8 Tips On How To Be Successful In Design Outsourcing

8 Tips On How To Be Successful In Design Outsourcing

So, you always thought that outsourcing your design work wouldn’t be an easy solution. What you are about to read is free knowledge that can help anyone become successful in remote design. Why would we want to do that you ask? Why would we “give away” the secret? Because our company policy is to “Pay It Forward”, and that’s what we intend to do!

We hope that this blog post will open your eyes to how easy and efficient outsourcing can be.  Well, with these easy steps, outsourcing can be a mutually benefit for both parties involved.


For the past seven years, I have owned and operated a remote design firm. Our customers came from vast regions as Florida, New York, Bahamas, Washington, Canada and beyond. The projects that we have designed range from additions to an existing house to a large run of commercial buildings and everything in between. Our most common types of design are roof trusses, wall panels and EWP.

With numerous clients and exposure to many facets of procedures and policies, we have developed a “How-To” manual on outsourcing that we provide our clients. Our biggest challenge is in educating a potential client and its employees on how to be successful utilizing this type of service. During the initial phone interview, we qualify the customer’s needs and identify how we can help their business improve.

We hope that you find this information useful, and that you can open your eyes to the possibilities design outsourcing presents. Or perhaps it will make you more successful with your current remote design resource.

1. Each client must come to terms with a mutual understanding:

  • Confidentiality Agreement is established
  • Design Agreement is put in effect
  • Credit history is reviewed to (Determines if a retainer fee is required)

2. Immediately after we receive the signed Confidentiality Agreement, value is added to the relationship with:

  • Job Submit form (This is a tool your salesman should fill out for each job brought in)
  • Quality Assurance Checklist for Trusses
  • Quality Assurance Checklist for Wall Panels
  • Drawing details the customer may have a need for

3. Clients to send us a few sample jobs with varying difficulty that reflect:

  • Framing condition preferences
  • Layout presentation
  • Labeling requirements
  • Panel lengths, splicing & webbing preferences
  • Various other client specific requirements (Anything that may be unique to the client)

4. Inventories:

  • Lumber Inventory (Lengths, Grades, etc.)
  • Plate/Connector Inventory
  • EWP (Beam/Joist/Rimboard) Inventory
  • Hanger Inventory
  • Other Necessary Inventories (per customer request)

5. Software and shop equipment:

  • Engineering Software Version
  • Border template used for finished product
  • Data file
  • Production equipment (Saws, tables, presses, etc.)

6. Establishing relationships with key personnel regarding:

  • Expectations/Duties, etc.
  • Accounting Procedures/Payment Method(s)
  • In-House Design Contact(s)
  • Overall Design Procedure/Protocol

7. Sample work is provided:

  • PDF files of both Layout & Engineering
  • Truss Design Standards/Criteria
  • Panel Design Standards/Criteria
  • EWP Design Standards/Criteria

8. Design Criteria documentation is completed

  • Truss webbing configurations
  • Blank Truss Design Criteria Sheet (A sample of a completed one is provided for reference)
  • Blank Wall Panel Criteria

From the sample work, we will submit our individually formed design criteria to your general manager or design manager. At this time, we are asking you current design team members to check it for accuracy! Our goal is to replicate the work that was performed in your office. We want to do provide the best design at a great price, while doing this all in a timely manner.

We are constantly changing and improving the design criteria that fit your business to a “T”. Your profit margins will increase dramatically if each of your in-house employees actually follow the outlined criteria. How many companies out there have people sitting next to each other in the office doing things differently?

Our role as a remote design firm is to cater our performance to each client’s needs. We can do as little or as much as our client’s wishes for us to handle. We have designed jobs and sent to them to client. For other customers we have been involved with every aspect of the building process: Conversing with the architect, general contractor, discussed the engineering with MiTek, answered questions from the homeowner…

The end result is to provide accurate, shop efficient drawings for the client each and every time.

We hope that we were able to open your eyes to the possibility of remote design outsourcing. We feel that this is a great option that thinks “outside of the box”.

Naida Gould – Owner

Gould Design, Inc.

2 thoughts on “8 Tips On How To Be Successful In Design Outsourcing

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