Engineering services are now in demand more than ever, especially in the fields of structural engineering, civil design engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and in the fields of architectural services. The challenge of this, though, is that good engineers can be difficult to find or their asking price can be a bit high.
And, obviously, salary isn’t just the main consideration. There’s also the need to provide office space for the potential engineering professionals that you are looking to hire full-time, and to furnish that space, not to mention the benefits that you need to throw into the mix to sweeten the pot. After all, not every professional, especially skilled and experienced engineers, will be scrambling to work for your company if you don’t offer a good employment package.
Not everything is lost, however; in this day and age, you can turn to outsource engineering services. And even if your company is relatively small or medium-sized, no need to worry as outsourcing engineering services isn’t for large organizations only. In fact, a lot of smaller businesses nowadays have outsourced their engineering services and saved themselves money while focusing their energies into growing the business itself internally.
This article tackles the advantages and disadvantages of engineering outsourcing, so you can see if it’s right for your business.
Outsourcing versus Offshoring
When a corporation decides to outsource employees, it is hiring outside staff to handle jobs instead of hiring in-house. A lot of tasks can be outsourced including IT support, sales support, customer service, manufacturing, financial management, and yes—engineering.
A lot of times, the terms outsourcing and offshoring are used interchangeably, but they are actually quite different from one other. We’ve already touched briefly on the fact that outsourcing involves contracting outside providers for functions that are typically handled by in-house staff. Offshoring, on the other hand, involves moving different internal operations to other countries, so they can be performed at reduced costs.
Engineering outsourcing doesn’t fit every company, but many businesses can potentially benefit from outsourcing. There are many activities that are not part of a company’s core business, which doesn’t necessarily have to be carried out in your company.
Why Consider Engineering Outsourcing?
Here are some of the most important reasons to outsource engineers.
Scale up Rapidly
Looking to expand your business, but it’s too costly to pay for additional staff and resources? Not only that, but new employees will also mean new offices, additional salaries, new machines such as desktops or laptops and even office cellphones, as well as benefits.
So why outsource engineers? When you decide on engineering outsourcing, however, you won’t need to shell out much money before you scale up your operations, because the outsourcing vendor will usually cover most of the overhead costs, offering a much lower rate.
Reduce Operational Costs
It’s hard to keep up with operational costs while running an organization, that’s a given. But with outsourcing, you will be able to save a lot of money. Money better used to expand your business in other ways.
Get Access to Skilled Experts—Affordably
Every organization wants to hire only the best people, especially those with the skills and experience to match, but a lot of companies find themselves unable to match the asking price. In some outsourcing locations, professionals with those skills that you are looking for don’t command as much in terms of salary. The solution? Outsourcing these operations to gain access to the professional skills you would not be able to afford otherwise?
The Pros of Engineering Outsourcing
You Get the Best Engineering Professionals
So how can outsourcing engineers help your business? If the country where you are tapping your engineers is known to produce some of the engineering talents in the world, then you know that you’ve made a good decision. Not only that, engineering outsourcing gives you access to the best tools that are oftentimes included in the package, so you don’t need to invest, thereby saving your company more money.
You Get a Motivated Engineering Team
Motivating an outsourced should always come from the vendor’s side and is the outsourcing company’s responsibility. This is a guarantee that you will get a motivated engineering team working for your company. More often than not, outsourcing providers offer various advanced professional development programs to their engineering employees to create motivation.
You Can Focus on Your Core Business and Reduce Your Operational Costs
It gets more challenging when you have too many staff to manage; as a result, you may lose sight of your core organizational skills. Outsourcing allows you to focus more on the relevant issues, freeing you up to channel your energies into growing the business. Allow the outsourcing company to handle the rest for you, in this case, your engineering needs. Also, when you outsource, you slash the cost of hiring staff and spending money on their infrastructure and payroll, etc. Some service providers can also provide you with fixed costs that will help your business save even more money.
