Construction and design documentation form an integral element of any construction project’s design and planning stage. With the clients (facility owners) raising benchmarks with regards to quality, cost efficiency and completion timeframes for such projects, the entire AEC fraternity is seeking ways to meet these requirements, whilst staying profitable. In addition to this, there is a growing client-side demand for employing BIM-based 3D virtual planning in combination with traditional 2D CAD methods for multi-faceted benefits. Accordingly, architectural and building services firms are considering CAD and BIM outsourcing as a suitable practice not only to reduce cost but also increase quality, productivity and boost in-house efficiency.
Whether the project requirements include elementary paper-to-CAD conversions or complex MEP modelling and coordination support assignments, there are numerous benefits that architectural, MEP engineering, contracting, project management and MEP consulting firms can derive from outsourcing their construction design and documentation work. Some of them include:
1. Cost-Effective Access to CAD and BIM Expertise
It is extremely difficult for architectural and MEP firms to set up specialised internal teams proficient in developing BIM-based design and construction drawing sets. Transitioning from 2D CAD to BIM is a long learning curve, particularly for small- and medium-sized practises. For such firms, partnering with a third-party vendor who specialises in outsourced CAD services can speed up turnaround times whilst maintaining quality standards and local design regulations.
2. Ability to Concentrate on Core Function
When firms involved in architectural, building services, general contracting, project management and AEC consulting, outsource their CAD and BIM documentation work, they can conveniently reduce operating costs whilst focussing on their respective fundamental services.
3. Support to Share Project Risk
Having a competent and reputed CAD outsourcing partner allows a business to share the project risk. When you subcontract design and construction drawing assignments to a third party, you trim down the risk involved in training your internal team members and having them execute a non-core function. Furthermore, in the AEC industry wherein timelines and quality standards are critical to success, outsourcing can prove to be a valuable route to a business’ success.
4. Time and Resources to Develop Internal Team
Outsourcing saves the time, effort, and cost involved in setting up CAD teams, including procuring software licenses, configuring high-tech systems and putting together a team of expert technicians. As a result, the firms that outsource efficiently use the same time and effort to develop their in-house team.
5. Leverage Time-Zone Advantage
By choosing to offload CAD and BIM-driven documentation work, including drafting, 3D modelling, 4D scheduling, MEP drafting, MEP modelling, MEP coordination and clash detection, architectural and MEP engineering firms can easily make full use of the difference in time zones. For instance, if a UK-based architectural practise outsources its design and documentation work to an Indian-based CAD company, your assignment will be worked upon whilst you are away from office and delivered when you return the next morning. As a result, you get round-the-clock operations for your business that will increase productivity.
6. Save on Recruitment Overheads
Offloading CAD and other complex BIM-based design documentation services to third-party providers offers a business the ability to remain flexible and quickly adapt to market fluctuations as the cost, time and efforts of recruiting, training and setting up a quality team of technicians are saved.
7. Enhance End Deliverables
When non-core functions are subcontracted to outsourcing providers, the entire delivery life-cycle shortens whilst maintaining quality benchmarks agreed upon. Since your outsourcing partner can deliver high-quality documentation sets faster, your business can boost up input-to-output time cost-effectively. As a result, you maintain the quality and timeliness of your service, thereby increasing the end client’s satisfaction.
8. Trim Operating Costs
Establishing a highly-skilled team of CAD and BIM technicians involves recruitment, employee training, procuring software licenses, besides setting up the hardware and online collaboration infrastructure. When your business chooses CAD and BIM outsourcing as an option, you can cut back on the outlay, time, and efforts required for the same.
9. Provide Competitive Edge
As there is a greater push than ever by all the key stakeholders to avoid budget overruns during all phases of the design and build, outsourced CAD services can certainly prove to be a positive value proposition for architects, MEP (M&E) consulting firms, and general contractors looking for a scalable yet cost-effective alternative to setting up in-house teams. This, in effect, provides a highly competitive edge whilst offering a flexibility to tackle the ups and downs of market cycles.
Kuldeep Bwail is a Director at XS CAD Limited, one of the leading 3D BIM Modeling companies providing outsourced CAD services to architects, engineers, MEP (M&E) consultants and contractors across the UK, US, Australia, Canada, Europe, India and the Middle East.
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