The effective use of outsourced engineering resources is a strategy that many successful companies are learning how to employ and doing it correctly has become a critical competency . Outsourcing allows companies to adjust to variable workloads, infuse their products with new expertise, and accelerate time to market. Unfortunately outsourcing can be very frustrating, and like any core competency, the skills needed to outsource take time and effort for companies to acquire. Here are some simple pointers on how to develop your outsourcing competency with fewer headaches and less time.
When to Outsource
Urgency – You have insufficient manpower to complete all your projects on time – and they all have important business ramifications. This is a time to consider outsourcing.
Temporary Need – If your lack of manpower seems to be ongoing – then hire permanent heads. If instead, the urgency you are feeling is temporary, consider outsourcing to get you through the crunch.
Expertise – If you would like to incorporate different expertise into your products, and don’t possess that competency as part of your core team, consider outsourcing to bring in fresh expertise or an expert only when you need them.
What to Outsource
Non-core activities – You need to keep your team focused on what they do best: your core capabilities. Projects that don’t require your internal expertise are good candidates for outsourcing.
Proof of concept – You would like to explore some novel new concept and don’t want to distract your team, this could be a good project to outsource.
Ancillary products – If you want to develop ancillary products that augment your main product line, this can offer an opportunity to define a well contained project that is good for outsourcing.
How to Outsource
Get multiple bids – You need to find outsourcing partners that match your requirements for expertise, speed, and cost. Get proposals from several contenders and remember that these proposals say a lot about how the project will go. Define the project clearly because if you want good results from your partners, you need to clearly define the scope of the project and the outcomes you are looking for.
Crawl, walk, run – Outsourcing is a challenging skill and you should expect to go through a learning curve. To keep your risks low, start with smaller and shorter projects and then work up to more complex ones.
Look Long Term – Find partners that can serve you long-term.
With over 50 engineers and 350 product development projects under our belt, PADT has tremendous experience and expertise to bring to bear on your problems. Let us show you how “We Make Innovation Work”