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How to be successful with truss design outsourcing

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Truss Design Outsourcing & Remote Truss Designers

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How to be successful with truss design outsourcing

  1. 1. How To Be Successful With Truss DesignHow To Be Successful With Truss Design OutsourcingOutsourcing
  2. 2. In the past, remote design has been looked atIn the past, remote design has been looked at like the black sheep of our industry, a lastlike the black sheep of our industry, a last resort to use in desperation only. Someresort to use in desperation only. Some companies have adapted to it but still otherscompanies have adapted to it but still others have not. Why is this?have not. Why is this? Today, we would like to share a few newToday, we would like to share a few new developments.developments.
  3. 3. There are 3 main reasons for the difference inThere are 3 main reasons for the difference in opinion:opinion: 1.1. After the drop in the building industry inAfter the drop in the building industry in 2007, downsizing companies laid off2007, downsizing companies laid off designers. Other builders closed theirdesigners. Other builders closed their businesses, leaving good designers tobusinesses, leaving good designers to find new careers.find new careers. • Result: A shortage of proficientResult: A shortage of proficient designers.designers.
  4. 4. The many changes include software, codesThe many changes include software, codes and material load bearing capacity values.and material load bearing capacity values. These differences have made it difficult forThese differences have made it difficult for some designers to return to the industry.some designers to return to the industry.
  5. 5. 2.2. Some companies have tried outsourcing,Some companies have tried outsourcing, sometimes with good results and some notsometimes with good results and some not so good. This has left some of them with aso good. This has left some of them with a reluctance to try it again due to being leftreluctance to try it again due to being left high and dry or just wasting thehigh and dry or just wasting the manufacturers time by not being truthful ofmanufacturers time by not being truthful of their capabilities. It’s like drinking spoiledtheir capabilities. It’s like drinking spoiled milk and saying I will never try that again.milk and saying I will never try that again.
  6. 6. And the biggest factor is qualified, trainedAnd the biggest factor is qualified, trained professionals. Component Designers are inprofessionals. Component Designers are in the unique position of being the “middlethe unique position of being the “middle man” between the architect and theman” between the architect and the engineer. It is the component designer’sengineer. It is the component designer’s job to recognize the oversights and correctjob to recognize the oversights and correct them before fabrication.them before fabrication.
  7. 7. 3.3. A component designer is not required toA component designer is not required to have a college degree like the architect andhave a college degree like the architect and engineer. Most , if not all training comesengineer. Most , if not all training comes from the Manufacturer’s expense. So , itfrom the Manufacturer’s expense. So , it depends on what they need at the time ofdepends on what they need at the time of training. How do you qualify yourtraining. How do you qualify your applicants?applicants?
  8. 8. So what is the solution? Can outsourcingSo what is the solution? Can outsourcing work? And if so how does it work? Towork? And if so how does it work? To describe this in detail , I am going to falldescribe this in detail , I am going to fall back on (in my opinion) possibly the bestback on (in my opinion) possibly the best book ever written on how to bebook ever written on how to be successful.Of course, I am talking about thesuccessful.Of course, I am talking about the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” written“7 Habits of Highly Effective People” written by Dr. Steven R. Covey. I am also going toby Dr. Steven R. Covey. I am also going to include references and information from hisinclude references and information from his follow up book “The 8th Habit”.follow up book “The 8th Habit”.
  9. 9. Referral SourceReferral Source Habit # 1 “Be Proactive”Habit # 1 “Be Proactive” Reputation is essential to success, sinceReputation is essential to success, since the manufacturer’s reputation is on the linethe manufacturer’s reputation is on the line every single time a product is delivered. Beevery single time a product is delivered. Be proactive and ensure your design resourceproactive and ensure your design resource is legitimate, much like you would for a newis legitimate, much like you would for a new employee.employee.
  10. 10. TransparencyTransparency Habit # 2 “Begin With The End In Mind”Habit # 2 “Begin With The End In Mind” Working successfully from a remote locationWorking successfully from a remote location requires a commitment on both ends. Thererequires a commitment on both ends. There must be a high level of trust. No one likes amust be a high level of trust. No one likes a late delivery of a “surprise invoice”. If youlate delivery of a “surprise invoice”. If you begin with the end in mind, goals will bebegin with the end in mind, goals will be established in advance.established in advance.
