×
INTELLIGENT WORK FORUMS
FOR ENGINEERING PROFESSIONALS

Contact US

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?
4

Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

(OP)
Virtually all of the major engineering firms are now sending at least some piping design and CAD work overseas (namely, India) and many are beginning to do the same for the various engineering disciplines.

I would be curious to hear everyone's experiences, worries and predictions about a growing trend of American engineering firms sending engineering work abroad.

Jafka

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

I work for an outfit that is considering doing the same.  I don't much care for it.  What will occur is that we will end up taking on the stress of the engineering project while someone else puts in the hours.  I was told that the project budget was being set up to have me interface with someone twelve time zones away for two hours per day. If that is my only project I will end up making the same amount per day as the lower paid foreign worker.

Americans seem to sell stress.  My boss profits from selling my ability to deal with stress more than for my engineering skills.  Don't sell expertise: sell stress management. Put a bunch of incompetents on the job and commit to have your lackeys respond and responsible.  Aggressive behavior the american way....

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

From what I've seen on two projects, it's not a good idea.  Language barrier, cultural barrier, experience barrier, time zones, expertise barriers, standards barriers, etc.  I would not do it.  It's nice to be able to "reach out and touch someone."

One company brought in a whole construction outfit from India to build a new facility in a Good Ol' Boy state.  The union people refused to work with them in any way.  They sent the entire team home and hired a US outfit.  A good friend familiar with that situation told me about it.

Years ago an older engineer laughed as blue collar jobs were eliminated.  He laughed heartily claiming engineering jobs would never be outsourced or eliminated.  I pointed a few things out and he stopped laughing and soberly claimed it would never happen.  He's been retired for many years so it didn't happen to him.  It's happening to us.

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

Lets hope good R&D never gets outsourced.  

peace
Fe

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

People who think that they are immune to this are simply naive.  As manufacturing continues to move to the far east, not only design but also other engineering roles such as production engineering, quality and reliability go too.  However, we are seeing an increasing number of support jobs go as well.  In many cases I see engineering roles in the US and Canada dissolve from pure engineering work to "supervising" and "concept development work" while the brunt of the detail design work is done on the other side of the planet.

 

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

I think it is an excellent idea. It exposes Americans to the rest of the world and will make their industries more flexible and profitable.

Of course my position is slightly different to yours, since I am an outsourcee in effect.



 

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies  http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

Personnally I am against it though I cannot deny I have a bias.

There are pros and cons to it.

The only pro I can see is the cost

Cons include the different culture, less familiarity with local codes, the timezones, money going overseas.

The big thing that often gets underestimated in this type of thing is the amount of 'value judgements' that are required in engineering. If you are to have someone decide on what is the acceptable level of risk and safety on a project would you prefer someone who lives in a similar town to yourself or someone who lives in a country where the only road rule that is obeyed is 'the biggest vehicle gets right of way'.

Also, who takes responsibility for this project? It would be much more difficult to get compensation for negligence e.t.c. from a foreign company than from a local one.

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

I was ccordinating a project that a former company outsourced to India about 12 years ago. We gave them the design specs, CAD information so the attributes would work when the files came back, existing CAD files that they had to interface to, etc. The work came back in a few weeks and the managers liked the hours that had been charged. Then we started loading the files back into our system. They had not used the CAD automation tools or hardware libraries we had supplied. Every file had to be updated with the library reference files and the attributes added. Since the attributes drove the drawing titleblock information, all of that had to be redone as well. We spent as much time redoing the work as they did in doing the work in the first place. After this, we started bringing Indian engineers to our facility for 6-9 months to learn how to do it our way and how to use our tools. This was made easier as the engineers worked for the India subsidery of our parent corporation.

 

"Wildfires are dangerous, hard to control, and economically catastrophic."

Ben Loosli

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

Outsourcing Engineering has challenges from what I've seen, and unless you're buying in expertise (or it's part of an offset deal or similar) not just labor, I struggle to see how it pays off in many situations.  However, it seems to work for some folks - or at least they claim it works.

I've also seen a bunch of articles about off shoring/out sourcing of manufacturing & even some tech jobs starting to decline as people start to better appreciate some of the issues.  

