Indovance Predicts Global Growth in CAD Outsourcing7 May, 2016 By: Cyrena Respini-Irwin
Sandesh Joshi believes that augmenting local teams with overseas design and engineering assistance can help businesses reach their goals — without threatening jobs.
Sandesh Joshi, president and CEO of Indovance, is a strong advocate of outsourcing CAD and drafting work. That’s no surprise, given that these are the services his company provides. But Indovance’s growth indicates that many others are fans of outsourcing as well: the company’s 2015 revenue was up 50% over 2014, and that rate is expected to hold steady or increase in 2016.
According to Joshi, the popularity of CAD outsourcing is due in part to the 2008 recession, which reshaped the surviving companies to be much leaner than they had been in rosier times. “It forced businesses to rethink how to do business,” he explained. “The marketplace has changed — everybody wants to outsource.”
Indovance, which provides architectural design, mechanical engineering, and civil engineering services, has its headquarters in North Carolina, and its design and drafting office in Pune, India. The outsourcing provider has seen consistent growth for the past five years, and unless any unexpected changes to the political and economic climate arise, Joshi expects that to continue. “The growth is very strong and clear,” he said. “The business models have changed forever, and outsourcing is definitely here to stay.”
Not a Replacement, but an Augment
To many people in the United States, “outsourcing” is a dirty word — usually because they lost their livelihoods when employers switched to a cheaper labor source in another country. Joshi stresses, however, that Indovance services don’t replace existing workers. “Rarely have I seen or worked with companies that have laid off people,” he reported. “[Outsourcing is] a complementary fit to the design and drafting team.”
Some Indovance customers seek outside help to tackle a “to-do” list of tasks that are critical from a business perspective, but always get pushed to the back burner when other projects take priority. By handing off those nagging concerns, “internal team members can focus on more customer-facing activities,” Joshi noted. “Their time is better spent if they can do work on the front end.”
Other clients need to scale up their work force when they take on larger-than-usual projects; by using outsourced help, they can avoid cycles of hiring and layoffs, thereby reducing HR headaches and preserving team unity and morale. “Their in-house team almost always stays intact,” said Joshi.
A Long-Term Relationship
Although Indovance claims that its design and drafting services typically save its clients 40–50% percent compared to traditional in-house hires, Joshi stresses that cost savings alone do not make a successful outsourcing experience. Company leaders who base staffing decisions only on dollars per hour may ask, “I can hire somebody right out of school [for that amount], so why should I work with you?” said Joshi. However, Indovance employees typically have years of relevant experience in addition to a bachelor’s degree in engineering or architecture, he noted — so that question compares apples to oranges.
“[Potential customers] need to look at Indovance — at CAD outsourcing in general — as a strategic decision,” he explained. “It’s not just about sending something by e-mail like a black box and expecting it to be ready the next morning. … It is a partnership; it is over the longer term where the real benefits are.”
Unless the outsourcing firm can truly add value as a business solution, the relationship won’t work in the long term, Joshi believes. Customers need to take into account the factors that affect costs indirectly, such as quality of work, having a professional management team in place, and turnaround time. “Often outsourcing is linked to cost savings, but that is rarely the driving factor of why [our customers] work with us,” he noted
The lack of qualified candidates in the local area is one such driving factor, said Joshi, and increasingly common with the migration to 3D. Some clients need assistance during their transition from 2D to 3D CAD, or simply can’t hire enough people to work on their new software once it’s implemented. “Companies all across the U.S. simply cannot find the people they want to bring on board,” he noted.
Finding the Right Fit
Although Indovance’s team of architects, civil engineers, structural engineers, and mechanical engineers can take on a wide variety of projects, outsourcing isn’t the right answer in every case. For example, “there are tasks that only the local team can do — such as meeting with clients face-to-face — and those aren’t good candidates for us to work on,” Joshi pointed out.
To help both sides determine whether outsourcing is an appropriate choice, Indovance invites new customers to participate in a complimentary trial of its services. That way, Joshi explained, clients can get a feel for how the process works, and the Indovance team can learn about project details such as the client’s drafting standards.
In response to those companies that are interested in outsourcing, but fearful of security threats, Joshi explained that Indovance takes very seriously: “We have a track record of 13 years and have never had a problem whatsoever.” What is possibly more reassuring to clients than secured offices and computers, however, is accountability. “We are a U.S.-based company, and are bound by the same laws as our clients in the U.S,” confirmed Joshi.
Indovance has plans to expand its sales force in the U.S., to support the rapid growth that Joshi expects to continue going forward. “[Outsourcing is] one piece of the puzzle, an important piece of the puzzle … it is a great tool in this balancing act of delivering on-time and quality work.”