  11. 11. Is your design source a seasoned veteran atIs your design source a seasoned veteran at outsourcing? Or is this their first attempt at it?outsourcing? Or is this their first attempt at it? What is the level of experience available? WhatWhat is the level of experience available? What checks and balances are already in place? Whatchecks and balances are already in place? What are the turn around times and pricing? Do youare the turn around times and pricing? Do you really want to take that chance with yourreally want to take that chance with your workflow? Where did your design outsourceworkflow? Where did your design outsource referral come from? How valid is it? Was itreferral come from? How valid is it? Was it referred by your software provider? What doreferred by your software provider? What do others say about this source? Can there beothers say about this source? Can there be references provided of past experience? Thesereferences provided of past experience? These are a few of the questions that should be askedare a few of the questions that should be asked and answered upfront.and answered upfront.
  12. 12. License & InsuranceLicense & Insurance Habit # 3 “Put First Things First”Habit # 3 “Put First Things First” Would youWould you get into a car with a driver that isget into a car with a driver that is unlicensed and uninsured?unlicensed and uninsured? A driver without aA driver without a license and insurance is totally irresponsible.license and insurance is totally irresponsible. A driver without a license is totallyA driver without a license is totally irresponsible. And drivers without insuranceirresponsible. And drivers without insurance are the reasons why rates go up so often.are the reasons why rates go up so often. These types hurt us all.These types hurt us all.
  13. 13. Architects and Engineers are required toArchitects and Engineers are required to have General Liability Insurance. Engineershave General Liability Insurance. Engineers are required to have Errors & Omissionsare required to have Errors & Omissions Insurance (Professional Liability). Put firstInsurance (Professional Liability). Put first things first and require this from yourthings first and require this from your component design resource.component design resource.
  14. 14. Expectations DefinedExpectations Defined Habit # 4 “Think Win/Win”Habit # 4 “Think Win/Win” Every company is different. Each has it’sEvery company is different. Each has it’s own needs and requirements. Designown needs and requirements. Design sources that are triumphant will ask the rightsources that are triumphant will ask the right questions within the first few minutes of thequestions within the first few minutes of the initial conversation.initial conversation. How thorough was the qualifying interview?How thorough was the qualifying interview? Did the salesman conduct a thoroughDid the salesman conduct a thorough interview, asking relevant questions to yourinterview, asking relevant questions to your needs? Was any setup process initiated toneeds? Was any setup process initiated to put details on paper?put details on paper?
  15. 15. Design CriteriaDesign Criteria Habit # 5 “Seek First To Understand…Then To BeHabit # 5 “Seek First To Understand…Then To Be Understood”Understood” Some companies have designers sitting nextSome companies have designers sitting next to each other, but they are doing thingsto each other, but they are doing things differently. One optimizing splicing whiledifferently. One optimizing splicing while others optimize webs, etc. A reputableothers optimize webs, etc. A reputable company run with integrity will seek tocompany run with integrity will seek to understand and insist on protocolunderstand and insist on protocol establishment.establishment. Does your company have a uniform designDoes your company have a uniform design criteria? If not ,then why not? If you do, iscriteria? If not ,then why not? If you do, is it current? Does everyone use it, or only ait current? Does everyone use it, or only a select few? Doesn’t your company deserveselect few? Doesn’t your company deserve
  16. 16. InteractionInteraction Habit # 6 “Synergize”Habit # 6 “Synergize” Simply put, we all recognize the fact thatSimply put, we all recognize the fact that teamwork is essential to success. Forteamwork is essential to success. For example, if there were no farmers, thereexample, if there were no farmers, there would be no grocery stores with productswould be no grocery stores with products stocked on the shelf. The same is true withstocked on the shelf. The same is true with remote design. Frequent interaction isremote design. Frequent interaction is required much like it would be with an in-required much like it would be with an in- house employee. Regarding truss designhouse employee. Regarding truss design outsourcing, synergy is critical. How doesoutsourcing, synergy is critical. How does everyone interact?everyone interact? Is it email, Skype, or teleconferencing?Is it email, Skype, or teleconferencing?
