Can engineering outsourcing benefit your business? These are the common engineering services outsourcing providers can help you with.
Engineering is a profession that evolves on a constant basis.
On a practical level, you have the introduction of new technologies. The rise of computer-aided design signalled a massive change for the industry a few decades ago. Today, technologies like VR may change things again.
Fast adaptation to the evolutions we see in the industry is the key to success. However, you may run into problems when trying to build an onshore team. Talent gaps may put paid to your attempts to create a solution to a new generation of challenges. In many cases, the talent that you need is located further afield.
That’s where engineering outsourcing becomes important.
A good engineering outsourcing solution offers an array of benefits. Furthermore, there are several tasks that a specialist engineering outsource company can help you with.
This article examines some of the key benefits of outsourcing. Plus, it offers some insight into the key tasks you can outsource.
How Do Engineering Companies Benefit from Outsourcing?
It’s important to understand why engineering outsourcing can benefit your business. This will help you to make your decisions later on.
There are several upsides to working with an outsourcer. These include the following:
Benefit #1 – Lower Labour Costs
For many engineering and construction firms, the cost of hiring onshore people can prove quite restrictive. Take Australia as an example. You may need to spend $100,000 per year or more on a qualified employee. This creates a marked overhead before they even do any work.
This isn’t acceptable if your business operates on fine margins. High labour costs eat into any revenue that you make from your projects. That means lower profitability for your business.
With engineering outsourcing, you can access talent of comparable quality at a far lower price. This reduces your overheads, which results in higher profits from your projects.
Benefit #2 – Better Time Management
Your company experiences constant time-related pressures. You have deadlines to meet and you have competition that’s constantly improving its time to delivery.
A larger team can help you to confront these time-related issues. However, building that team internally takes a lot of time and training. Plus, an internal team can only work the same office hours that you work.
Outsourcing to a firm that specialises in your industry drastically reduces the amount of time that it takes to build a team. That’s not the only time-related benefit. As your offshore team works in another time zone, they can often continue working when your onshore office closes down for the day.
Benefit #3 – Keeping Pace With the Competition
As mentioned, your company has to deal with competitors on a daily basis. They’re constantly working to adapt to new challenges and deliver a superior service.
If you’re not doing the same, your competition overtakes you. That means you have less chance of landing major contracts. Your bottom line suffers when you fall behind the competition.
Outsourcing offers you a competitive advantage because it allows you to build a team with minimal cost. However, it also offers you access to a wider array of talent that your competitors aren’t using.
This means superior project delivery and happier clients. The end result is that your company attracts more business.
Benefit #4 – Access to a Global Talent Pool
GradConnection’s Top 100 Graduate Employers 2019 report revealed some worrying findings.
They found that universities only offered 13,200 undergraduate engineering courses in 2017. That marks a decrease of 2,500 places compared to 2013. And of those 13,200 offers, only 10,322 students accepted a place.
There is a very clear message here.
Australia faces an upcoming skills shortage, particularly in the engineering sector. This will only get worse of universities continue to struggle to bring talented students on board. You’ll be left to battle it out with other employers for an ever-narrowing pool of talent.
With engineering outsourcing, you gain access to a global talent pool. Finding the right people becomes much easier. Plus, you’ll escape the talent crunch that looks set to affect Australian companies.
Engineering Tasks You Can Outsource
Now you know the benefits, you need to know about some of the engineering services outsourcing can help with.
Here are four tasks that you may be able to outsource.
Task #1 – Revit Architects
Revit is a digital design software package that allows you to create detailed models. Companies that follow the Building Information Modelling (BIM) methodology use it regularly.
BIM focuses on creating sustainable work environments that focus on collaboration. It’s a data-driven methodology that ensures the creation of more accurate designs.
As an engineer, you’ll work with all sorts of professionals. These may include construction crews and architects, all of whom can contribute to a Revit model.
In the case of architects, engaging an onshore third party can prove costly. Outsourcing such work lowers your costs and gives you access to more talent. Furthermore, the collaborative nature of Revit makes remote collaboration much easier.
Task #2 – Estimating and Quantity Surveying
Creating estimates for upcoming tenders can become a laborious task. This is especially the case for businesses that may quote on several projects all due at the same time.
Furthermore, Quantity surveyors who provide the initial calculations right through to the final figures of a project are considered the economists of the construction industry. Responsible for managing many aspects of the contractual and financial side of construction projects.
Onshore estimators and quantity surveyors tend to command high salaries for their expertise.
With an outsourcing solution, you’re able to access qualified talent without spending as much as you would on an onshore employee. Working with a specialist makes it easier to find talent that has the qualifications that you need them to have. A great outsourcer will even provide training assistance to get the new team up and running.
Task #3 – Drafting
All engineering work has a host of designs to back it up. Over the course of a project, you’ll go through several edits and redesigns to bring things up to scratch.
This is another area where outsourcing can help.
Drafting includes a host of potential tasks. These include the following:
- Converting paper blueprints into computer-designed models and drawings.
- Editing of existing models to account for new requirements.
- Archiving of project drafts when they’re no longer needed.
- Concept creation.
- The building of 3D models based on 2D designs.
As long as you have accurate requirements, an outsourcing solution can help with all of this. You can engage talent overseas to work on models while you focus on working with the client.
Task #4 – Administrative Work
You may not want to use engineering outsourcing for drafting and estimating work. Many companies prefer to do this in-house so they have more control over the process.
However, there are plenty of secondary tasks that a specialist engineering outsource company can help with.
A great example of this is all of the administrative work that surrounds your projects. You’ll create page upon page of such work during the course of a major project. You have to spend a lot of time processing that paperwork before the project can move forward.
You can outsource contract admin and find new admin assistants. And the tasks these new recruits can complete for you include:
- Document formatting.
- Data entry related to projects or employees.
- Travel management.
Relieving this paperwork burden means you can focus your time more effectively. Engineering outsourcing also allows you to complete these repetitive tasks at a lower cost.
What About the Risks?
As you can see, it’s possible to build a comprehensive engineering service outsourcing solution.
However, there are also some risks involved. Failure to take them into account could lead to you working with a company that can’t provide for your needs.
These risks include the following:
- Working with an outsourcer that doesn’t specialise in engineering. Ideally, you’ll work with a specialist that understands the industry. This ensures they know exactly what you’re looking for when you come to them for talent. Outsourcers with a wider scope often can’t provide that specific industry expertise.
- Trust is always a potential issue when outsourcing. It’s crucial that you trust your new team, especially if they’ll handle sensitive data on your behalf. This is where working with the right outsourcing partner becomes very important. Speak with them about the measures they take to ensure the team understands its duties to your company. Simply put, you can’t get the most out of a team that you don’t trust.
- Loss of control is another risk that you may worry about. When your team’s in a different country, you may feel like it’s a struggle to communicate instructions to them. A lack of oversight leads to a loss of control. That could lead to the quality of work slipping.
To mitigate these risks, work with an experienced outsourcer that has a track record in your industry.
Ask plenty of questions and research the outsourcer. The more information you gather, the more secure you’ll feel in your eventual choice.
Work with a Specialist Engineering Outsource Provider Today
As you can see, there are plenty of tasks that engineering outsourcing can help you with. Plus, the benefits you experience can place you ahead of the competition. You can gain access to more talent with lower overheads. That means your projects become more profitable and you can deliver work faster.
The key is that you work with specialists to mitigate the risks associated with outsourcing.
Cybalink can help.
We specialise in working with engineering and construction companies. Call us toll-free on +1300 852 968 or contact us via our website today. We’ll arrange a consultation to discuss your requirements.