The Cons of Engineering Outsourcing
Cultural Differences are a Challenge
At the risk of stating the obvious here: when you outsource, you are going to work with people from other countries—there’s just no getting around that. Because of this, they will, most probably, have a workplace culture and ideals that are different from yours or your in-house employees. This could lead to some conflicts or misunderstandings, so it’s always a great idea to acclimatize your outsourced employees with your organizational culture at the outset to make sure there won’t be any issues.
There’s Reduced Day-To-Day Control
When you outsource, the professionals you outsource are usually not under your direct control. As a result, you don’t have as much influence over them as you would if they were working in your office. To avoid this, ensure that you are working with an experienced outsourcing provider that you can trust.
You Might be Locked Into a Contract
Some outsourcing companies require clients to sign long-term contracts with them. Others require clients to spend a fixed amount of money to use their services. Make no mistake: these outsourcing companies are aware that they are saving you a ton of money in the long run. So before committing to anyone or any company, ensure that you choose an outsourcing services firm that won’t tie you to a disadvantageous long-term contract.
The Best Countries for Engineering Outsourcing
In most cases, countries that have a low cost of living are the top engineering destinations, to take advantage of the reduced cost of workers. There are ranges of countries in Eastern Europe and Asia that offer highly talented and motivated engineering specialists for outsourcing. In Eastern Europe, for instance, economies offer lower upfront costs than in more developed economies, as well as plenty of today’s in-demand skills, a heritage of the education priorities from old communist times.
In Asia, on the other hand, there are a lot of technical-proficient experts that are waiting to be tapped for outsourced work. There are a lot of good schools and universities in Asia that produce countless of industry-ready graduates every year. In fact, Asia is producing some of the top engineering minds in the world.
The following are the three most popular countries for engineering outsourcing.
The Philippines is one of the best countries for engineering outsourcing. The outsourcing sector makes up about 8% of the GDP of the Philippines. So it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that more and more companies are choosing to outsource from the Philippines.
Filipinos adhere to an excellent work culture, which can be traced back to their history. Majority of Filipinos are Catholics, and they are raised to believe in hard work, integrity, and honesty.
Engineering jobs in the Philippines are, like in many countries, considered prestigious, often at par with doctors and lawyer and accountants—in fact, many students aspire to become engineers—which is why there are a lot of universities across the country that strive to produce some of the best and world-class engineering graduates.
India is currently the most popular country for outsourcing and has one of the fastest-developing infrastructures, with a yearly growth rate of 25 to 30%. The country also has one of the fastest internet connections in the world, which means that you won’t experience delays in communication or hitches. The Indian government has also invested a lot in technology and infrastructure, making things better for those who are willing to handle outsourced jobs.
India has a substantial pool of experienced engineers that can provide a wide array of engineering services.
Malaysia not only produces skilled IT professionals and world-class accountants and bookkeepers but also skilled and experienced engineers, mostly from the nation’s capital Kuala Lumpur, as well as Selangor and Johor.
The Most Commonly Outsourced Engineering Roles
Engineering is one of the biggest sectors for outsourcing globally. The most commonly outsourced engineering roles include structural engineers, civil design engineers, and architectural drafters.
Let’s take a deep dive into these most commonly outsourced engineering roles:
What exactly do structural engineers do? Structural engineering is a branch of civil engineering, and as such, a great many of what structural engineers do include designing structures such as buildings, bridges, tunnels, etc. The majority of the work structural engineers work do primarily involve working as consultants to architects or design-build contractors.
Why consider outsourcing structural engineers? What should you expect from an outsourced engineering services provider? A good structural-engineering outsourcing provider, ideally, should have a good knowledge of engineering standards and, more importantly, should have well-experienced engineers at their disposal that can take on detailed and demanding structural-design projects.
Civil Design Engineers
Civil engineers, on the other hand, conceive, design, build, supervise, operate, construct, and maintain infrastructure projects and systems in the public and private sector, including roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, and systems for water supply and sewage treatment.
