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Frequently asked questions

Here you can find some of the common questions that our clients and freelancers ask us. To read more, simply click on the relevant link:

How does EngLancer work?
Why is Englancer different to other outsourcing platforms?
How does EngLancer build trust between parties?
I'm a client looking to outsource work - why would I use EngLancer?
As a client, our intellectual property, confidentiality and security is important. How is this assured?
I'm a client looking to outsource work - how do I pay?
I'm a client looking to outsource work - what happens if I'm not happy with the work received?
How will EngLancer help me as a Freelancer/Outsourcing Company?
I am a Freelancer - when and how do I get paid?

How does EngLancer work?

EngLancer.com provides an alternative outsourcing platform, through which client/engineering organisations are able to find and procure engineering design and associated technical services.

The process of procuring the design, drawing or modelling task is illustrated within the process diagram that can be downloaded here.

Why is Englancer different to other outsourcing platforms?

A major criticism of similar existing sites is that their adoption of open bidding results in unrealistically low fees, for which often the project cannot then be delivered. Because of this, all bids via EngLancer are, and will remain, private between the client and service provider. We don't want a race to the bottom for engineering design, drawing and modelling services. We want to promote the quality of the engineering talent on the site.

This clear focus on ensuring the quality of the contractors, companies and freelancers on the platform is a core facet of the EngLancer brand. The site is run for engineers by engineers, with the aim being that we are better able to understand and deliver what our users are looking for.

Another key aspect of ensuring the quality of work delivered through the platform is making sure the correct people or companies are bidding for the correct work. To do this all freelancers or outsourced companies need to request to bid on particular jobs. Because of this the client can control who is able to see and gain access to project information. This can be based on the experience, qualifications, recent feedback, location or the value of recent jobs delivered by the bidding organisation.

The other part we see as key to making sure of quality design or drawing work is the importance of correctly scoping all projects and tasks. Because of this, our project screens are specifically designed to capture the relevant information to allow companies or individuals to suitably price for the work. Our feedback systems also ensure that if that if a scope or definition requires further information before it can be processed that the client is notified.

How does EngLancer build trust between parties?

For fixed priced projects or tasks, the ESCROW payment mechanism enables safe and efficient payment between both parties; be it for full delivery of a project in one stage, or to fund a staged delivery with timely and appropriate project stages.

As the work is completed, checked and approved, the money held is released immediately. The system works for the freelancer as they have confidence that the agreed fees are secure and will be released as soon as their work is approved. There is no need to chase payment and no risk of non-payment. Clients know their funds are securely held and will only be released once the work is delivered and accepted. Compare this to employing a contractor, where they and the agent are paid based upon time, rather than on the quality of the work.

I'm a client looking to outsource work - why would I use EngLancer?

EngLancer allows you to grow your engineering team at the click of a button. Further, you only pay for quality, completed work or agreed deliverables. That is you are paying for work you can subsequently invoice your clients for results. You are not paying for somebody else's time, their inefficiency or their agent. Work starts straight away, with freelancers knowing that their fees are not at risk. This means you can deliver and bill for your projects faster.

To back up our argument, we have looked at the numbers in detail as well on our blog, The benefits of EngLancer Vs. 'scaling up' your business. What we found was that the cost of using an EngLancer is pretty much identical to a permanent member of staff. The benefit though is that you can use an EngLancer one week and not the next. That is, you can grow your team quickly when you are busy but go back to being lean between larger jobs. Finding and recruiting the right team member is also getting harder and harder in the engineering industry. Consequentially, it costs a lot to get the process right (both in terms of time and money) and find that right person. It costs more to get it wrong however. With EngLancer, you don't have this business risk.

Other benefits include:

  • Englancer enables you to flexibly scale resources to meet large scale projects, without having to train a large number of permanent or contract staff
  • Englancer can reduce your recruitment/HR/contractor costs. Englancer allows you to deal directly with the contractor, with no recruitment agents or associated agency fees.
  • Englancer enables your firm to procure specialist services, expert knowledge or specialist software licenses in order to meet specific client or project needs. That is, you don't need to purchase an expensive piece of software, enter in to a contract and then suitably train your staff to use the package. You might not win another job that needs that software for another six months, why would you pay for the resource when you can outsource the work easily and expediently through EngLancer?
  • Access to a wider pool of talented staff. Hiring a member of staff or permanent 'contractor' to work in house is often restricted based on commuting distance. Why restrict your search. Your business should be looking to employ the best or most suitable engineering/draughting talent available. Procuring talent via EngLancer of course means your business doesn't face such geographical restraints.
  • Your Englancer ESCROW account may be 'pre-funded' via a credit card or loan which may ease any impact on your business cash flow.

