Outsourcing Estimators vs in-house: Which is better for you?

8 November 2022 by CostMiner

Outsourcing your estimators can be a great way to save on costs, but there are some risks associated with it. You'll need to weigh the pros and cons of each option before making a decision. In-house estimators can be more expensive, but they offer more control and flexibility. Outsourced estimators may be less expensive, but you'll need to make sure you have a good working relationship with them and that they understand your business and its needs.

What is outsourcing and what are the benefits of doing it

Outsourcing is the process of hiring a third party to do a task that would otherwise be done in-house. There are many benefits to outsourcing, including reduced costs, increased efficiency, and improved quality.

reducing costs - Outsourcing can be a more cost-effective option than hiring in-house staff. The cost of hiring an outsourced estimator is typically lower than the cost of hiring a full-time employee, and you don’t have to pay benefits or training costs.

increasing efficiency - When you outsource a task, you free up your in-house staff to focus on other tasks. This can lead to increased efficiency and faster turnaround times.

improving quality - By outsourcing a task, you can ensure that it is done by experts who have the knowledge and experience necessary to produce high-quality results.

The risks associated with outsourcing estimators

While there are many benefits to outsourcing estimators, there are also some risks associated with it. Here are a few of the most important ones:

1. Loss of control - When you outsource a task, you lose control over how it is done. This can lead to problems such as missed deadlines or poor quality work.

2. Poor communication - If you don’t have a good working relationship with your outsourced estimators, or if they don’t understand your business and its needs, communication problems can arise. This can lead to delays and misunderstandings.

3. Lack of expertise - Outsourced estimators may not have the same level of expertise as in-house staff, which can lead to mistakes and missed opportunities.

4. Risk of dependency - If you rely too much on outsourced estimators, you run the risk of becoming dependent on them. If they leave or go out of business, you could be in trouble.

5. Cultural differences - If your outsourced estimators are based in a different country, cultural differences can cause problems. For example, if they don’t understand your business culture or values, this can lead to misunderstandings and conflict.

Tips when outsourcing estimators

When you work with outsourced estimators, there are a few things you can do to help ensure a smooth and successful relationship:

1. Establish clear expectations - Make sure you establish clear expectations from the outset, and make sure your outsourced estimators are aware of them. This will help avoid misunderstandings and delays.

2. Communicate often -Communicate with your outsourced estimators frequently, and make sure all communication is in writing. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and that there are no misunderstandings.

3. Check references - Before hiring an outsourced estimator, be sure to check their references and speak to past clients. This will help you ensure that they have a good track record and that they are capable of doing quality work.

4. Meet regularly - Meet with your outsourced estimators regularly to discuss progress and any problems that may have arisen. This will help ensure that everything is on track and that any issues can be addressed quickly.

5. Stay organized - Keep all project files and documentation up-to-date and organized, so that your outsourced estimators can easily access them. This will help avoid confusion and delays.

The pros and cons of in-house estimators

When it comes to estimating, many businesses choose to outsource the task to a third party. However, there is also the option of using in-house estimators. Which is the better option for you? Here are the pros and cons of using in-house estimators:

The pros of in-house estimators

1. Greater control - With in-house estimators, you have more control over how the job is done. This can lead to better results and fewer problems.

2. Increased flexibility - In-house estimators can be more flexible as compared to outsourcing estimators, and can adapt to changes in project requirements more easily.

3. Better communication - With in-house estimators, you have direct access to them, which allows for better communication and fewer misunderstandings.

4. More expertise - In-house estimators typically have more expertise than outsourced estimators, which can lead to better results.

The cons of in-house estimators

1. Higher costs - In-house estimators typically cost more than outsourced estimators. This can be a major drawback for businesses that are on a tight budget.

2. Less experience - In-house estimators may not have as much experience as outsourced estimators, which can lead to mistakes and missed opportunities.

3. Less flexibility - In-house estimators may be less flexible than outsourced estimators, and may not be able to adapt to changes in project requirements as easily.

4. Limited resources - In-house staff typically have other tasks they need to perform, which means that they may not be able to devote as much time to estimating as outsourced staff can.


In-house estimators offer certain advantages, such as greater control and flexibility, that outsourced estimators cannot match. However, there are also several drawbacks to using in-house estimators, including higher costs and less experience. Before making a decision, you'll need to weigh the pros and cons of each option and decide which is best for your business.

CostMiner is an online estimating program that allows all estimators to work collaborative, regardless of whether or not they are in-house or outsourced. This makes it an excellent option for businesses that are looking to outsource their estimating, as it allows for a smooth and easy transition. CostMiner also offers a number of features that make it superior to other online estimating programs, including the ability to create custom templates, collaborate with others in real-time, and store all estimates securely in the cloud.

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