Recommended Practices in Outsourcing Architectural CAD Drafting Services

A number of questions were featured, that may occur in the minds of the architects planning to Outsource the first time. This article does not intend to directly answer each question, for the simple reason that many of these are particular to the client and the service. In fact it is recommended that the client addresses these questions when hiring his architectural CAD services partner.

In this article, we look at suggestions on how Outsourcing of these services may be done. In this perspective, we do not look at the benefit of the client or the service provider, but more at successful completion of the project.

The Brief

Popularly known as the foundation of client satisfaction in any creative endeavor, the Brief describes the task to be done, covering these aspects:

Expected outputCommitted inputDeadlineMilestonesWork processPeople responsibleFile Transfer Protocols


Two simple but valuable quotations from an experienced speaker in this industry are:

Queries, when they arise, must be put up. There is no stupid question, except the one you didn't ask
When in doubt, write it out

Design being a dynamic exchange of ideas, needs query, resolution and suggestion. And these need record and documentation. There are no words that can show the true value of written communication in Outsourcing.


One of the challenges of any remote working relationship is a sense of loss of control. The digital age is still new, and we need things to be tangible to trust in them. In this situation, communication plays a key role in bridging the gap between fear and feel. These are the different modes of communication used:

TelephoneVideo ConferenceEmailLive chat, like Skype or, at times, a client's proprietary 'chat-ware'Desktop sharing sessions, like GoToMeeting


A good outsourcing relationship specifies not just the goal, but also the methodology in which the client and the architectural Cad services partner will get there. This ensures a smooth efficient, and, yes, profitable journey for both.

Almost every company has a work process of their own. Most of these processes are organically evolved through hits, misses and project demands. But they become habit, almost second nature to the organization and its workers. The architectural CAD drafting services firm, on the other hand, would, perhaps be used to 4 or 5 processes, having worked with those many types of clients.

To ensure a smooth ride, it is important to marry these processes, and customize a process for the project which works best for both.

Back up

Anything that can go wrong will go wrong Murphy's Law.

And a modern corollary of this law is: "Hope for the best, plan for the worst".

Reputations are built on trust, which come from delivering unfailingly. To make that happen, we must plan for failure, and always create a back-up. This has been discussed with an excellent live example from this very industry in our separate blog in this subject.

Project Management

Another key to success in Outsourcing is to treat the smallest of jobs as a project, with a Project Manager in charge, and responsible for:



Conclusively, a smooth relationship rides on a clear agreement on, in this case:

PriceDeliverablesDeadlinesPayment termsDeviationsExitConflict resolution

Each of these will be separately dealt with in separate blogs or articles.

The AEC Associates is a design support service provider for all disciplines of the architecture, engineering and construction industry. We will assist you in all your drawing, drafting, documentation, CAD/BIM and value added services.

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