Of course, at least some of these folks are getting the engineers from India to come to the US on H1B rather than reemploying locals.

Our management is just trying to take us the off shoring of manufacturing route, cause they apparently love to grab at discredited management fads that aren't very applicable to our size/market.

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

Quote (FeX32):

Lets hope good R&D never gets outsourced.

This has been going on for years in many companies.  It's cheaper to hire Ph.D.'s in Poland, Russia, etc. than to hire US Ph.D.'s.  Two of my former employers have been doing this for years.  Some of it was work I would have enjoyed doing.  But......

Quote (Stoker):

In many cases I see engineering roles in the US and Canada dissolve from pure engineering work to "supervising" and "concept development work" while the brunt of the detail design work is done on the other side of the planet.

Articles have been written about the decline of US generated patents, which I think coincides with this.  We learn by doing and a lot of patents have come from manufacturing companies.  In years past, one employer had a lot of patents.  Now?  Not so much.  Maybe their foreign R&D halls have those now.

It takes years to build on knowledge and much of that is done through manufacturing.  I've heard professors closely tied to the steel industry say they don't think we'll ever get that back because we've lost too much knowledge letting it go offshore.

Quote (KENAT):

or at least they claim it works.

You never admit to making a mistake nor do you say anyone else has made a mistake.  That is the surprising SOP for many people up to nations.  It's called the need to save face and let others save theirs, too.  While allowing others to save face is noble, when the stakes are high, it seems foolish to me.

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

lacajun, you actually pick up on an issue that concerns me.  People talk about the knowledge economy in the UK.  Things like they may not build many ships any more but design them for other nations etc. and make more per hour for doing so.

However, as you point out, much of the experience used to do that well was learnt in the process of actually making them.

Eventually it seems the places currently building them will earn that experience, while those left back in the UK will no longer have actual experience.

I wonder about similar in the US etc. too.

Or something like that.

I'm trying hard not to be protectionist, but probably failing.

As to the saving face issue, my point exactly.

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?


It is a crying shame how we let all of our major manufacturing leave.  People always talk about this being the information age and that is where all the good jobs are going to be but there is a large base that has neither the interest or education to benefit from an economy that marginalizes manufacturing.  Not everyone is going to be a computer programmer or a financial analyst. Working as a mechanic or a welder is not a shameful thing.  Now for slightly cheaper products, we have fewer jobs, a huge loss of expertise, and a gigantic trade deficit.    

How is it or was it in our best interest to let this happen?  How much has it costed us to let cities like Detroit, Flint, Camden, Albany, Pittsburgh, Dayton, Rochester, and Cleveland decay? Have the people without college degrees benefited from the loss of manufacturing and the start of the information age? How have their wages tracked over the last 30 years?  How much do  chronically unemployed people cost society? (crime, unemployment, loss of tax revenue, effects on children) I could imagine you won't have to try too hard to put together a compelling argument for tariffs and the need to abolish NAFTA.

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

Who seals the work??  Who is responsible??

I have heard of many jobs coming "home" in the last few years because of the "horrors" of out sourcing.  Many companies abandoned Mexico years ago.

Just as soon as the Chinese or Indians or whomever want microwaves, toilets, TVs, phones, etc. they will come on par with us.

Look at Japan.  Sure, in the 50s and 60s they were cheap - they just wanted to eat.  NO MORE.  They have a lifestyle comparable to us and are no longer "cheap".

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

Outsourcing is all about using lower cost labor, or expanding productivity without adding people.

If we can't compete on price, or quality, then we ourselves need to look at why.

The pitty is we can't outsource managment to the point it makes the managment we have more efficent, effective, upto date, reasonable, etc.

 

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

XM Radio today reported that Indian companies are hiring US employees to fill call centre requirements. There may be hope for engineers.

HAZOP at www.curryhydrocarbons.ca

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

My employer has a low-cost centre in a part of Europe where salaries are lower.  The staff turnover there is huge.  It's really hard to keep up and make useful relationships with the guys.

Similarly, I collaborate with a big CAE provider as part of my job.  My contact is now based in India and has changed at least three times in the last five years.  Each time my contact changes, I have to start again.
 

