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Help with Indian Drafting Company10/17
Hi, This is my first post as I was advised to ask this question here in hopes someone can help me out.
We are New York millwork company and for about 3 years were using a Canadian company to do our shop drawings.
About three months ago a new guy ( who is no longer with us ) , convinced us to use a new cheaper drafting company that was out of the US but as it turned out they are from India or Pakistan or Dubai. Their website said they were from the US, they have “western” contact names listed but beyond that – and I don’t want to sound racist every-one speaks with a pronounced Indian accent. We even had to get one of our shop guys who speaks a form of Indian dialect to help speak to them one time when we needed to explain a detail.
We started using them and they were cheaper, but OMG I am now in a pinch.
I put up with the spelling mistakes and the weird terminology on the drawings and the obvious Google translation emails – and it worked for a while , until no one else in the office wanted to put up with it and I was left fixing the work myself. But still, I thought the value was ok, until I started to add up all my hours and that started to stink.
Then I couldn’t get replies in real time, and again I just accepted that this is the value tradeoff since they are obviously working off a serious time zone difference. Again, I swallowed that.
Now I have the problem that they have taken our page templates and started using them with other people. We were made aware of this when a Chicago Architecture firm that we have worked with all the time , saw our Coverpage , title block and format being used by another millwork company. They thought we might have been affiliated but upon following up with the Chicago millwork firm – we confirmed we shared the same drafting company.
Guys , I don’t know what to do here . I cant find a real address for these guys, without question we cut them off, and no one calls me back to tell me how many people they have given our work to.
There are obvious copyright infringements but what’s the point if I cant get a hold of them and they are in India or Pakistan or wherever ?
Am I making this out to be a mountain when its really a molehill ? Should I try to pursue this legally or just take my licks and walk away? Is there a point to us trying to get them to stop ? The Chicago Millwork company was sincerely apologetic and they promised to not use the format again, and we don’t want to have an issue with another AWI member as it stands, so they are not a problem.
Is there an Association or something like this that governs situations like this ?
And as for the Canadian company, well the guy who pulled us away from them pretty much shut that door for good a few months ago (long story), but we found a local guy and his son who we work with now.
You stumbled into the classic outsourcing blunder that gave offshore outsourcing such a bad name 10 years ago. Outsourcing is an area of study all to itself. The leading organization in this space is the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP). They have a rigorous process to certify practioners as Certified Outsourcing Professionals (COP). There are about 500 COP’s globally (including me).
Outsourcing in the Woodworking industry has worked very well on the manufacturing side (raised panel doors, drawer boxes, etc.). The service side however is a different scenario all together, and the sourcing process must be much more rigorous to protect you against IP theft and to be sure the service levels meet your requirements.
To your question, unless they are using your designs with other customers, I would let it go other than perhaps sending a strongly worded letter and chalk it up as a learning experience. I think you are headed the right direction by finding a nearby resource to handle your drafting needs (rural sourcing is the common term). In any case you should be sure to execute a NDA to protect your IP rights, and set up SLA’s that you measure regularly to gauge the performance of the supplier.
Well LongEyeWood it sounds to me as though you got what was coming to you. Enjoy. I have spent a lifetime gaining drafting skills, started when drafting machines were the best we had, no AutoCAD back then. I now use AutoCAD and several other applications to design and process millwork. Hire local and pay the price, we don't come cheap but our work is not cheap either. If you do choose to use offshore help I hope your road to bankruptcy is quick and short.
This is a topic I hear quite often and it's not just a language barrier that limits the usefulness of these types of outsources, it also the lack of millwork knowledge. The key is to kind a company that's not just a drafting company, they need to have the millwork knowledge to make the shop drawings usable. This is what makes a company like ours worth the extra money in the long run.
well, I decided to call this a learning lesson and just move on.
We also contacted our original Canadian drafting company , who I didnt realise after doing business with them for 3years , actually had an office here in New York, and we are back on board with them.
Never Never Never again do I allow ourrselves to expose this company to such BS.
LongEyeWood, let me guess, the Canadian drafting company name starts with "Z" ?
If so then stick with them. They are one of the best in North America.