Drafting Service Files: Our Simple Onboarding Process

Our Simple Onboarding Process

How do you go about outsourcing shop drawings?

If you don’t have a clue, don’t worry. Many of our customers understand the value of having an outside partner for drafting work, but don’t really know where to start. That’s why we made our onboarding process as simple as possible.

It’s designed to make outsourcing shop drawings fast and pain-free … and to make you really feel like we’re a part of your team. The process ensures you can depend on us to produce accurate, quality specifications for your shop drawings every time.

Here’s how it works …

  1. Before we start any work, we’ll have a kick-off call or meeting to discuss your project management procedures and your expectations for your first project with us. We agree on all deliverables and a project timeline before moving forward.
  2. You send us your project specifications, including architectural drawings and all material requirements. Then we get to work scoping out the project.
  3. If Applicable: We bring engineers into the project at this early stage to assess your designs and materials. Though this is an added cost, it assures us that the correct material is drawn and ordered, saving you money and time down the line. If any issues are identified by the engineer, we’ll work with you to select new materials or make the necessary design changes.
  4. Once we complete our first draft of the drawings, we send them to your project manager for a review and sign-off. We do this to make sure we’re producing drawings that align with your fabrication and installation methods.
  5. We finalize the drawings based on your review and send them back to you for approval on or before the agreed-upon completion date.


While this process may seem overly conservative, it helps prevent two common scenarios that can spell disaster for your project – or future projects down the line …

Disaster Scenario 1

The first has to do with ordering material prior to an engineer review. This happened recently to one of our customers and resulted in huge unexpected project costs.

After the materials were received, they were told by the project engineer that it just wouldn’t work structurally. They decided to stick with the material but had to order extra structural components to make it work.

The moral of the story? Don’t completely rely on manufacturer reviews. They’re usually right. But sometimes wrong (particularly MRF windload charts). And they’re often not updated to reflect changing building codes and engineering methods. That’s why we involve engineers early. And that’s why we’ve developed a partnership with several engineering firms.

Disaster Scenario 2

Some of our past customers have expressed the following sentiments:

“We’re paying for a service and that service should be 100% right.”

“I don’t have the time to double-check everything.”

“This is not how WE install things, or how WE like to see drawings.”

These are totally understandable concerns. But the problem with them is they all assume that MP Drafting (or any other drafting company) is a professional engineering service/system expert/consultant/manufacturer/installer/etc. We’re not. We’re drafting specialists: we get the specs and output the drawings – simple as that.

But in order to output quality drawings – drawings that keep projects moving forward smoothly – we need to work as partners.

This is why we ask project managers to review our drawings before we finalize them. Skipping this step can result in massive headaches. Think about it …

We can only produce drawings based on the information we’re given. Often what we produce will look different than what you might be used to. But that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. There are too many different ways to do things to assume we know exactly how you want things done. If you make that assumption, there’s a good chance you’ll let errors slip through the cracks. And they’ll only be discovered when something doesn’t fit properly during construction.

Your project manager is the person with the most intimate knowledge of your project. So we need to rely in him/her to direct us. This is crucial to ensure we get everything right, including accuracy to scope, system types, glass types, installation methods, dimensions/tolerances, and more.

This might take longer at first, but it’s worth it in the long run. And once we know how you want things done, future projects go much faster.

Our focus has been, and always will be, on quality first.

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