Reshaping an Industry: Outsourcing for Architecture and Design

Architecture & design evolve with globalization & tech, posing cost & challenges for trend adoption. Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) gains traction. Learn BPO’s role in these sectors, functions to outsource, & benefits for back-office tasks in this insightful article.
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The architecture and design sector has significantly transformed in recent years due to globalization and technological advancements. However, keeping up with the latest trends can be costly and challenging.

As these factors reshape the industry, business process outsourcing (BPO) becomes more popular. If you are curious about BPO’s role in the architecture and design industry, this article is for you. 

This article explores the different architecture and design functions you can outsource and their impact on your business. It also discusses back-office tasks you can delegate to kickstart your BPO journey.

Architecture and Design Functions You Can Outsource

Architecture and Design Functions You Can Outsource

Before we discuss the different architecture and design tasks you can outsource, we must answer the question: What is BPO? In this industry, the practice involves delegating standard functions to an external company that employs architects, designers, and specialists. 

The practice offers myriad benefits, which we will discuss in another section. Thus, it is becoming increasingly popular among businesses of all industries and sizes worldwide. 

Grandview Research states that the global BPO market reached $280.64 billion in 2023. It also predicts that the sector will expand at a 9.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) by 2030.

Below are a few functions you can outsource to a BPO provider as an architecture and design firm:

Architectural Drafting

Creating detailed drawings of building components and other structures can be daunting, but it plays a vital role in architectural design. The task involves manually drafting floor plans, elevations, sections, foundations, walls, roofs, and stairs.

This function requires a deep comprehension of building construction and design for accurate, complete, and easy-to-understand illustrations. Partnering with a provider with a proven track record of delivering quality drafting services reduces the risk of project delays and cost overruns.

3D Modeling and Rendering

Outsourcing teams are well-versed in cutting-edge 3D rendering software, including Maya, SketchUp, and Blender. They leverage these tools to bring your vision to life and communicate design ideas with clients.

Here are some 3D rendering and modeling tasks BPO teams can help you with:

  • Creating photorealistic construction renderings
  • Developing animations and flythroughs
  • Producing virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) experiences
  • Generating accurate and efficient construction drawings
  • Analyzing building performances

Building Information Modeling (BIM)

BPO providers have BIM specialists ready to work on complex projects for your architecture and design company. They utilize their skills and computer-aided design (CAD) software to deliver exceptional building data management and model creation services. 

Third-party BIM teams have the industry knowledge to provide additional information about buildings that go beyond traditional CAD models. Such data includes:

  • The types and quantities of construction materials
  • The precise measurements and dimensions of the building and its components
  • The spatial relationships between different building components
  • The physical properties of the building, such as weight, thermal conductivity, and acoustic performance
  • The costs of constructing and maintaining the structure

Construction Documentation

This process is time-consuming and complex because it involves producing drawings and specifications for a development project. BPO positively impacts small businesses, such as architecture businesses, allowing them to accomplish this tedious and intricate task on time and within budget. 

This function typically accompanies BIM, so firms often outsource them together. Doing so helps you create accurate, complete, and coordinated construction documentation, including:

  • Architectural drawings
  • Structural drawings
  • Mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) drawings
  • Building specifications
  • Construction schedules and
  • 3D models

Project Management

From resource allocation to structural planning and design, architectural project management can be intimidating. Outsourcing this role shares the workload with remote architects and engineers so you or your internal team are not overwhelmed. They can cover the following tasks:

  • Project scope and objectives setting
  • Project planning and scheduling
  • Budget management
  • Stakeholder communication
  • Team and discipline coordination
  • Progress monitoring
  • Risk mitigation
  • Compliance and requirement verification

Additionally, BPO teams are proficient in various project management methodologies, such as waterfall, agile, and hybrid. Their deep understanding of these frameworks allows them to find the best system for your projects.

Four Primary BPO Benefits for Architecture and Design Firms

Four Primary BPO Benefits for Architecture and Design Firms

Now that you know what BPO is used for, it is time to dive into its benefits. Outsourcing is mainly known to help increase cost savings, improve efficiency, and enhance scalability. These features free businesses’ internal resources for core competencies, such as innovation.

The following section discusses these BPO advantages and how they can help your architectural firm.

Increased Cost Savings Through Reduced Overhead

Outsourcing architectural and design tasks is a good investment. Hiring BPO services is typically less expensive than managing an in-house team due to several factors, including:

  • Lower labor costs. According to the job platform Indeed, the average annual salary of design architects in the U.S. is around $108,000. Those with certifications get about 54% more. Outsourcing to countries with lower living expenses can cut 70% of labor costs. For example, architects in the Philippines earn $5,000 annually, according to Payscale.
  • Reduced hiring costs. The cost per hire can be expensive, considering job postings, screening initiatives, and training. When you outsource architecture and design services, you eliminate the need for recruitment. BPO companies typically handle all aspects of this function, from interviews to onboarding.
  • Eliminated operating costs. Outsourcing involves virtual assistants. Remote work helps you save on rent, which can be expensive depending on your headquarters’ location. It also reduces the need to invest in and maintain utilities such as sewage, water, electricity, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.

Improved Productivity Through Added Niche Talent

BPO gives you better access to qualified architecture and design specialists, letting you fill talent gaps at a lower cost. Outsourcing providers have a pool of experts with the necessary educational and professional backgrounds to deliver architectural and design services.

