Published on July 10, 2016
1. Things to Consider when outsourcing your designs June 16, 2016
2. • What if your vendor doesn’t have Errors and Omissions Insurance and you are sued? • What protections are in place to proactively prevent and/or respond to schedule/scope/cost over-runs? • How are files stored and revisions maintained? What happens if the vendor becomes unavailable? How do you get your IP back? • What will you do if your remote vendor goes silent on you? Do you know where to get your files? Can you afford legal action? What If Scenarios
3. • If you don’t have a qualified project manager, who will be keeping track of project progress, risk mitigations, surprises, over-runs, etc and do so proactively? • What will happen to your life cycle costs if the vendor has no design guidelines and/or coding standards? • What recourse do you have if your vendor lies to you about status or deliverables? • What measures of accountability does the vendor have? • What levels of quality controls does the vendor have? • What efficiencies are in place with the vendor so as not waste your money? What If Scenarios (cont)
4. • How is the quality of the work products checked and reviewed? • What frequency are the work products as they are being developed reviewed and approved? • How does the vendor make sure that there is strong correlation between the requirements and specifications and the deliverables? • How is your IP protected? Does your vendor use a secure vault with password protection, user rights and 256 bit encryption etc? Things to consider
5. • What is the experience level of the person quoting the work? • What is the experience level of the firm within your industry (especially important in highly regulated industries)? • Is this the vendors first time? Is this your first time and if so could you be being taken advantage of? • Does the vendor have a local reputation to maintain? If not what risk is there to their reputation? • Beware of low bidders. This is a matter of integrity, honesty and character. If their bid is significantly low and you can’t say you know, like and trust the vendor yet, then you are risking disaster on your project. Things to consider (cont)
6. • Does the vendor have a change order process? • Will your vendor do a power budget? • Does you vendor make sure you are safe from early obsolescence? • How many years design experience does the engineer(s) have for the project? • Do the engineers have advanced degrees? Patents? • Does the vendor have quality controls like a sales process, quoting process, material procurement fees, contracts to cover the relationship, legal council to protect all parties? Things to consider (cont)
7. • Does the vendor charge you one rate for all services, including lower skilled non-engineering support services like PCB CAD, Testing, Technician. • Does the vendor have a quality system with SOP’s, WI’s and controlled forms? • How does the vendor report their time? Do they give you a fully detailed report on the work with trace-ability back to specific tasks called out in the quote? • How does the vendor invoice you and is the information traceable back to the exact work completed and is the trace made available to you in real time? Things to consider (cont)
8. • Accountability. We are fully insured from errors and omissions. Files are all backed up and available on a secure vault. Our team is managed with accountability measures in place to insure high standards of excellence. We will always finish the work per contract and never ‘vanish’. We’ll not charge you for switching to another engineer if one becomes ill or unavailable. We will NEVER under bid. Estimates are taken very seriously since we know you set your budget against it. We use software tools to manage projects and provide you with proactive indicators. • Quality Control Systems. We use standardized processes for our sales, engineering and administrative units. This creates clarity and efficiencies. We use design procedures, design reviews, traceability to requirements/specifications, and an array of good practices. These are not available from an independent due to the need for administrative and quality control staff to create, monitor, update and improve these. • Measures of Efficiency & Life Cycle Cost Savings. An independent charges one rate for all services. We use low rates for support services like technician and PCB Layout work. Our designs our highly module and therefore have lower lifecycle costs. A consultant could stop consulting and take on full employment so he becomes no longer available. This is never true with a design firm. We will always be here. We also create our own IP which we can sell to you at a significant discount to starting from scratch. • Intellectual Property Protections. We use highly secure software called ‘Secure Drawer’. It’s an expensive and best in class secure file transfer, storage, revision, and access level controlled system. Documents for our customers are stored in ONE PLACE on the Secure Drawer system so that multiple copies are not created. We shred all paper copies that might be created to protect your IP from dissemination. What Sets Us Apart
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