Outsourcing is a hot-button term loaded with connotations of cheap overseas labor that eliminates local jobs and hurts regional economies. But, it actually often stays within local communities and can help a company’s bottom line by maximizing profits. Using an outside vendor allows employers and employees to focus on individual strengths by contracting with other businesses for services that they are better positioned to provide.
Instead of exploring opportunities to outsource, businesses often delegate roles to employees who aren’t particularly suited for a job simply because they hold a position similar to the task that needs to be completed. For example, an employee who writes copy for a marketing firm might be assigned graphic design duties because both assignments can be categorized as creative processes. Though this may seem to be a
cost-saving move, over the duration of a project, factors such as the time it takes to train an employee on a new task and the time an employee is drawn away from essential duties likely could end up costing a business significantly more than using an expert outside source.
Outsourcing, is not a one-size-fits-all business solution, though, so its efficacy must be carefully evaluated when planning a project. Start with a clear outsourcing objective by determining which available assets are underutilized and overcharged, helping to determine whether current strengths can be used or if hiring another firm better fits the project. In a perfect world, what is obtained from using another company’s services should be at a lower cost than performing the task in-house; however, incurring additional costs for a project may be preferred if completing the work without an outsourced vendor is a drag on productivity and delays completion of deliverables. This could prove even more costly over the long term.
Overall, rather than looking at outsourcing as a dirty word, businesses should see it as something that has the potential to boost productivity, which translates into improved morale and increased profits. •
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