There are many benefits to outsourcing civil design engineers. Some of these benefits include faster turnaround of construction engineering projects, having a team of skilled and qualified civil engineers who have complete knowledge of regulations and standards worldwide, and ready access to a wide range of professional but cost-effective offshore civil-engineering services, among many others.
There are numerous advantages of outsourcing engineering functions as we already outlined above, but there are also several advantages of hiring offshore architectural drafters as well. Today’s drafters use software to convert the designs of architects and engineers into technical drawings and plans (as opposed to many years ago when this used to be done freehand). Workers specialize in architectural, civil, electrical, or mechanical drafting and use technical drawings to help design everything from microchips to skyscrapers.
How to Select a Good Engineering Outsourcing Partner
There are several things to consider in selecting an engineering outsourcing partner. Obviously, one of the most important aspects of outsourcing is choosing the right partner. The partner you choose can either help you grow your business or cause you to lose money and waste your time—and nobody wants that. So take your time, do your research, and think hard before selecting the right provider. Here are some tips to consider when choosing the right engineering outsourcing partner.
Determine How Much You Are Willing to Pay
Pricing, as always, is a touchy factor—and this is more so when outsourcing. Finding the right price is key—not too costly for the business owner, but one that the other party will find profitable for them, which they will readily accept. Also, try to keep in mind that the companies who ask for the lowest price are not necessarily the best, so try to strike a balance between cost and quality. In this case, it is best to define your initial budget at the outset, and then search for a provider that falls between that range that you set.
Look for an Experienced Provider
Always, always look for an experienced outsourcing partner. This cannot be stressed enough. Before contacting a partner, be sure to do some research and find out their previous work experience. You can also learn a lot during your meeting or interview with them. There are a lot of outsourcing partners out there that are experienced in engineering, and you should not settle for less. Selecting an experienced engineering outsourcing partner is one of the most important decisions that you will make for your company, so do it right the first time.
Explain Clearly What You Want
It is important that you communicate well to your outsourcing partner what your expectations are. Explain to them at the outset what you need them to do and how it should be done. Define and outline specific goals, schedules, and roles to your outsourcing partner.
Look for Excellent Communication
Good communication is absolutely a must if you want your engineering outsourcing to be a success. A good outsourcing company must be efficient at communicating and keeping you constantly updated about progress and challenges. They must also be excellent at meeting deadlines.
How to Get Started with Engineering Outsourcing
One of the best ways to start an engineering outsourcing project is to look at your current staff and try to determine what additional role(s) would deliver the greatest benefits. Make a list of skills and roles that will help your business the most, and then you can begin looking for the best providers that can source those skills for you.
Ideally, you should also:
- Set priorities for the roles you want to outsource
- Outline a detailed schedule for when and how you want to outsource these roles
- Calculate the money you save by outsourcing
- Calculate the time you save by outsourcing
- Start interviewing engineering outsourcing providers to fill the roles you have selected
The Top Advantages that Yempo Provides
Yempo—“Your Employees Offshore”—is a Western-owned outsourcing company, providing flexible and low-cost staffing solutions to organizations around the world. As such, we are confident that we can help you face the challenges of engineering outsourcing by providing you with the best engineering outsourcing staff for your business.
Flexible staffing solutions. Whether you are looking for full-time or part-time staff or temporary or permanent solutions, we have your back.
Low-cost, high-caliber staff selection. We source the most qualified staff for your company, at a fraction of the normal costs.
Monthly billing in your currency. Our simple billing system is hassle-free, and there is no need to exchange currencies.
We take time to understand your requirements, source staff with the right skills, and present them to you for you to interview. If you decide to proceed working with us, we guarantee that your staff will work under your direction in terms of workload; the good thing is, we manage all the day-to-day care, payroll, government compliance, etc. We at Yempo will essentially host your own staff and provide them with the best possible employee experience to ensure loyalty and commitment to your business.
Our staff work in the time zone required by your business, and we bill you in your currency. We make sure to only hire staff who speak fluent English and have experience and are comfortable working with Western colleagues and clients to ensure an understanding of Western business etiquette and work practices.s etiquette and work practices.