As a client, our intellectual property, confidentiality and security is important. How is this assured?

We have worked hard on security systems and protocol. None of your personal or company information will be shared with another party until you accept a request from an individual or organisation to bid on your project. This way you are in total control of the design management process.

Englancer has a series of conditions and non disclosure agreements that all of our freelancers have to agree to as part of the terms and conditions of the site. You maintain the right to own any IP associated with the work. If a more bespoke agreement is required this can (and should) also be incorporated when scoping and pricing the work.

In addition, where security pre-qualification is required (e.g. proof of residency, professional qualifications), EngLancer highlights 'pre approved' freelancers and holds copies of their documentation and approvals. This allows you to search for (and accept bids from) pre-qualified freelancers. This removes the need for any additional administration and the associated costs this attracts. Freeing you up to concentrate on delivering your project.

I'm a client looking to outsource work - how do I pay?

You can pay by Visa/Mastercard, PayPal or direct BACS transfer. We also have financing and direct debit payment options, if required.

I'm a client looking to outsource work - what happens if I'm not happy with the work received?

At EngLancer, providing quality, outsourced professionals is the key to our business. We are engineers ourselves and do our utmost to ensure the right people are doing the right jobs. Because of this, nearly all the work delivered through EngLancer meets (or exceeds) client requirements and standards. However, we understand that disagreements can occur between Clients and Freelancers. In these situations, Englancer endeavours to assist in resolving these situations as expediently as possible - there are 3 stages to the resolution process:

  1. Self Resolution:
    Either party can request a Dispute Notice form from EngLancer relating to funds remaining in ESCROW. Please ensure that any request for the release or return of ESCROW funds is clearly stated.

    EngLancer will then notify the other party of the existence and nature of the dispute. The individual or organisation then has 2 working days to respond, in writing, to the dispute. EngLancer will also work with both parties in attempt to reach a fair resolution. Once a resolution is reached, and both parties agree, the terms of the project scope are then updated and disputed funds can be refunded or released.

  2. Third Party Dispute Assistance:
    The nature of the EngLancer platform means we have access to experts in nearly every field of engineering. Because we are committed to ensuring quality engineering, we will commission (and cover the costs) of a third party review and report detailing whether the submitted work is deemed to meet the initial scope and terms of the job in dispute.

    EngLancer will not, however, make a determination or assess blame. This is a secondary form of mediation and requires the agreement of both parties for the release or refund of ESCROW held funds.

  3. Arbitration:
    In the event that the first two methods of dispute assistance do not result in a resolution, the dispute can be taken to arbitration. This process results in judgment on the dispute in question, with the judgment binding and enforceable. On conclusion, EngLancer will abide and adhere to the outcome of the arbitration process and refund or release any funds held in ESCROW as appropriate.

    Arbitration is conducted in line with the Institute of Civil Engineer's Arbitration Procedure, by an independent, third party arbitrator who is approved and registered by the Institution. There are costs associated with this method and these will be passed on to both parties in equal parts. This ensures that there is no financial benefit for the arbitrator to side with either party and ensures complete impartiality.

    Note: Englancer Dispute Assistance is available for jobs with funds still held in ESCROW outsourced via Englancer.

How will EngLancer help me as a Freelancer/Outsourcing Company?

EngLancer cuts out the need for invoicing and the associated payment collection issues. There is effectively, no risk of non-payment for quality work completed to the client's brief.

EngLancer inherently prevents against scope creep. Work, deliverables and fees are agreed in advance. If changes are required, we have mechanisms in place to ensure that changes are recorded and the brief and fees are captured and updated as appropriate.

Englancer enables you to work flexibly and cost effectively. Individuals can work from any location they choose and organisations benefit from lower overheads and cost effective premises.

EngLancer helps you to market your business and can reduce your work winning costs. Every freelancer and client has a dedicated profile page containing links to examples of calculations, drawings, FEM/BIM models that they have developed. These can be rated by those you've worked with and recommendations/ testimonials can also be displayed.

I am a Freelancer - when and how do I get paid?

Payment is released as soon as the project work is approved by the client.

Payment is made the same day as approval, directly to your bank or PayPal account. Note: All site users must provide the necessary documentation and meet the requirements of EngLancer's Anti-Money Laundering procedures.