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RE: Design via Internet (India & Mexico)

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I strongly disagree with you. You indicated the key is to work more
efficiently. The independent starts out working efficiently if he is a
product of downsizing. He starts out with lower overhead and lower expenses.
You suggest that to compete properly engineers need state of the art
software and equipment. Where are they going to earn the money to pay for
this. If they obtain loans to cover an investment in hardware and software,
how will they keep up with the payback when their fees are lowered by
You and a few others believe that Observation would come from overseas if
the projects are designed overseas. What happens when the EOR is local and
sub-contracts his design overseas. He maintains responsible control by
staying in the design loop and dictating the design. He need only
sub-contract the labor and check the work to stay in responsible charge.
Therefore, Observations can be done by the EOR and not cost any more than
any other local firm.
You either need to invest in the tools you suggest will make you more
productive or already have the income to purchase those tools. In either
case, I would see it as a great risk - not something the loan officer at my
bank would like to hear.

Finally, I did not suggest government intervention. The government placed us
in this position by approving of NAFTA and GATT. Why would they impose more
regulations that already exist in both of these acts.
Control has to come from the private sector and this may not be possible.
Would you as an investor in a company approve of reducing your stock profits
to protect local labor - or would you increase profits by seeking lower
labor markets? I think the choice is clear and we are in trouble.

Dennis Wish PE

-----Original Message-----
From: Ecengrs(--nospam--at) [mailto:Ecengrs(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Thursday, November 05, 1998 8:36 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE:Design via Internet (India & Mexico)

Sam Chang is right in that the market has a way of imposing its will
regardless of national borders, trade agreements, etc. I think Dennis would
put us on a very slippery slope with the idea of some sort of government
regulation to protect our higher hourly rates from low cost overseas
competitors. That's call protectionism and it don't work. It can "appear" to
work for a while, but eventually the house of cards comes crashing down and
the market once again imposes her will.

If we are now finding ourselves competing with cheaper overseas labor, we
should take a lesson American manufacturing learned the hard way and realize
the way to compete is not through protectionism, but through better
productivity. This means running an efficient, organized office, using the
best productivity tools such as state of the art software and computers (I
hope all you "freeware" advocates are reading this) and concentrating our
resources on those areas where we have expertise and can provide value added
services. Plus, as was pointed out in another post, our site visit charges
certainly going to be lower!

It's been pointed out that some software companies contract their
overseas and we're certainly the beneficiaries of that through software that
gets cheaper and better all the time, not to mention computers that also get
cheaper and better with parts manufactured overseas. Anybody out there ever
design a building that used cheaper steel rolled in Asia? Now when it's our
turn to compete, are we going to cry "Foul!" and try to change the rules?

Earl Conroy
E.C. Engineers