We must first emphasize that here we are talking about outsourcing CAD projects, which is significantly easier than outsourcing software development or IT services (earlier articles of mine have explained why).
This article also assumes that selection of CAD providers has been completed with due diligence (the methods are described in an earlier article).
As I mentioned in those prior articles, one of most important ingredients for successful outsourcing is management of ongoing project by you, client. To quote from those articles (here 'outsourcer' means 'provider'):
"This may sound obvious, but probably biggest stumbling block to offshore outsourcing is that after all contracts have been signed, companies abdicate responsibility for projects to provider..."
--- Deepak Khandelwal, McKinsey, Worldwide
TASKS IN OUTSOURCING MANAGEMENT:
(1) You have to assume moral responsibility for project.
A very senior executive should be made champion of CAD project. S/he will need technical and administrative people to help with project, and these people should be informed of their induction explicitly. Let's call this group of people "the task force".
(2) The task force should define objectives of proposed CAD outsourcing.
Subjects to address:
* Which input documents will you be giving provider? (Consider rough, dimensioned sketches, specifications and photographs of included objects, written instructions on what you want in output, libraries of CAD symbols, design rules for elements not in libraries of CAD symbols, drawings or sketches showing how objects in target area interface with immediate environment, sample output documents).
* Which CAD platform do you want work done on?
* Which output documents to you expect?
* What is weekly project schedule?
* At what interval do you want provider to send you work in progress?
* What is procedure for acceptance of product?
* What is your payment schedule?
* What is payment method? (Check, credit card, wire transfer?)
(3) The task force should put above documents into a contract.
The contract should also contain non-disclosure clauses. The provider should sign and return contract.
(4) Put robust communication mechanisms in place.
* Email is fine provided mailbox capacities are large. Without a doubt provider should have a broadband connection, and if your CAD files are large and frequent, so should you.
* Instant messenger programs are good for discussion sessions.
* For frequent large volume transfers, one of you should have an ftp server.