- Steve

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

The last company I worked for, a multinational engineering services consultant, were quite heavily involved in what they euphemistically called "High Value Engineering", which was pretty cynical code for cheap labour.

Over the last 5 years, I've heard all the horror stories of piping designers laying out major pipes through walls, totally undersized switchgear, etc etc. Mostly it meant that expats would have to go to the foreign office and sort out the issues. They'd come back raving on about how useless the engineers were and so on.

But these bad experiences were DEVELOPING the foreign office. They learn how to get better, and just as importantly, they learn what "better" actually looks like. And with more and more systems in place designed specially for outsourcing, the management of the work is getting easier and more efficient.

Staff turnover in the foreign office is a problem, but most companies realise that the most important thing is to have good technical lead engineers and designers and they make sure to retain them.

Over the years I've noticed a growth in the use of low cost centre offices. Most of the major projects are now bid with a portion of the job done in a low cost centre, mainly the tedious "sausage-making" parts of the project, e.g. cranking out drawings, MTO's, data sheets, etc

My personal view on this has been to advocate the expanded use of automation and database tools, for instance in electrical engineering, things like Intergraph's Smartplant Electrical. The managers all thought this was a terrific idea, but never wanted to invest in it properly - most just wanted a plum project to come along so they could develop the capability on the client's dime.

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

i liked the engineering reply to (i think it was) Jack Walsh's justifiction for out-sourcing engineering (something like "i can get 10 engineers at $10/hr, why would i want 1 at $100/hr).

their reply was something like "we could get 1 CEO at $100,000/yr, why would we want 1 at $10million/yr" ...

outsourcing Can work, but the CFOs and CEOs see only the dollar bills they're "saving".  the cost of rework or fixing problems rarely comes back to the original engineers.  and then there's the in-service costs (maintenance, warrantee, ...).  Out-sourcing Can work if (IMHO) you spend a tonne of effort to make sure the job is done right; if you build a long term strategic relationship with your partner, and not just shop for the lowest price.

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

rb1957,

I love the CEO comment, made me laugth.

unfortunately the many are being sacrificed for the profit of the few.

The good news is that it is only temporary, in a decade or so their living standard will be much closer to ours and they will be just as expensive as we are.

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

as their's rises,

or as our's falls ?

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

Sort of sounds like the problems we havd had in just out sourcing to a consultant (in the USA).

Also some of the people who have been outsourcing have been loosing business because of there shotty workmanship.

Just goes to show, you have to do your homework when you outsource.

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

Quote (rb1957):

as their's rises,

or as our's falls ?

Excellent point and one I emailed Dr. Walter Williams about.  He never answered or wrote about that.  It must've been a dumb question, in his estimation.

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

Call me PollyAnna, but their's rises. Maybe not in the nice smooth way that some would like, but to take an obvious example, virtually everybody has access to a mobile phone now, around the world. 20 years ago that was unobtainable technology for 95% of the world's population.

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies  http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

As "theirs" rises, so does their standard of living, which is great.

As "theirs" rises, so SHOULD their currency, and with their currency, their labour cost.  The latter is not so true in China, but nobody has the stomach for tarrifs any more.

 

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

I have no issues with other nations raising their standard of living.  I have issues with ours, in the US, declining.  I read an article recently about the loss of real income in the US.  Can't remember where I read it or the details.

I've read reports about inner city problems escalating with the decline of manufacturing jobs.  It stands to reason that people are going to get in trouble more often and probably more egregiously if they have nothing productive to funnel that energy into.  At least, that's the way I think.  Idle hands are the Devil's workshop kinda' thing.

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

In what sense is the standard of living declining? people are eating more, living longer, have more powerful iPods, working less, burning more fossil fuel and live in larger houses than ever before?

Has the standard of living really dropped compared with say twenty years ago, or is it just not improving in ways that YOU (or I) approve of? or is it just that the rate of improvement has dropped? or the rate of rate of improvement has gone negative?

Or do you just mean $?

 

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies  http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

Greg, lacajun may be referencing various studies that show the 'real wealth' of most Americans has been dropping for the last couple of decades or so.

However, this gets a bit too close to 'beer tax analogy' territory for me so I'll pass on saying any more.

