are not into technical writing. They are technically savvy, but you don’t expect them to write. When confronted with this scenario, outsourcing your technical documentation is a possible option.
In outsourcing, there is no such thing as scarcity of skills. The world offers a vast pool of talents and experts. Freelancing engineers are increasing. With the internet, you can have remote work with them.
When the engineering expertise you need is not available in your area, then consider outsourcing. You can tap the expertise of engineers from all over the world. In fact, most retirees are still open in sharing their knowledge. You will benefit from their wide-range experience. More often than not, they have a simple solution to our complex problems.
Outsourcing has come a long way that it already includes critical engineering positions. It is possible to outsource engineering tasks when appropriate processes are in place.
In deciding to outsource, always consider risks on confidentiality and quality. For high-risk projects, the best option is to divide the projects into modules. The modules are then delegated to different contractors. In this way, the big picture remains in the engineering firm. There is no breach of confidentiality.
In outsourcing, maintaining quality will always be a challenge. Be sure to continue adhering to engineering practices like reviews and audits. Be reminded that one goal of engineering is to build with quality.
Learn to appreciate the value of your outsourced employees. You can’t undermine their contributions to your company. When you give trust and respect to your remote staff, expect to receive more in return. When you manage your outsourcing partners well, you will reap the benefits long term.