Contract versus Employee Drafters

How can a Contract Drafting Company Save you money and keep your work flowing?

A perspective from Tyler Morrissette C.E.T. – Owner of TVSMOR Drafting Services Ltd.

NEWSFLASH … Contract Drafting Services ARE proving to be economically feasible and are getting done ahead of deadlines.

FORGET ABOUT: Recruitment and Training costs, Advertisements, Benefits, Taxes, Holidays, Over-time, Sick Days, Equipment, Software, a Physical Office with Bills, Paying for Idle Time, and Expenses such as Social Events and Keeping those Employees Happy and Engaged.

Here are some facts gathered over the past year, to prove the fact that Contracting out Drafting Services is not only saving money, but also getting jobs done ahead of timelines…

A company calls and needs some drafting done. We take one of our experienced drafters with expertise in their field and get them on it right away. There is a total of 2 hours of training and AutoCAD set-up via web meeting software that we provide, then the jobs start coming. The first 2 projects take 6 hours each, then times start to go down to where by the end of the first week jobs are taking from 2.5 to 4.5 hours. These projects are billable at 5 to 7 hours each. To keep on the same page as in-house drafters, any new custom routines or methods are dealt with by another quick 15 minute web meeting, then things keep running along smoothly.

In this specific case, the training and initial/learning projects were done in the first week, then drafting times were 150 to 200% billable by the second week.

I have heard of the Contractor vs. Employee debate since I’ve been in a position to Manage Drafters for about 11 years now. The idea that off-site drafting can’t work has now been proven wrong. With the use of online file sharing and linking to servers, drafters can now be connected to the same files regardless where they are drafting from. The idea of saving files in real time and a client being able to see those latest files saved is appealing when dealing with large scale projects with constant updates and ongoing checking occurring.

Now let’s look at a scenario of hiring a staff drafter and training them.

Generally the first week of employment involves orientations and training, then if the new hire shows some ability after that first week, they can start working on actual billable jobs. This non-chargeable time frame can range from 1 week to 3 weeks depending on how quickly the particular drafter picks things up. There is then a 3-month probationary period that the new drafter has to prove that they have potential. Using the 2.5 to 4.5 hour jobs as a baseline, a new drafter will usually acquire the ability to get plans done in that timeline in anywhere from 2 months to 2 years, and some never reach it. There are some drafters that continue to take 10+ hours on drawings just like these, but with such a demand for their services, they continue to put out plans in whatever time it takes.

The Shortage of skilled workers…

If the statistics are correct, the near future will only get more and more difficult to get those skilled people on board and there will be less and less job seekers out there to take on the vacant jobs. The easy way out is to look at getting some Contractors to take care of your needs, and it is definitely proving to be a cheaper alternative. In today’s virtual world, your drawings can be done from around the corner from your office, or a thousand kilometers away with ease and seamlessly as if they were in the next cubicle.

I won’t throw numbers at you, but it is not cheap to hire someone. Take into account the cost of Recruiting, Advertising, Training, Time lost from other employees, and Timelines for getting that new hire up to speed and 100% billable. Do you need to send senior employees on recruiting trips, where not only their expenses and wages are costing you time and money, but the events or tradeshows themselves have their own expenses. Then look at how much you need to spend in advertising for a vacant position and at the several months of wages needed to pay the new hire and the person training him/her to get them up to speed. Now that all of that is accounted for, look at what the actual cost of having that employee is - with Benefits, Taxes, Holidays, Over-time, Sick Days, Equipment, Software, a Physical Office with Bills, Paying for Idle Time, and don’t forget the Expenses of throwing Social Events and Keeping those Employees Happy and Engaged.

If the challenge is to get the work done and to not have to deal with Recruiting, Human Resources and retention issues, Contract Drafters are there when you need them. They have already gathered their experience in your field so are ready to get to work.