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

is it real income if it is mostly recorded electronically? Or is this just cyber income and the real income being cash in hand.
bluegreedy

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

Wealth disparity between rich and poor COUNTRIES has been improving.  However, wealth disparity between rich and poor within Western countries affected by the loss of manufacturing jobs has been growing, and there's evidence that wealth disparity is a better indicator of societal disease and unrest than is average wealth:

For a particular example:

http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/why/evidence/physical-health

If you want to see the same trend on multiple "social health" indicators:

http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/why/evidence

Again, I have no problem with development or international trade, even though it does come with a significant downside for rich societies such as the one I have the priviledge to live in.   I do have a problem with some people not playing by the same economic rules as everyone else (i.e. China monkeying around with its currency).  I also have a problem with the way the benefits and costs of these changes are shared within my own society.   

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

From personal observations, I have seen real income stagnate or decline.  New cars, vacations, quality dental care, even meals out are nowhere near the accessablity now that they were ten years ago.  I don't need statistics to recognize that my wallet is getting thinner every year.
Yes, my standard of life has definitely declined.

"Good to know you got shoes to wear when you find the floor." - Robert Hunter
 

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

Ask Boeing how this outsourcing has worked with the dreamliner 777.  It did not work.

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

GregLocock, I cannot remember the details of the articles.  I read many of them several years ago.  If memory serves, it is take home pay for most Americans and we have less disposable income and real purchasing power than our parents.  When I get time, I'll try to find the article(s).

I don't judge anyone's standard of living but my own.  It's the only one I have a little control over by deciding what, how, when, and if to spend money.  If someone can afford their own personal jet to fly around the globe, more power to them.  If they can afford a Hummer, Caddy, etc., more power to them.  It isn't for me to think anything about or try to regulate their behavior.  I like capitalism and free markets.  We've got thousands of laws in the Federal Register and I dare say we need far fewer and many are probably asinine.

We grew up in poverty but I have cousins who did not, by a large margin.  Money is not the source of happiness but it can make life easier, if handled properly.  Some of my cousins could handle their inheritance and some couldn't.  It's been an interesting lesson to observe through my own family.

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

Recently the customers I work with (US based engineers) have seen their jobs become fixing poorly done India designs.

That said they will get better and that should give us all something to think about.

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

in my opinion China and India are where Japan was in the 1960's
 They are already starting to produce some high quality products instead of just copying.
 Sending work and training their engineers, simply accelerates the time when both countries will do major engineering without any external input.
 They will be going overseas and taking on major projects on their own without any input from the host country. In the same manner that engineers from the UK the USA Russia and Germany did in the last century.
B.E.

The good engineer does not need to memorize every formula; he just needs to know where he can find them when he needs them.  Old professor

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

I am reminded of the psychological/economics experiment in which a person is offered $200 to do some work, if somebody else gets $500 for the same work, or $100 if the other person is only paid $75.

A majority of people choose the second scenario.

Keeping your boot on someone else's neck is apparently a common need, even if it hurts you.

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies  http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

2
If the US unemployment rate in the selected field is low enough, then one can rationalize free transit of labor task to overseas.

 One means of dampening the transfer of labor tasks overseas is to institute a VAT value added tax , on all goods and services. It also improves the collection of revenue to the national treasury, but the on the date of its initiaion one  would see a one-time spike in inflation ,and of course a  reversal of political fortunes.

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

From the UK if you export services outside the EU that is VAT exempt in most cases, the same applies to countries within the EU that charge VAT.

It is however a minefield of forms and documentation and of course you are at the mercy of fluctuations in currency exchange rates.

So no high VAT does not hurt businesses who export.
 

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

dave,

That sounds like a tarrif rather than a VAT. A VAT is simply a sales tax that also applies to services.

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

A tariff  on imports would violate  current  fair trade agreements- but of course the tariff works best if the objective is to reduce imports and inicease domestic production. Maybe it is time to renegotiate the trade agreements- but apparently the only persons that are heard by our representatives are  those that profit from outsourcing.( according to the superme court, free speech = $ contributed to elected representatives, so he who contributes the  most money is he that is heard)

A uniformly applied VAT , to imports as well as domestically produced goods and services,does not violate the fair trade agreements, but does  cause the imported goods + services to contribute to the federal treasury. Current tax model in the US implies foreign produced goods and services contribute ZERO to the US treasury, while doemstically produced goods and service bear the brunt of the cost of running the gov't based on employee contributions to income tax, SS tax, medicare tax ,etc.

