The 5 Ws of Outsourcing
Even business sectors as large as outsourcing are frequently misunderstood. Global outsourcing pros and cons are often debated in the media, but the more important discussions are occurring within companies using or considering outsourcing. To help fill in some of the missing blanks, Back Office Pro describes “Five Ws about outsourcing” strategies — What, Why, Where, When and Who?
What to Outsource?
You can literally outsource almost anything. But when contemplating what tasks to outsource, you should start with a “process of elimination” by identifying which areas to avoid outsourcing — especially tasks involving the core area of your business.
Your company should always maintain direct control over its core business by not outsourcing those tasks — otherwise, your clients might not be able to get anything truly unique from you. By first eliminating these core areas from your outsourcing agenda, you are likely to have a lengthy list of “what should be outsourced?” such as the 10 following outsourcing candidates:
Any analysis of outsourcing should start and end with the benefits and advantages of outsourcing. A leading reason for outsourcing is “accomplishing more with less” — streamlining your business model so that your managers and employees can focus on essential duties after less important tasks are outsourced. When you do this, outsourcing is a catalyst for innovation because there is now more time available for your team’s creative thinking.
Despite some objections to outsourcing, the practical economic reality usually prevails — achieving lower labor and operating costs via prudent outsourcing will help virtually any business to improve its bottom line. Saving both time and money is a compelling and winning combination in an increasingly competitive business climate.
Outsourcing provides a distinct advantage when it comes to fulfilling a technical task quickly. More industries are now witnessing a critical labor shortage for key skills such as research analytics and engineering. With the right outsourcing partner, these “employment gaps” can be overcome immediately — and without hiring any additional employees.
Where to Outsource?
One of the most notable technological advances when outsourcing services is the ability to outsource to distant countries — modern Internet and other communication capabilities have created a favorable environment for outsourcing globally. In practical terms, this has “shrunk the globe” by adding cost-effective countries for outsourcing such as India to your list of choices.
In addition to offering cost efficiencies that few other countries can match, India also provides a “time zone differential benefit” based upon its location relative to many customers across the world. Many businesses can take advantage of this by giving assignments to outsourcing experts such as Back Office Pro before leaving the office and then having the completed project available the next morning.
To determine where to outsource, companies should review which countries are most likely to meet critical labor shortages faced by your company. For example, it was reported in one recent study that 49 percent of startups are having a difficult time attracting the right talent. Find out where these skills are readily available when you interview outsourcing candidates.
When to Outsource?
Knowing the “right time to outsource” is likely to involve one or more of the following sets of circumstances:
- Your company needs immediate access to expert services.
- You want your existing personnel to spend more time on the company’s core mission.
- If you want to avoid large expenditures such as new technology and software upgrades.
- When you need services completed more quickly and less expensively without sacrificing quality.
It is important to be prepared for some “resistance” when a company considers outsourcing for the first time or is about to expand its use of outsourcing. Since outsourcing can periodically be subject to some negative political connotations, the best response is often to build a “shell” around these external issues — always come back to what is “best” for you and your company.
Who to Outsource to?
Start by reviewing your risk tolerance and project needs — are you really looking for an individual freelancer or a professional outsourcing company with an established track record? Choosing who to outsource to will involve a combination of issues such as costs, quality control, timing and ability to communicate effectively with your team at all times.
In many respects, choosing a perfect outsourcing partner is like hiring several valued and long-term employees at the same time — ideally you should look for a long-term partner to outsource to and not be required to repeat your search process over and over again.
However, if you should choose the wrong individual or outsourcing provider, you should not hesitate to start over in your outsourcing efforts. You can avoid common outsourcing mistakes by choosing a perfect outsourcing partner that has a long-term record of success for more than a decade — Back Office Pro belongs at the top of your list in this regard.
Outsourcing Should Always Be a Win-Win Strategy
Outsourcing is simply one of the strategies for moving your company to where you want it to go — Back Office Pro would welcome the opportunity to help you save valuable time, improve quality, increase sales and reduce expenses.
Please share your outsourcing experiences below with a comment and by using social media icons.