Archiform 3D

Middlemen in 3D and How to Avoid Them

The internet changed many things. It brought us better communication, closed vast distances and flooded us with information. It also brought fraud, scams and shady marketing techniques that used to be localized but are now global. The growth of computers and trained people in Asia also introduced a new form of cheap labor that quickly flooded many services – web design being one of the first. Picking up on this the salesmen of the world saw new opportunities - sell a service locally but give the work to Asia. The result was poor service, reduced quality and billions of dollars in trade deficit that the whole of the USA now pays for.

Are you dealing with a real company or just "locally based"?

It seems to be that even when you actively search for people that really do local work you come across people that have a line in response for almost every question that you consider to be a definite indication, such as:

Question: "Where is your office based?"
Answer: "Right here in your country/town/state"
Reality: There may be some person sitting in an office or home somewhere but they are just taking the calls and your money. So they aren't lying because the middleman is based locally, its just they are bending the truth.

Question: "Do you do your work locally?"
Answer: "Yes, we work here"
Reality: This is really bending the truth. Yes, they are sitting in their office working but the whole part of the work going elsewhere is omitted.

Question: "Do you employ your own people?"
Answer: "Yes, our people are all employees and full time"
Reality: The people may be full time and employees but they are not directly employed by the middleman. The truth is being very distorted.

The lure of what appears to be cheap prices is so strong that salesmen/middlemen will twist their words and pitch as much as they need to in order to get a down payment. Most times the person you are dealing with has no experience of any solid background in doing your job and they themselves are at the mercy of the offshore contractor that they use. If you need your 3D project rushed then it is unlikely a chain of middlemen is going to be able to adequately assist you.

How does it affect 3D?

In the same way it happened with web site work 3D has been gradually funneled towards Asia. Some companies don't hide this at all and they are normally the higher quality organizations but we estimate that more than 80% of the companies advertising 3D are now only disguised gateways to Asia, taking a profit on top, adding to the complexity of the process and breaking the direct connection between the 3D artist and the client.

What makes it even more crazy is that you often get outsourcers in Asia that outsource the work to another outsourcer in that country. This is particularly prevalent in India, which has a strong internet marketing force and passes the work down through a hierarchy. The distance from you (the client) to the actual person doing your job gets further and further apart.

What do you do?

Well, being biased on this subject we would suggest that you use Archiform 3D or a similar organization so you can have a direct relationship with the people that are really working on your job. Finding that can be hard now but if you are persistent then you may find the right kind of people.

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