Robert, I have been using a company call Infotech since 2007.
In general, I have been pleased with their services, however, there are some limitations due internet when they working on large assemblies, since they need to access all of the components. We 'do not" have Intralink or PDMlink. The limitations are typically on our end. Electrical cable harness routing & final assembly work is typically performed in-house by my full-time drafting staff.
There is some loss in productivity due to difference in time 10.5 to 11.5 depending on day light savings time. Work submitted to India during the day (7 to 4:30 central standard time) typically arrives in India after they are closed. They do run multiple shifts, however, all is shut down typically by 9:30 AM our time. Since they are working while we are sleeping, work sent to India can be completed by the time we start the next business day. They have holidays (12) & vacations similar to what occurs in the states, however, they occur at different times of the year than ours.
I can communicate with them (audio & video conferencing) in the early morning, typically 6:30 - 8 AM as needed, however, this causes them to make staff available late at night for them, so I only do this occasionally. Verbal communications can be a challenge. E-mail communications with pictorial examples works best for daily issue resolution with engineering staff members. Infotech sends queries to our engineering staff. I am copied on all communications and get involved only when necessary. Most issues are resolved without my assistance. Communication from Infotech is typically clear & concise. I can increase/decrease staff at Infotech as needed. We typically use between 2-8 people. They will place people on site if required, however, on-site support is nearly 3 times the rate. We have not needed anyone on site the past couple of years, however, it worked well to begin the process. Infotech had to learn our drafting practices. Their staff typically consists of engineers not drafters or designers. They are a contract house, so they have other customers they support besides our company and several CAD platforms including different releases of Pro/E
The decision to use off-shore resources was not mine (corporate decision). However, I am responsible for using Infotech successfully to meet documentation release schedules. Overall, this has been working. Prior to Infotech, I primarily used local contractors. This option is no longer available to me.
Sorry, I may not provide additional information other than this due to my work load requirements and available time. I hope this helps.
Do you thinkyour company (TORO) has saved money overall by having projects done in India vs the US?
You didn't mention whether or not your products were being manufactured in India or China. If so, they have your manufacturing and they have your design data bases, so what's to prevent them from eliminating your partof the process in a year or so? Or is that something that Toro has on the back burner.
Yes, the hourly rate is far less than for US contact houses & contractors. The productivity is less than my on-site drafting staff, however the cost is nearly 2/3 to ½ less overall.
Yes, we have parts manufactured in China, Germany, Chech republic, England etc, but not in India. However, they have done reverse engineering (scanning, part generation & drawings generated from scanned data) for us successfully.
There is nothing to prevent China, India or the other countries mentioned above from copying our intellectual property to my knowledge and "eliminating our company from the process" to my knowledge, however, they are manufacturing engines & other parts for our company today. China is more of a concern to most people I know here, however, that too is a corporate decision (a decision I would never have made), that I have no influence on.
Again, my primary responsibility is to successfully utilize their services for design & engineering. Corporate management makes the decisions that these services off-shore are used. I prefer that all was done domestically, but, that is just my opinion. I "do not" have to agree with these decisions to make them work successfully.