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Outsourcing Your Floorplans Abroad

Could you benefit from outsourcing your asbestos survey floorplan drawings?

This guide will help you decide whether you could benefit from outsourcing your asbestos survey floorplan drawings.

In his book, The 4-hour Workweek, Tim Ferriss (also known as the outsourcing king) advises outsourcing as much as possible. He encourages businesses to outsource to countries overseas, like the Philippines. 

Outsourcing creates a scalable business; and reduces the time you have to spend on your business, so you'll have more time to yourself or more time to spend on growth activities, depending on your goals.

First, I'll run through a few common questions about outsourcing; then, I'll get some first-hand knowledge from Maureen Atieno, who runs a specialist outsourcing company based in East Africa.

Why outsource your floorplans?

Right now, you're probably wearing a few hats within your business. It's easy to fall into the trap of doing everything yourself, especially if you run a small company.

Your time may be divided between prospecting, carrying out asbestos surveys, and drawing floorplans. And that's ok for a while, but eventually, you'll become burned out.

Running a business and doing everything yourself doesn't scale. To run a less stressful business, you'll need to start delegating some of your daily tasks.

1) The turnaround is fast (24-hours or less)

When you outsource floorplans, you may be surprised at the turnaround times. It's probably faster than your current system when you factor in your busy schedule and limited time in the office.

Most floorplan drawing companies offer a 24-hour turnaround. If you mark plans as urgent, you'll often get finished floorplans back within two to four hours.

And if you work with the same supplier regularly, they'll build up an asset library, so the speed and quality will improve over time.

2) Lost opportunity cost

Outsourcing frees up your time to work on other things. You can work on your business rather than in it.

Imagine you had an extra hour every day - and used the extra hour to market your business or find new clients. What could you achieve? Wouldn’t you be in a better position than you are now?

3) It can be cost-effective

Your hourly rate is almost certainly higher than the hourly rate you'll pay for outsourcing floorplans to an overseas company. The cost of living means that wages aren't as high in countries like Kenya or the Philippines.

The exchange rate should work in your favour too.

Working with someone in another country on a lower wage might seem strange or unethical. But the wage difference is often down to differences in currency and exchange rate, so it's a matter of perspective.

4) Drawings are often high-quality

Outsourced floorplans will vary in quality, depending on the supplier. But assuming you find the right supplier, the quality of drawings can be very high.

Floorplan designers are often skilled, fast, and familiar with many types of CAD drawing software. That's one of the benefits of working with experts who do the same thing all day long.

What's the process?

Outsourced floorplan companies employ teams of specialist floorplan designers who work from sketch drawings. 

A professional floorplan drawer will convert your floorplan sketches into computer-generated floorplan drawings. The whole process usually takes less than 24-hours.

You’ll receive the finished JPG and PDF files. You’ll receive the CAD source file, too. Handy if you need to make any changes.

What does it cost to outsource floorplans?

If you're a UK based company outsourcing floorplans to an overseas supplier in East Africa, it'll cost around £2 for a simple plan and £4 for a more complex floorplan.

The cost is low by UK standards, but the quality can be excellent.
Outsourced floorplan companies like Protec Designs usually bill you monthly, so it's cost-effective compared to the UK, even with a handful of plans.

Bank transfer fees:

There may also be fees for the international bank transfer (usually around £15-£30 depending on your bank).

How do floorplan designers stay close to your quality and style?

I chatted with Maureen Atieno, who runs Protec Designs, a floorplan outsourcing company based in Kenya, East Africa.

Maureen explained how her floorplan designers retain their clients' quality and style by running through a series of "test runs".

Is your company big enough to outsource floorplans?

Many people associate outsourcing with larger companies. And many large companies indeed outsource floorplans to make efficiencies within their business.

But outsourcing can be a good strategy for smaller companies too. Consider the volume of plans you'll need rather than the size of your company.

Maureen explains that you can unlock value in your business by freeing up your time, regardless of your size:

Want to know more?

Our mission is to help asbestos surveyors like you create high-quality asbestos survey reports in minutes.

And while our asbestos surveying app, Flow Mobile Surveying, makes report writing simple, we know that floorplan drawing can be another bottleneck in your business. 

Perhaps outsourcing your plans to an overseas company like Protec Designscould take your business, profits, and lifestyle to the next level!