Outsourcing by sending some of your company’s work to a third party is an increasingly common way of doing business in the 21st century. It was first developed in the late 1980s as a way companies could gain a competitive edge in the newly global market, and is now used widely across a number of fields. Here are just some of the reasons you should consider outsourcing for your business.
One of the main reasons businesses began outsourcing is because it is an effective way to decrease labor costs. This is because, rather than employing a number of full-time staff who are on the payroll even when their services may not be required, outsourcing provides you with a flexible workforce who can work only when needed. What’s more, the cost of labor in some countries is significantly lower than it is in the U.S., which means that even if you are a small company or only outsourcing a small portion of your work, you could still see an extreme reduction in labor costs.
In additional to decreasing labor costs, outsourcing also allows businesses to cut down on other expenses, such as materials and shipping costs. The cost of materials you use may be decreased by moving some functions overseas, where those materials may be obtainable for significantly cheaper. You may also save on shipping costs if the materials you need for the outsourced functions are available in their new location. You will also save on infrastructure costs, as these will become your outsourcing partner’s responsibility.
Outsourcing also leads to increased efficiency, because you are entrusting non-central company functions to experts elsewhere. Since these vendors are specialists in their area, they are intimately familiar with its ins and outs in a way that members your employees couldn’t be without extensive investment and training. This way, the functions you’ve outsourced can be completed both effectively and efficiently by highly-trained experts in the field who are able to implement their skills and knowledge immediately.
For example, by outsourcing your accounting department, you are taking the burden of mastering complicated accounting duties away from your own offices. This allows you to focus more on your core business functions. Meanwhile, your accounting work will be completed quickly and smoothly by your outside experts of choice.
When you keep all of your businesses functions housed together, things get busy and complicated, and your core functions can get overwhelmed by outside issues. These back-end operations end up requiring significant funds and attention, which detracting from what should be your more central concerns. If you outsource those back-end pieces of your company though, it allows you to focus all of your attention and resources on more essential parts of the business. Comfortable in the knowledge that experts elsewhere are dealing with the other functions required to keep your business running, you can put more of your energy toward research, development, and other ways of improving your business’s products and services.
The increased efficiency and ability to focus on your core business functions that come with outsourcing will also have a large, positive impact on the satisfaction of your customers. You’ll be able to produce your products and services faster, which is always a hit. You don’t need to have a separate department at your place, most of the work, even accounting, can be outsourced, thanks to the internet. Plus, with non-core tasks in the hands of experts elsewhere, you’ll be able to focus more on your central functions, thereby improving the quality of products and services you offer. What’s more, by breaking your company down into specialized units, you increase your ability to respond quickly to changes or issues, so any customer complaints or problems can be handled more smoothly.
Risk management is central to any business, especially during times of change, such as mergers, downsizing, or management changes. Outsourcing certain departments can help in these transitional times because it lets those areas of your company’s work remain unchanged. Plus, your outsourcing partner will absorb any of the risks associated with the departments it now oversees. This can also help your company maintain an appearance of continuity, as products or services coming from the outsourcing partner will stay the same, too.
Sending part of your business overseas also enables you to plant your company more firmly within today’s increasingly global markets. These days, many American companies site their international sales as making up a third or more of their total sales. Depending on where your outsourced functions are located, you may also gain a time zone advantage from this new arrangement by having offices that are in sync with different world business schedules, allowing you to operate close to 24 hours a day!
Adapting to changes in the market requires the flexibility to make changes to your company’s size and costs in response to a changing market. You need to be able to react in time to cut the necessary costs during downturns or to ramp back up when the market bounces back. This is very difficult for companies with large, centralized infrastructures. Outsourcing can help solve this problem because it lets you have short term and flexible contracts with your outsourcing partners. Then your company can cut down or ramp up on staff, production, etc. right away in response to changes in the market.
Having some of your businesses functions outsourced also gives your company accessed to new resources and frees up resources that would otherwise be devoted to those back-end functions. With the outsourced aspects of your business now being taken care of by experts in the field, you’ll no longer have to use resources on recruitment, training, or salaries for those competencies. Plus, by creating a connection in a new, possibly overseas location, you may open your business up to more cost-effective resource streams.
By outsourcing non-core functions of your company, you allow your business to focus its attention and energy on more central aspects of your work. Part of what your newfound time and energy can go into is developing new ideas. After all, the shift to an outsourcing model automatically opens your company up to some changes in structure, which is a great way to spur more foundational types of innovation.
Meanwhile, the functions now being carried out by a third party outsourcer could also be home to innovation, because the staff in question will be highly trained specialists in the area at hand, they may also be able to innovate in ways that benefit your company.
If you’ve looked at these numerous advantages to outsourcing and realized what a good option it might be for your business, it’s now time for you to make a plan of action. Decide which departments would be best outsourced to a third party and start looking around for experts who fit the bill. It may seem daunting at first, but it will do wonders for your bottom line. It's important to always examine the pros and cons of outsourcing.