  17. 17. Performance MeasurementPerformance Measurement Habit # 7 “Sharpen The Saw”Habit # 7 “Sharpen The Saw” Any successful business takes regularAny successful business takes regular inventory, no matter what. Stock is taken andinventory, no matter what. Stock is taken and critiqued. Some stock is purged. Employeescritiqued. Some stock is purged. Employees get a semi-annual or annual review. The sameget a semi-annual or annual review. The same should be true of your outsourcing firm.should be true of your outsourcing firm. Sharpen the saw and heighten theSharpen the saw and heighten the performance requirements.performance requirements. Why should your design source be anyWhy should your design source be any different? How do you measure your designdifferent? How do you measure your design resource’s performance? How does yourresource’s performance? How does your design resource measure its owndesign resource measure its own performance for you? Are you “settling” forperformance for you? Are you “settling” for what you have now due to fear of change, orwhat you have now due to fear of change, or for comfort reasons? Doesn’t your customerfor comfort reasons? Doesn’t your customer
  18. 18. Professional DevelopmentProfessional Development Habit # 8 “Find Your Voice And Inspire Others ToHabit # 8 “Find Your Voice And Inspire Others To Find Theirs”Find Theirs” So many companies out there are justSo many companies out there are just “winging it”, flying by the seat of their pants“winging it”, flying by the seat of their pants and doing the minimum to get by. It justand doing the minimum to get by. It just doesn’t make sense. Companies and peopledoesn’t make sense. Companies and people who do things well are not afraid to sharewho do things well are not afraid to share their secrets.their secrets.
  19. 19. Professional DevelopmentProfessional Development cont.cont. In doing so, we make the world a betterIn doing so, we make the world a better place. We help people reach their fullplace. We help people reach their full potential. This is where development comespotential. This is where development comes in. As I mentioned abovein. As I mentioned above there is nowhere onthere is nowhere on earthearth a truss designer can go to learn how toa truss designer can go to learn how to do his job proactively at his own expense.do his job proactively at his own expense.
  20. 20. Professional DevelopmentProfessional Development cont.cont. The closest we come is theThe closest we come is the SBCA’sSBCA’s TTTTTT (Truss Technician Training). This coarse(Truss Technician Training). This coarse does a great job at truss math and 3d skills.does a great job at truss math and 3d skills. But it leaves out the two most importantBut it leaves out the two most important factors: field experience and softwarefactors: field experience and software knowledge.knowledge. Does your design firm have qualified people?Does your design firm have qualified people? How do you know this to be factual? HowHow do you know this to be factual? How much time and money is spent towardsmuch time and money is spent towards Professional Development? Does yourProfessional Development? Does your source have a proven system and a tracksource have a proven system and a track record to back it up? What specifics arerecord to back it up? What specifics are
  21. 21. By applying Dr. Covey’s habits, we can seeBy applying Dr. Covey’s habits, we can see that each one is particularly relevant tothat each one is particularly relevant to determiningdetermining if your design source is qualifiedif your design source is qualified toto handle your company’s workload. Using thesehandle your company’s workload. Using these habits together, all concerns can be addressedhabits together, all concerns can be addressed in advance. This not only allows a qualityin advance. This not only allows a quality product and consistency, it ensures unity. Afterproduct and consistency, it ensures unity. After all, you worked hard to “weather the storm” ofall, you worked hard to “weather the storm” of the economy and to maintain a happy, loyalthe economy and to maintain a happy, loyal customer base. Shouldn’t your design teamcustomer base. Shouldn’t your design team work symbiotically, no matter what locationwork symbiotically, no matter what location they happen to be in?they happen to be in? Do your customer favor and ask the importantDo your customer favor and ask the important questions above before you try outsourcing.questions above before you try outsourcing. Your company’s reputation and sustainabilityYour company’s reputation and sustainability

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