This is the first post in our 3 part series on outsourcing.
Outsourcing is the obtaining of goods or a service from an outside supplier (especially when replacing an internal source). It can include both foreign and domestic contracting.
An organisation will enter into a contractual agreement for the exchange of services, in turn gaining greater budget flexibility and control, and mitigating any skills shortages.
Outsourcing allows businesses to pay for services only as and when they need them. Costs like hiring and training, operating expenses and capital expenditure are therefore greatly reduced.
And outsourcing plays a large role in the global economy, but don’t be fooled; it is by no means a new concept. Businesses have been outsourcing since at least the Industrial Revolution, looking to increase their market share and growth. And in modern times, outsourcing has been recognised as a key business strategy since the late eighties.
Delegating tasks and responsibilities to third parties is a crucial way to reducing costs, improving quality, fostering innovation, increasing speed to market and freeing up time.
But it needn’t always be on such a grand scale; outsourcing comes in many shapes and sizes. It may be as simple as designating a proofreading task to a freelancer, or getting a cleaner in to do the job you hate most.
Cost saving measures and improving finances are usually a driving factor when looking to outsource. As part of this, assessing which processes can be handled effectively by an external organisation is like giving yourself the gift of time.
It all boils down to that old adage of working smarter, not harder.
For more on outsourcing, check out our next instalment Fight The Fear: Leaping Into Outsourcing.