The global market has been changing for manufacturers in recent months. The already competitive scene has been made worse by more cautious businesses who are seeking to get their products manufactured as fast as possible.
COVID-19 has driven businesses who normally seek large orders of manufactured products to be wearier of who they choose to work with. With limited materials and shipping being more difficult than ever, getting it right is their top priority.
While this means a much smaller margin for error, it can also be looked at as a business opportunity for manufacturers. If a manufacturing service is able to streamline its production in a way that they can offer fast service with a very low margin of error, businesses will choose them over other companies for their manufacturing needs.
Quality CAD design is the key to improving speed and reducing errors for manufacturers. 2D drawings and 3D models specifically designed for manufacturing can show clearly how a product is supposed to be made, so it comes out perfectly every time.
Why Outsource Product Design?
Many manufacturers are moving away from in-house designers and are switching to outsourcing their CAD design services. Outsourcing provides many advantages over in-house, including:
An in-house specialist is limited to a 40-hour workweek. It’s unlikely a designer would stick around for long if they were asked to work evenings and weekends year-round, but with ever-tightening restrictions on time, this is often necessary.
Most freelance CAD drafting services have flexible time schedules and are willing to work whenever you need them most, including nights and weekends. Many designers work together as a team, so they can continue to offer services whenever they are needed.
One of the most practical reasons for outsourcing designs is that it is often cheaper to do so than to hire an in-house designer. With COVID-19 sending shockwaves through the manufacturing industry, there are sometimes lulls in demand when there is very little work to be done. It makes little sense to keep someone on hand and pay them during these times.
With an outsourced company, you don’t have to pay for work that is not done. If your company is experiencing a downturn in production, you can wait it out without the additional costs of an extra staff member to worry about. Even during good times, keeping costs low is important, which makes outsourcing a great choice.
Design companies typically work in one field to the exclusion of all others. Collectively, their team often has more experience and is more in touch with current trends than a single person could be.
RELATED: 12 Benefits of Outsourcing Your Company’s CAD Services
With steady work between multiple companies, they also have a broader range of experience and generally more hours under their belt.
These are just some of the many reasons why manufacturers are looking to outside design companies to handle their design work for them.
A Closer Look at Design Cycles in Manufacturing
Hiring a CAD drafting service leads to faster output and fewer mistakes, as we mentioned earlier. It’s not just because they may have more people on staff or that they have more experience. Outsourcing helps to shorten design cycles without error. In the long term, that provides much of the speed and accuracy attributed to them.
One method for improving their speed while minimizing errors is through design automation. Many of the tasks required to make 3D models and 2D drawings are repetitive. Design automation allows the designer to automate these tasks, so no man hours are wasted on repeating the same process over and over again. This saves not only time, but money, as you do not have to pay for hours that weren’t worked.
Another potential time and money saver is virtual prototyping. With many manufacturers shut down and shipping delayed severely, freelance prototype design services can make a huge difference in the time it takes to get a product to market.
Quality software can run an analysis of a prototype without ever having to make a physical copy. Designers can check for durability and safety. While these should also be checked with a physical test, analytics can go a long way in closing the gap on a product.
Finally, the insights of the designers themselves can be a useful part in speeding up the process. A designer may be able to use their experience from working with multiple different companies to suggest changes that would make the product easier to manufacture, reduce costs, or make the product more functional.
In the end, these things lead to faster design times and greater savings.
How to Choose the Right CAD Design Company
If you’ve decided to outsource your CAD design, the next step is to find a design company that can fill your needs. The right company can shorten your design process and save you money, while the wrong company may end up delaying your projects.
Finding the right CAD drawing service is simply a matter of due diligence. By thoroughly researching each company, you’ll save time in the long run by eliminating the companies likely to cause more problems than they solve. Here are a few things to look for:
Talk to More than One Company
To find the right company, you should talk to several different design firms before making a decision. Even if all of them offer the same type of work, the same skill levels, and the same pricing, odds are your company will be a better fit for one than the other.
This is also a good way to catch extremes in pricing and to figure out what the average is in the industry. If one of the AutoCAD drawing services charges extraordinarily high or low, you’ll know that this is not the average and you can investigate why their pricing is different.
Look for Experience
If the design company you’re looking at is brand new, with completely unknown team members, it’s a shot in the dark whether they will be able to hold themselves to the standards of your own company.
While you can sometimes save money by choosing new but talented designers to work on your products, if you’re at all pressed for time or unwilling to take a risk, your best bet is to go with experienced companies.
Look for a design company that has been in the business for a few years, with CAD vectorization freelancers on the team who have experience working in manufacturing. Some CAD designers may have years of experience with software, but not necessarily with manufacturing. Their portfolio can tell you clearly if they’ve worked with manufacturing before, or if their experience is in a different area.
Check the Portfolio
It’s not just the type of projects CAD services companies have worked on that you can view in their portfolio. It can also tell you the quality of the work the company has done before, and the complexity of the projects they have undertaken.
Designers typically put their best work in their portfolio, so if the designs shown do not match your expectations, you’ll know you need to move on and find something that fits your standards. On the other hand, if the projects look spectacular, you can move forward confidently knowing you can expect good work for yourself.
While the quality of work is important, there are also other factors that are important to ensure a project goes smoothly. Time management skills, communication, and efficiency are all valuable skills that can make a difference in your experience with the project.
The best way to discover whether a design company excels at these things is to contact a reference and ask them directly. Did the design company keep you updated on the project? Did they communicate well? If a problem came up, were they able to resolve it smoothly?
All of these things are important. If a company has great work but is chronically late with everything, it may not be a good fit if your company depends on timely projects.
Reviews of the company can also tell you if the majority of customers were happy, or if there are consistent problems that need to be addressed. It can also tell you how well the company handles customers who have had a disappointing experience.
A well-established company is unlikely to have purely high ratings, but if they reached out to and communicated with the customers who were unhappy, you know that if you have a problem, it will quickly be addressed as well.
Hiring a general CAD drafting service to help take the workload off of your own team can make a huge difference in manufacturing capabilities. A good company can help make you faster, more efficient, and can even save you money. If you are looking for ways to keep your business competitive, outsourcing your CAD work could be the best solution for you.
Cad Crowd’s Design Services Are at Your Disposal
At Cad Crowd, we have a network of highly professional product designers and CAD services. Regardless of the type of project you have, we can help. Contact us today for a free quote.