Message from the President


First of all , thank you for visiting International Drafting Design Source (IDDS) website and coming to read my message.

I am obviously a major proponent of outsourcing and offshore outsourcing. I firmly believe architectural and engineering firms will need to outsource some of their support tasks to service providers outside their offices to remain competitive.

I also believe offshore outsourcing is a win-win situation. In the short term, the USA will need to adjust to some loss in job creation but the small loss here results in a huge gain usually in a country that needs the work a lot more than we do here in the USA. In the long-term the USA will greatly benefit from outsourcing ... just take recent manufacturing outsourcing history for an example.

I initially created IDDS because it combined two of my favorite activities. I love to travel and I really enjoy being a civil engineer. Starting IDDS has not necessarily resulted in more travel but it does continuously expose me to people from other countries and ways of existence.

When I was in the Philippines in early 2000, I ran into so many well trained and savvy engineers working in retail or something other than engineering. At that time, in California, if you wanted to hire a civil engineer, you had provide high wages, signup bonuses, and so on. The "dotcoms" were still sucking away all the engineers.

I do not believe in draining developing countries of their intelligent and educated people so I thought if I could keep these people in their country and provide them work, I win because they would produce the work at a fraction of the cost it would take someone here in the USA, they win because they have a relatively good paying job, and finally their country wins because they have another business and/or educated person staying within their country. Plus my clients would be happy because I could provide them excellent services at a lower rate than most others could.

Over time I have learned, mostly the hard way, that offshore outsourcing is not that easy and finding an appropriate service provider can be a challenge. Many firms which offshore outsource are either very large firms, which open offices in foreign countries, or are firms in which some employee knew of someone in their home country doing the same work and somehow they hooked up. These options are expensive and/or haphazard.

IDDS allows an architectural or engineering firm or person interested in offshore outsourcing the opportunity to provide considerable information in the client request form, which can then be sent to the IDDS database of service providers. These providers then can try to prove themselves to the client.

The best part of this service is that it does not cost anyone anything. The providers do not have to pay a fee to be in the database but do spend considerable time filling in the database forms and communicating with IDDS. The client does not pay for IDDS to try to hook them up with a provider. IDDS only gets paid commissions by a provider once a business relationship has been developed with the client.

IDDS locally also takes on some direct work and in the future the IDDS network of representatives will also have the option to do so. In this case, IDDS is paid in a similar fashion as any other engineering or architectural firm locally.

I was born as an American in Izmir, Turkey, to an American father and a German mother. Both my parents were educators. Shortly after my birth we left the great country of Turkey and headed to Germany. Other than a short stint in Spain, I was mostly raised in Germany. I attended American schools but did not live among the Americans. My family traveled throughout Europe and throughout the continental USA during vacations. Upon graduation from high school I moved to my official "home of address" in Novato, California. I attended Santa Rosa Junior College and then transferred to California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. Upon receiving my civil engineering degree, I joined the Peace Corps and lived in Ghana, West Africa, for a little over two years. Once my service was over I spent some time with my parents, who had retired in Germany. Having a degree from the USA was of little use in Germany so I returned to the USA. Regardless of where I live, I miss something from the other place.

I hope this message helps put a more personal spin on your perception of IDDS. You will find I tend to be more personal than is probably considered professional but am extremely professional when it comes to the business side of IDDS.

Whatever you do, remember to enjoy doing it.

Erik Scheller President & Founder of International Drafting Design Source

About our Partners - Service Providers

Initially various service providers were listed in this window but over time the list became too long and changed too frequently. Our service providers vary in location, skills, capacity, and age considerably.

IDDS has created relationships with firms in the Philippines, USA, Vietnam, India, Romania, Argentina, Mexico, Thailand, Russia, Nepal, South Africa, and so on.

IDDS has single people working on the side as service providers and has firms with 200 plus employees.

How it works! (Economic 101) [ Return to Top ]

It's really quite simple: The internet has made highly qualified drafting technical firms outside of the U.S. a superior alternative to the more expensive pool of domestic talent. With a sophisticated infrastructure in place, IDDS can turn your plans around as quickly as the draftsmen next door at often half the price.

More importantly, working with IDDS offers you optimal over site of your project. We know that you demand the highest workmanship and IDDS promises nothing short of the very best.

The typical process is a client contacts IDDS via the Client Request Form, email, or telephone. IDDS talks to the client and obtains his needs and desires. Sometimes this is best accomplished by a request for a proposal on a specific project. The best scenario is when the client provides a request for a proposal on a completed project.

A client request is written and sent out to the database of IDDS service providers. Once the service provider receives the request he then must respond within a given time on whether he is interested working with the client, how much it would cost him financially for a specific project or provide hourly rates, how much time it would take to complete the desired work to the level indicated, and any other information that would set him apart from the many other providers.

IDDS then compiles the responses and provides a short list of providers to the client. This short list is reviewed by IDDS with the client. IDDS usually points out advantages and disadvantages of various providers (i.e. time zones, language, observed work ethics, etc.). The client then decides and directly contacts the provider of chose.

Once a relationship has started, IDDS helps to insure communications and data transfer runs smoothly and everyone is happy with the relationship. If someone is not satisfied, IDDS tries to find ways to appease them.