What are the advantages of Outsourcing vs. In-House Engineering?

While there is a widespread mindset that outsourcing engineering / production drawings reduces the quality of drawings because the control is removed, the reality is that the advantages of outsourcing far outweigh the disadvantages.  All manufacturing companies would largely agree that production/ engineering drawings are a large overhead cost that rarely get re-cooped and often eat away at the sometimes extremely tight profit margins.  Most manufacturing companies would also agree that there is a large annual profit loss due to high employee turnover as well as the annual employee cost to the employer.  Outsourcing allows manufacturing companies and their project managers to have better control over budgeting and scheduling while giving the manufacturer better overall control of profit loss by being able to reduce the overhead cost per employee.


Manufactured product is the profit center for the manufacturer. Production drawings are the necessary tool in order to create these products.  While manufacturers typically build costs into projects for creating production drawings, it is rare that these production drawings are completed within the budget and more often become profit losses for the project.  Outsourcing production drawings actually gives the manufacturer better control over their budgets and schedules.  By partnering with BEYOND Architectural Interiors (BAI), we are able to provide “Hard Bid” or “Not to exceed”  quotes, that can provide the manufacturer needed peace of mind that  the production drawings required for the project stay within budget.


Scheduling is often another issue when trying to meet project deadlines.  The largest issue that most manufactures face when dealing with schedules, is how to keep new projects moving forward with submittal drawings, while updating and providing drawings for production within the limited work hours available.  This is never seamless and there is almost always a need for something to “give”.  As a result, the demand requires added labor and time to bring schedules back in line, which then creates unwanted costs and budget overruns.  Outsourcing helps to alleviate these stresses because BAI is able provide a start and end date for the drawings.  BAI only schedules what we know we can handle and thusly we don’t tend to get bogged down by having to move things around.  This allows project managers to maintain schedules because they no longer have to make concessions or adjustments based on which project is the priority.  The scheduling now falls on the shoulders of BAI, allowing the project managers to manage overall project schedules vs. day to day project schedules.


Employees are most often the largest overhead expense that a manufacturer has.  If you compound that by the often high turn-over rate within the millwork industry, manufacturers are losing money at greater rates due to annual employee costs.  There are costs in hiring and terminating employees, costs in training new employees as well as the general cost in having an employee.  There is also the added cost and sometime loss of maintaining production staff when there isn’t any work for those employees.  Some manufacturers choose to lay-off and staff up based on the ebb and flow of projects, while others take the profit hits to keep employees in the building over potentially losing them to other companies.  Outsourcing all but eliminates the stresses of the staffing issues.  Partnering with BAI gives the manufacturer the advantage of a work force without the overhead cost.  By having an outside workforce the manufacturers and their project managers are able to tap into the necessary resources they require to be more competitive in their schedules and pricing thereby making it possible to win more projects.  Another large advantage is that manufacturers can run with minimal in house drafters because the brunt of the workload is outsourced.  This frees up the in-house staff to focus primarily on getting drawings into the shop for production, relieving the common bottleneck that comes with doing both initial “submittal” drawings and “For Production” drawings in-house.  The final advantage is staff management.  By partnering with BAI the manufacturer is no longer under the stresses of keeping people employed when the manufacturer sees a downturn in projects.   The manufacturer can further reduce their overhead costs by reducing in-house work forces and relying solely on BAI, thus maximizing profit margins during lean periods.  

 The Bottom Line:

The millwork and construction industries continue to be more and more competitive, while losing more and more qualified and experienced workforces.  The need to constantly re-think the business model is now required.  Outsourcing engineering allows for manufacturer to be more competitive because they are able to better control their losses giving them further control over their bottom lines.

 So Why BAI?

BEYOND architectural interiors has been at the forefront of creating the niche market that is outsourced engineering for the millwork industry.   While there has always been a need, and therefore sources, for engineers outside the manufacturer, there has never been a time where that resource has been more valuable until now.  BAI has been providing outsource engineering for more than a decade and has a full time staff of 8 with a combined 50 years + experience in millwork engineering / production, architecture and construction industries. Combining this valuable knowledge base under one roof gives us something that very few other offices can provide.  We have insight into all facets of a construction project which allows us to be able to provide production drawings that take into account all aspects of design, production, installation and structure.  We have been integral in providing “value engineering” to projects as well as trade experience that decreases production and installation time thus making projects more competitive, on schedule and on budget.   Our team is known for on-time project turn around as well as competitive fees that keep projects on budget. We can provide initial submittal drawings as well as seeing a project all the way thru from initial submittals to production.