All this thinking assumes that the relationship between the design services firm and his customer is based a single project result; but this is not true. Both companies objectives should aligned this is for sure; they should be aligned in the long term. Re-alignment and methodology improvement shall be done over and over from project to project; not from hours to hours...
I am very curious to see what will be shake; business-to-business relationship shall be build on confidence too.
It would be great if the author write a follow up article on design services and politics.
If design service is indeed cheaper and better, it would be against the interest of the in house design team to see successful partnership with design services.