Outsourcing – An overview of it’s various aspects
Outsourcing is a common phenomenon in today’s business world. It is often essential to a company for various purposes. Let’s look at its various aspects.
What is outsourcing?
It is at it’s most basic, getting some of your work, which is the part of the process of your business, done by a third party. Outsourcing can vary in scale from outsourcing of entire functions such as document management and document scanning conversion to outsourcing a small, well-defined service, such as data entry or bill processing.
What can be outsourced?
“Virtually everything you would want” is not a bad answer. Most common business functions can be reliably outsourced. There are specialized service providers in all fields, to whom work can be outsourced. But just because you can outsource it, doesn’t mean you should. There are many considerations to the decision of outsourcing, such as considerations of speed, costs, effectiveness, reliability and so on. Outsourcing is practiced in many diverse sectors such as architecture/engineering, financial and professional services, legal industry, banking, insurance companies and also by governments.
The advantages of outsourcing
Outsourcing has many advantages. It can help companies access specialized services which it cannot provide on it’s own and build them into it’s business routine. It provides a lot of options when a company is optimizing its services, costs and plans. The following are some common benefits of outsourcing
- Lower costs, as in the case of outsourcing done to a different country, with lower labour rates.
- It allows the company to do what it does best, by ridding itself of peripheral processes.
- Access to resources, which the company lacks.
- Work is done more efficiently or effectively or speedily
- Better control of the company budget through predictable costs
- Much lower investment in infrastructure and facilities
- Access to specialized and expert services
- Increased flexibility
Outsourcing – hidden costs
There are many additional expenses involved when outsourcing which need to be taken into account before outsourcing something. These are
- Costs of comparison and analysis to find out if outsourcing is the proper choice.
- The cost of investigating, evaluating and selecting outsourcing service providers.
- The costs of transitioning knowledge and work to the outsourcing service providers.
- The costs associated with possible layoffs of employees who are currently doing work, which is outsourced.
- The costs of managing the outsourcing relationship and the employment of people to optimize the same.
Outsourcing – Considerations when selecting a service provider
When deciding which outsourcing service providers to work with, there are often lots of choices. To make a right decision, there needs to be a good idea of what the company wants to gain from outsourcing. The company must define and prioritize its needs and requirements.
Each service provider brings something unique to the table, so an analysis of each service provider and their strength’s and weaknesses is helpful. Some criteria, which the company wants service providers to meet, may also be set.