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

csd72, no it doesn't.  The seller collects the VAT in the UK and then passes it to govt as I recall.  The point is VAT is only collected on something sold to someone in the UK.  If you sell it to someone outside the UK you, the seller, don't have to pay VAT on it to UK govt.

Likewise, if I send stuff to my family in the UK direct from a US online or catalog or similar VAT has to be paid on it.

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

But how does that penalise those using overseas companies as dave was implying?

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

VAT is paid on some services as well as actual products.

While I'm not sure exactly how it works in the UK...


The basic idea is that if Bob cells widgets made in China in the US, the US govt gets little or no direct revenue from either the manufacture or sale of the widget (though it probably would from the distribution chain).  If the widget had been made in the US the govt would have got tax revenue from the business making the widget, and the employees of the widget company and maybe some other sources I'm missing.

If you implement a sales tax, then whether the widget is made in the US or China, the govt gets some money when it's sold.  

If this revenue is then used to at least partially offset/reduce the tax burden/cost of business of the US widget company, they can reduce their costs, and hence reduce their widget price to me more competitive with the Chinese widget co.

Or at least that's the basic idea as I understand it.

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

so its a subsidy you are talking about rather than a tarrif.

A sales tax or vat can only either be even across the board or as you say would benefit overses competitors rather than locals.

VAT can be claimed back by the intermediate contributors and will only be paid on the value of the final product (in theory).

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

Subsidy, not really.

The point is to somehow get tax revenue from the 'manufacture and sale' of the widget even if the manufacture is done in another country.

So instead of taxing it during the manufacturing stage, you tax it as the selling stage.

Or more likely just adjust the level of taxation in the manufacturing stage.

This helps level the playing field.

As to ajacks reply, perhaps my question was poorly worded.  My query was more along the lines of does having VAT in the UK cause less of the work traditionally done by UK workers to be sent over seas.

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

VAT is refunded on inputs and payable on outputs. Therefore as you don't pay VAT on the overseas work you couldn't claim any VAT back on it, but when you sell your services including the overseas component to a customer they will pay VAT on the lot.

Typically if you export from a VAT company the exporter can claim the VAT back from the country it is exported from.

As such it doesn't really affect outsourcing much either way, at a first order level.

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies  http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

Greg,

My point exactly, all this talk of levelling the playing field using VAT is completely misleading.

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

Greg, you're right that the VAT doesn't affect the insource/outsource decision by affecting the price.  But davefitz's point was that at least a VAT ensures that the outsourced work creates some revenue for the government in the country where the purchase/consumption of the work takes place.  Without a VAT, the buying nation gets nothing out of outsourcing aside from lower prices and longer unemployment lines.
 

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

I am 5 years into my career.  Got a BS in the US and ever since I have worked in the US, Europe, and Asia.  I definitely see first hand engineering outsourcing and have even had a chance to manage an outsourced team of structural engineers and detailers.  This is no joke and if done right, it can be very profitable.  Outsourcing has a tendency to go horribly wrong if it is not proactively managed and cultural issues need to be fully understood and taken into account.  I am not exactly a fan of it since I realize that ultimately my own job might be at risk.  I am not sure how things will be towards the later part of my career but I expect to see outsourcing will be an even bigger deal as we move forward.  Focusing on the negatives with regards to job security of western engineers is a bit of a time drain.  What can we do to stay ahead?  What value can we provide that warrants the higher costs?  If there are qualified engineers that can do what I do for a fraction of the cost then so be it.  I will have to find a way to adapt.

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

I agree with Stoker's comment(near the top)

Look at these scenarios from the manager's perspective.


evil devil's point of view:

"Since production is already done overseas why not move the bulk of the engineering also, so they can work efficiently together in the same facility(same language/time zone/culture blabla)!"

"Yeah, they talk about lack of quality and increased risks and stuff but i think they are just scared to lose their jobs!"

