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In the News: Outsourcing CAD engineering

Over the past year, few industries have witnessed demand skyrocket like materialParts handling and logistics. The pandemic forced a shift in shopping habits and challenged an already thriving industry into satisfying the sudden boom in demand from online shopping and home delivery. Amazon alone hired more than 100,000 new workers in 2020 to beef up its operations. The typical ebb and flow quickly turned into flow and even more flow.

Companies that design and service the backbone of these operations - namely warehousing and distribution centers - struggled with the decision on whether to hire more CAD engineers or if it was finally time to outsource. For some, the option to contract out has proven to deliver increased savings and flexibility, while ensuring their workforce is made up of cutting-edge designers who are easy to train and manage.

“We are slammed,” explains Chris Perry, engineering manager for Bastian Solutions’ conveyor division. Bastian Solutions, a Toyota Advanced Logistics company specializes in providing some of the most complex material handling services throughout the world.

“We’ve got an engineering team that’s often working at 110% capacity,” Perry adds. “So, my challenge was to figure out what to do when two huge projects get thrown on top of that. We just felt that outsourcing the CAD modelling and drafting would give us greater flexibility and take the pressure off our internal team.”

Although the material handling and logistics industry was at the forefront of the inhouse versus outsourcing decisions in 2020, a number of manufacturing and engineering operations have been wrestling with this conundrum for years.


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