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Re: Hit "Delete", not "reply"

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>Actually, early on in the "offshore design" thread, I was intrigued by
>the idea of shopping out work to qualified people elswhere, which was
>why I read it.
I've worked some stuff internationally on a fairly casual basis. 
Consulting and transmitting documents is easy and really quite a rush. 
Comfortable working arrangements including contractual requirements may 
not be so simple, as a lot of manufacturers have learned. I was 
approached about a piping vibration job which sounded very interesting 
until I tumbled to the likelihood that I was being asked to write up a 
complete work plan so the offshore outfit could bid the job. I admit the 
possibility that this was just how they always did it, and they may be 
thinking at this moment that I'm a paranoid horse's ass who expects them 
to buy a pig in a poke, but it seemed very much to me like they were 
fishing for free work. I guess we'll never really know who was right.

I'd be very cautious about just throwing something over the wall without 
thinking through all the specific arrangements about payment, conditions 
and professional issues. None of the usual recourse for poor performance 
will work for either of you, so you're operating on trust when neither of 
the two firms knows jack about the other. Customs and work practices 
differ greatly, so there's ample opportunity for misunderstanding. I go 
peripherally involved once with a manufacturer who contracted some parts 
out to an Asian outfit. They sent samples and sketches and got parts 
back, but that's all they got. When there was some question about design 
dimensions and materials, the contractor politely said in effect, 'No 
dice--that info wasn't part of the deal. You got your parts, the rest is 
ours.' The manufacturer didn't even find out the country where the stuff 
was being made. This (probably) wasn't malice or skulduggery, just the 
way the contractor did business. 

  The E-commerce trendoids have us believe that the Internet will solve 
everything, but there are a lot of pitfalls to be worked through. It's a 
big rush chatting with someone in Japan or Moldava virtually real time 
but that doesn't mean we understand each other's lives or professional 
practice. Such understanding will come, but it will come gradually, not 
just because we want it right now.

Christopher Wright P.E.    |"They couldn't hit an elephant from
chrisw(--nospam--at)        | this distance"   (last words of Gen.
___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)

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