"We just need some 'goones' here to manage all this stuff, I'm sure the one's we are letting stay feel special and 'elected'!"


I don't think it is all that bad though if you are willing to adapt to such changes in a constructive way.

 




 

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

"i liked the engineering reply to (i think it was) Jack Walsh's justifiction for out-sourcing engineering (something like "i can get 10 engineers at $10/hr, why would i want 1 at $100/hr)"

I don't

A valid point like that needs recognition like it or not. Denying such a fact doesn't help the 'engineers case' only makes it worse

 

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

Quote:

"i liked the engineering reply to (i think it was) Jack Walsh's justifiction for out-sourcing engineering (something like "i can get 10 engineers at $10/hr, why would i want 1 at $100/hr)"

This is the attitude of the ignorant and money savers.
It's too bad they don't realize that for the most part (Aus  ect. not included) that engineer at 100/hr is worth 20 of the ones for 10/hr.
 

peace
Fe

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

Do you as an engineer care more about projects located near where you live, or do you care more about projects 2000 miles away?

If it's close to you, would you not want it to work safely, and correctly? If it's 2000 miles away, would you care as much?

I've seen this when I worked in two states at the same time. The closer to home projects seemed to work better.

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

I have been to many of these countries where the $10/hour workers live and I have seen the low value they put on life safety in those cultures.

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

I've seen pictures of foundry workers on flipflops, boss kept ordering, customers kept buying, despite their 'high obligation to quality and moral standards'

Yeah such working conditions are a shame but the market is more than willing to accept so what can you do about it..


  

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

There seems to me three possible solutions to the problem.

1 Provide goods or a service that are high end or location specific that people will pay good money for.
2 Convince the local work force that they would like to work six ten hour days a week for $10 with little or no health care or cover.
3 Convince everyone in the country (or at least enough to make it viable) that they would like to pay $100 for something they can currently buy for $5.

Simples.

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?


You forgot the most obvious solution:

4. Drain ocean so no shipping can take place


 

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

"I have been to many of these countries where the $10/hour workers live and I have seen the low value they put on life safety in those cultures"

Yes the health and safety regs in the USA are pretty appalling. You do realise 10 bucks an hour is twice the US minimum wage, typically?

True story - a friend of mine visits the USA to see some mines. He goes to the locker room and dons his standard Australian safety gear. The foreman asks him to take it off and wear their stuff as his will cause discontent.

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies  http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

We are talking about $10/hour for engineers as opposed tio the $100/hour charged in the US, but I can see how it was easily misunderstood when read out of context.

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

Are we forgetting that in most products the engineering is a small part of the cost. For specility products, it can be consiterable.
And for out sourced products, there is an added cost of quality control.

The safety issues that are spoken of above, do they really apply to engineering? Maybe and maybe not, depending on the final product.

Then again, with the worker issues here in the US, you could get a better product by out sourcing.

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

I've been hearing similar for a while now but vaguely relevant, if you believe it all:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43569240/ns/business-us_business/t/surging-china-costs-forces-some-us-manufacturing-companies-back-home/

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

I also saw that story.  Sounds encouraging until you read further and see that they only increased North American (not just the US) made locks by 5%.  I guess it's a start.

"Good to know you got shoes to wear when you find the floor." - Robert Hunter
 

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

Quote:

"We were very focused on the unit cost ... What really started to dawn on us is it's the system costs. That's a very different approach."

Quote:

"There was always this notion that if you controlled the design and the brand, you could park your production somewhere else," said GE's Campbell. "I'm not sure that's completely true anymore. Because what happens over time is you lose competency."

Where do they get these guys?

 

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

Yeah I knew that. Fads.

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

Of course what it's really about is increasing short term stock price and cashing in...
 

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

Everythings a business model.

"Good to know you got shoes to wear when you find the floor." - Robert Hunter
 

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

Where do they get these guys?

They always want to promote people who don't make mistakes, which does not include engineers. They come from the accounting departments.

There is another trend of changing jobs every 3 to 5 years, so you don't have to fix the problems you create.

RE: Engineering Outsourcing/Workshare Concerns?

Quote:

Everythings a business model.

Especially if you don't care much about the business long-term.

Regards,

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login



News


Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close