These architects train to improve their technical skills, such as drafting, modeling, rendering, and construction documentation. They also learn to navigate various software platforms and file formats typically encountered in the industry.

In addition, BPO teams train to gain a solid understanding of the different building codes U.S. architectural firms comply with. These regulations cover fire safety, energy efficiency, plumbing systems, and other utilities. Here are some of the codes virtual architects study:

  • International Building Code (IBC)
  • International Residential Code (IRC)
  • National Electrical Code (NEC)
  • International Plumbing Code (IPC)
  • International Mechanical Code (IMC)

Enhanced Scalability Through Leveraged Technology

Architectural firms experience peaks and valleys in transaction demands. Keeping up with fluctuating volumes may be challenging without the right tools. However, the high cost of architectural tools makes upfront investments less practical. 

Partnering with a BPO provider lets you leverage the latest architecture and design software. Aside from those mentioned in the previous section, outsourcing teams also utilize the following technologies:

  • BIM applications: Autodesk Revit, Tekla Structures, and Bentley Systems AECOsim Building Designer
  • Construction documentation software: Autodesk Navisworks, Procore, and Bluebeam Revu
  • Cloud computing platforms: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

Access to such tools allows you to scale operations up or down without incurring significant costs due to overstaffing or rehiring.

Boosted Innovation Through Increased Global Market Insights

Outsourcing lets you tap into the global market and provides opportunities for various core activities, such as: 

  • Developing new designs. Through interactions with your BPO partner, you can gain insight into the various needs, preferences, and architectural design trends of other regions. Diverse cultural and aesthetic considerations might just be the advantage you need to stand out from the competition.
  • Expanding to wider markets. A broader perspective of architectural trends helps you reach new target audiences, from new domestic demographics to international clients. With more global insight and resources, your firm can allocate more time, money, and energy to its growth strategy.
  • Keeping up with dynamic regulations. Architecture and design BPO teams stay current on global rules and standards. If your firm plans to operate in other countries, such knowledge helps you avoid the risks of costly delays and penalties for noncompliance.

Starter BPO Tasks Your Architecture and Design Firm Can Delegate

Starter BPO Tasks Your Architecture and Design Firm Can Delegate

Reservations about outsourcing core architectural and design functions are valid. After all, BPO’s risks and drawbacks can be daunting. To still enjoy the benefits of BPO as an architecture and design firm, you can consider outsourcing administrative or back-office roles. 

Below, we discuss some popularly outsourced non-core functions.

Information Technology (IT) Support

Installing, maintaining, and troubleshooting technical infrastructure is crucial to daily business processes. IT BPO companies have the tools and workforce to perform network, system, and database administration to reduce the chances of operational disruption. 

They also have experts who can implement robust data privacy and security protocols that help you protect against cyberattacks. Architecture and design firms handle sensitive information and intellectual property, making them attractive targets for hackers and fraudsters.

Human Resources (HR) Tasks

Your need for qualified architects and engineers grows as your firm takes on more complex projects. Outsourcing HR functions takes the long process of hiring off your plate. Third-party workers manage these tasks as if they were recruiting for their own company, taking time to understand your culture and values to find the best candidates.

From talent acquisition to onboarding, training, and employee relations, you can rely on BPO teams for various processes. They also cover other HR tasks, such as:

  • Work data management
  • Performance management
  • Benefits administration
  • HR analytics and reporting
  • HR help desk assistance

Finance and Accounting Processes

Financial tasks are vital to scaling your firm but are time-consuming and repetitive. BPO providers can supply your architecture and design company with the necessary accountants, finance specialists, and automation tools to speed up these functions.

They can help you ensure compliance with all applicable financial regulations, make sound financial decisions, and improve profitability. Commonly outsourced financial and accounting processes include:

  • Bookkeeping
  • Accounts payable
  • Accounts receivable
  • Payroll
  • Financial reporting
  • Tax preparation
  • Auditing

Customer Service Roles

Partnering with a service provider for customer service helps you increase client satisfaction rates through 24/7 support. One of the many advantages of time zone differences in BPO is that you get agents who work beyond your regular working hours. 

Some round-the-clock customer support initiatives you can employ include:

  • Live chat
  • Phone support
  • Email support
  • Knowledge base
  • Social media support

Another feature of outsourcing support services is accessing multilingual customer support representatives. Working with diverse domestic and international clients is easier, thanks to this advantage. These benefits help reduce churn, improve customer loyalty, and generate positive word-of-mouth.

The Bottom Line

Outsourcing has the potential to reshape the architecture and design industry. While it presents challenges, its unique benefits make it increasingly attractive to firms of all sizes. Whether you want to delegate central architectural or non-core administrative functions, BPO is a cost-efficient strategy for scaling.

Let’s connect to discover BPO solutions best suited for your architecture and design firm. Unity Communications embraces the latest technologies and employs top talent to free your architects from non-core tasks.

Picture of Ezra Samarista
Ezra Samarista is a history graduate who found a career in and passion for writing during the pandemic. She enjoys copywriting the most but finds content writing and research fulfilling. Her love for learning and simplifying information led her to become one of the minds behind the pool of business process outsourcing (BPO) knowledge that the Unity Connect website offers its visitors. Outside work, Ezra is either creating digital art, playing video games, shopping, spending time with her family and cats, or just sleeping in.
Picture of Ezra Samarista

Ezra Samarista

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