To survive in the global market, businesses have to offer new products, says HBR.org. In consumer electronics, developing a new device always requires developing a new printed circuit board. If your business lacks expertise in this field or doesn’t have enough people to do the job in time, outsourcing electronics design is a wise decision, as this approach has a number of undeniable advantages.
Moreover, here you can choose between outsourcing the task to a domestic or an overseas business. At the first glance, it may seem that hiring a company located in the same country as your business is logical and convenient; however, offshoring electronics design can be quite beneficial as well.
Offshoring Electronics Design: Pros
1. Lower cost
The price is one of the major concerns for any business. Depending on the complexity of the product you want to develop, prototyping can cost dozens or even hundreds of thousand dollars. Outsourcing electronics design to an overseas developer can be much cheaper due to the lower cost of labor in Eastern Europe, India, Asia, and other regions.
2. Specialized expertise
Many businesses require specialized services, such as IT, legal and financial services, etc., that can be quite expensive if you hire employees domestically, which is why offshoring such tasks (aka knowledge process outsourcing) has become a common practice. Research and development as well as electronics design are among the most commonly offshored knowledge processes, as there are plenty of highly-skilled professionals in some countries.
3. Experienced teams
By offshoring electronics design, businesses get access to a valuable resource, i.e. a ready-made team of professionals with vast experience in a given field. There’s no need to build your own crew from scratch, as these people already know each other and work great together.
At the same time, offshoring electronics design raises certain concerns.
Offshoring Electronics Design: Cons
1. Language and cultural differences
It is self-evident that you will have to communicate with people belonging to a different culture and whose mother tongue is different from yours. This can lead to certain communication problems. However, many electronics design houses target the global market, so their employees usually have decent English skills and know how to work with foreigners.
2. Time-zone difference
Another common concern is that the contractor’s business hours are different from yours. But this shouldn’t be a problem if the company’s managers provide all the required reports in a timely manner and are available on a daily basis.
When you offshore a development task, security is one of the major concerns. The team you hire may steal some of your ideas, engineering solutions, some parts of the code, etc. A non-disclosure agreement will protect you from theft of intellectual property to some extent (source here), but it’s safer to thoroughly examine your potential partner and read customer reviews before contacting them.
While larger businesses may prefer outsourcing electronics design to domestic companies to avoid these risks, smaller businesses can greatly benefit from offshoring the job. Moreover, since your potential partners know about these concerns too, they usually do their best to eliminate all potential problems, including language differences and security issues. Check out electronic design services by Integra Sources if you’re interested in outsourcing your project: https://www.integrasources.com/services/electronic-design-services/
Last Updated: February 21, 2022