Outsourcing a business function like highly complex design engineering is well-known to be an excellent strategy as it maximizes business efficiency, reduces expenses and provides access to highly skilled workers. However, when it comes to Off Shoring, companies are understandably conscious of risk factors such as time and language barriers, control of the design, the process or product, and safeguarding IP. This may prompt companies to conclude that their only alternative is to fulfil every stage of the design process in-house – a costly, time-consuming, resource-intensive option. However, Off Shoring is only one method of Outsourcing. Recently, Near Shoring has gained in popularity for good reason. Read on to see how it can provide the competitive advantage you seek in electronic product design.
What is Near Shoring?
Near Shoring, also known as Near Shore Outsourcing, is the transfer of business processes to a company in a nearby country, often one which shares a border with the firm’s home country. It’s an alternative to:
- Off Shoring where processes are outsourced to a country farther away, with significant time zone and language differences.
- On Shoring where a company in the same country as the buyer is engaged for certain business processes.
The Benefits of Near Shoring
Near Shoring offers the advantages of Outsourcing – reduced expenses, access to specialist knowledge, focus on core competencies – without the traditional limitations or concerns of Off Shoring:
- Time zone: Since the partner operates in the same or similar time zone, this eliminates many of the inconveniences, delays and expenses of cross-border communications like night shifts and overtime costs caused by needing to liaise with a company on the other side of the world.
- Travel: Travel to visit the design team is easier, quicker and lower cost, providing the option of more frequent in-person meetings and therefore greater collaboration and oversight.
- Language and culture: with no, or few, language and cultural barriers, there is more reliable communication and fewer cultural discrepancies. This means less risk of misunderstandings about complex design issues, leading to a higher quality end product.
- Customer service: you keep all your business functions close to your end customer, meaning quicker turnaround and delivery times. This gives you a competitive advantage against your competitors, enabling you to launch products quickly.
- Protection of IP: perhaps most importantly, it is much easier for you to enforce IP laws and track any potential misdemeanors. The chances are high you already understand the regulatory process in the neighboring country, for example if you’re a US company outsourcing to Canada.
- Control: along with the ability to safeguard your IP, you have a greater level of control in the whole design process, from initial brief, to consideration of alternatives, to changes in function and capacity, to final design. When you’re delivering high-end electronic products, it’s essential that you control the decision-making process at every point of the design, and proximity makes this much more achievable.
Near Shoring: the Fidus Difference
As a design partner for leading-edge electronic product development, Fidus understands the challenges and restrictions faced by electronics companies when it comes to design engineering. We know you need to move quickly and control expenses, but your design demands access to highly skilled and experienced engineers in order to deliver a leading-edge product on time and on budget. The market may not wait for your internal team to be available, prepped and up to speed in every discipline required by the specifications of your new product design. Additionally, your design may require deep understanding of an emerging technology and if you were to spend the time recruiting and on-boarding those specialists, you’d lose your launch window.
This is why we’ve focused on providing premier Near Shoring to US and Canadian electronics manufacturers. For us, premium Near Shoring means:
- Expert staff: Our world-class team is comprised of tenured engineers across all required disciplines. You get great designers at a fair price and without the need to recruit a new full-time team in-house.
- High quality: We’re committed to delivering top quality. Our engineers work on innovative designs of next-generation products day in, day out.
- Well stocked laboratories: These are equipped with leading-edge tools, enabling us to complete in depth testing of our designs and prove to you that they actually work!
- Large staff: We have a large, full-time North America-based staff with three design sites (Ottawa, Waterloo, Silicon Valley). Most of our repeat customers continue to leverage the same people for long periods, leading to excellent understanding and deep collaboration. Our team becomes an extension of your team.
- Flexibility: We’re set up to provide turnkey design or a la carte design assistance and consulting. This means you gain maximum efficiency, only investing in what you need for your current project.
- Stability: We’ve been operating for nearly 20 years and have built a reputation for excellence and reliability.
- Prototyping and production: We have developed strong partnerships with Contract Manufacturers, IC vendors and every part of the design and production process so that we can prototype, and also provide low to medium volume production.
- Strategic Partnerships: We’re the Inaugural North American Xilinx Premier Design Services member and the Inaugural Analog Devices partner. Our FPGA designers have leading edge expertise, use the latest design tools and work on some of the highest-speed, most complex designs going.
- Great to work with: We’re known as a dynamic, collaborative group, pushing ourselves to discover new solutions, improve your product offering, and hone your design.
Near Shoring: Your Competitive Advantage
In order to maintain competitive advantage in the world of electronic product design you want to be able to deliver cutting-edge product design efficiently – both in terms of cost and resources. This means you need access to the best in design expertise quickly and economically. The line between cost and quality is a fine one. With Off Shoring it may look like you win in terms of cost, but you run the risk of compromising on IP, control and therefore the ultimate quality of your product. Near Shoring gives you the best of both worlds because it offers lower cost but close collaboration and most importantly, in-depth technical experts.
Contact Fidus to see how we can provide a competitive advantage on your next design.