Over the past few weeks I’ve received quite a few questions about the exact process of getting project-based work via GrabCAD. This is a stab at explaining the flow from receiving an order from a client (GrabCAD is an engineering services marketplace, for those who didn’t know) to the point when an engineer sits down and starts designing / drafting / modeling / rendering.
Simple, no? I’ll walk through the steps one-by-one:
1. Client posts an order - someone, perhaps a small manufacturing company, perhaps a hobby-builder trying to launch a new product, filled out our CAD services online order form. They are ready to rock’n’roll!
2. Our senior engineer reviews the order, asks additional questions from the client, if necessary, and posts a "teaser" or a short version of the job offer to our CAD jobs page. This teaser includes a short description, services that are required, time estimate on how long it will take and bounty ie. how much the engineer will earn.
3. We auto-match engineers who fit certain criteria (they have experience in the field, know specific software and have a good rating*) and send them an email about the new job.
4. The teaser is posted to our Twitter feed @cadwork (you can follow that).
5. The tease is posted to jobs RSS feed (or subscribe to this one).
6. The job teaser links to the full description but before you can access that you need to accept the non-disclosure agreement. You only do it once and the main point is to remind everyone that client project details and materials (including work finished based on this material) is and has to be private. So no posting of work to GrabCAD publicly, please.
7. Once you’ve signed the NDA you can review full details of the project, including the notes from the client, uploaded sketches, drawings, models etc. This is the data you can use to decide if you want to apply for this job or not.
8. Apply for job - simply click on the corresponding button and you will be marked as someone who is ready to start work on this project. You have not yet won the work at this point.
9. Our senior engineer reviews engineers who have applied. We look at things like your profile, the models you’ve uploaded, their quality, your expertise, your software skills, the quality of your work you’ve done for us before (if any). He will then pick one engineer who "wins" this job and can start working.
10. Email confirmation to the engineer who got the job - it confirms that this engineer should start working on the project, repeats the deadlines and link to project details.
11. Email to those engineers who applied but didn’t get this particular project. We’ve included a handy list of tips on how to increase your chances next time.
Questions? Comments? There’s more information about things like deadlines, payments etc in our FAQ for engineers.
* About rating - all GrabCAD members have a rating that is based on the models they’ve uploaded and number of other things that make up the secret sauce. We’ll be revealing the rankings in a week or two ;)