The draftingfunction in the dynamic AEC World: what has changed and what can’t
The Architect’s office: the fountainhead of creation and source of agony and ecstasy of its users. This office, however, is on a tertiary level in the food chain, and hence, must undergo change as the world it serves changes.
Over the years, the Drafting function has seen the most change. Initially a separate department, ‘modern’ management with its concepts of team work, participation, accountability and engagement merged the drafters with ‘Project Team’. Within a decade of this event, as CAD entered the AEC world, we saw the emergence of an independent and powerful architectural CAD drafting services unit.
This Outsourcing trend – isn’t it for ‘low end’ work only?
Even ordinary mortals would die for a reason to escape the big O. And architects have a valid point asking the viability of outsourcing in architectural CAD drafting services. After all the creation of a drawing is a consistent exchange of ideas and information between the architect and the drafter. The drafter’s work never boils down to blind following of instructions. An element of design interpretation is always there. In fact, as taught in design school, “each drawing and each detail is a new opportunity to develop the design”.
Fortunately, over the years, the AEC world, aided by a few economic downturns, has found ways to outsource architectural CAD drafting services, without losing value. This is described in ensuing blogs.
All in favor
Here is a quick look at the benefits of outsourcing architectural CAD drafting services:
Cost: The most beaten up reason for all outsourcing and yet, perhaps the very reason of its existence. The cost difference kicks in from 3 aspects:
- Currency difference, when the two parties are from different countries
- Difference in pay scales and cost of living. This could even happen within the same country
- Efficiency of a dedicated operation
Resourcing: Again a popular reason for outsourcing, an architectural CAD drafting services partner gives these resourcing benefits to an AEC firm
- Specialized skills
- Ability to scale up team size at a short notice
- Flexibility to reduce team size without the moral and legal liabilities of laying off your own staff
Specialization: Architectural CAD drafting services is now a specialized industry. Detaching it from the environs of the architect’s firm, allows it to specialize on three important aspects
While this article, intended to be neutral, may look like an evangelizing service of Outsourcing, one will, in the next three pieces, look at the Challenges, Recommendations and a look at the future of outsourcing and architectural CAD drafting services.