Challenges in Outsourcing Architectural CAD Drafting Services


The architect is language is essentially visual. Sketches, drawings, images are the tools used to convey design intent to drafters, consultants, vendors and clients. Today technology allows any of these to be easily sent to any part of the world. Why then does communication get listed as a challenge? Let is look at this from another angle Why does a bit of frustration or irritation creep in one gives instructions to one's drafter over the phone? Maybe this question will help further Why do architects form a high percent of business travelers, second to only sales and marketing, in many countries? Think again, the last time when an architect explained his design. He used a mix of 3 modes of communication

(a) Visual, using lines

(b) Words, using voice or text

(c) Action, using hand gestures and responsive action by the listener, in the form of nods, shakes, eye contact, etc.

The last part, especially, is a hallmark of anyone communicating a design or an idea. So, how does Outsourcing deal with this innate need of communication in architectural CAD drafting services?

Time difference

More often than not, the architect and the service provider are in different time zones. Service providers use this as a selling point "we work when you sleep, thus making your office a round-the0clock studio". How about the times when:

It was the last day and we couldn't open the files sent The layers were wrong and we had to redo a lot of stuff just to print The X Ref command is giving an error and I can't solve it. I'm stuck There are some minor corrections. Now do I have to wait a full day? There is a change that is easy to explain over the phone. Is there anyone I can talk to, or do I have to go through the whole routine of red line-scan-email-describe?


A beginner to Outsourcing of architectural CAD drafting services would feel it takes longer to do a drawing, than when done in-house. No refuting that. Here are typical challenges faced in scheduling:

Response time due to time zones Need to write everything down Need to scan red lined drawings and send them through email Time for number of reviews More quality checks happen at service provider's end The smallest of delays by the client are immediately met by a revised schedule and extended deadline from the service provider


Typical questions in the client's mind about the architectural CAD drafting services provider

What quality of people does that country provide Outsourcing being cost oriented, would not my service provider pick the cheapest resources? Why would the best brains join a monotonous, non-creative job? How do we know that the team promised (and billed for) on my job has not been replaced by cheaper and less qualified resources?


The worry about their drawings remaining confidential is a big concern amongst first time users of outsources architectural CAD drafting services, the prime worries being:

The strictness of copyright and IPR laws designs in the service provider's country The temptation of the service provider to use the designs for a local project The chances of one is work being shared with a competitor The chances of one is name being quoted as an outsourcer The chances of one's drawings being shared proudly as samples of work done

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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