"Communication with an offshore company is difficult, there is some risk of timely delivery, some added engineering effort may be required from the team doing the outsourcing, and good-quality engineering and parts can be obtained from an outsourcing company that is offshore." These are among the lessons emerging from a University of Colorado at Boulder course on outsourcing, said Jack Zable (back row, in red), who co-teaches "Global Engineering" with Derek Reamon (front row, in glasses), both mechanical engineering professors, along with business faculty members and various engineers involved with outsourcing offshore. Student teams are working with Precie Tools, of Bangalore, India, to develop prototypes for a saw blade, steering wheel, brake rotor and other products. Eight of the teams received their prototypes in a "somewhat timely" manner, and the other two expect their parts to arrive a week late, Zable said. Weekly phone calls and regular e-mails between the students and the company helped projects stay on track. The students (some are pictured above with their prototypes) are now writing reports on the project, including the cost of outsourcing compared with producing them in the US. Classes focus on engineering economics, business planning, inventory and logistical considerations, protection of a company's core competencies, intellectual property, project management, cultural differences between Asia and America, and innovation and leadership.