Outsourcing vs. Insourcing – What is best for you?
Outsourcing is a healthy business practice that carries real economic benefits with it. This system drives innovation, competition and creativity in myriad industries and professions country and worldwide. At the same time, outsourcing is not the best choice for every business and situation.
So, how (and why) should companies make the decision to outsource a function? Here are a few key concepts to consider:
The nature of your business – and what brings it to a crashing halt –
One of the most overlooked factors is where the weak spots are.
What happens when a business experiences a temporary inability to operate due to extreme weather and natural disasters? In the case of call center solutions, having multiple, dispersed contact centers can allow a company to continue functioning even if an unforeseen event affects headquarters. This is particularly important to firms involved in healthcare delivery or transportation.
Technology and infrastructure demands –
Maintaining complex infrastructure that delivers functionality throughout is an enormous challenge. Technology and infrastructure in business are no different. There are times when it simply makes more sense to outsource a function that is IT / infrastructure heavy. Contact centers are one example of this, but there are many others - such as workstation support and certain supply chain elements.
Companies exploring outsourcing should always consider the cost – and especially maintenance cost – of an in-house solution versus an outsourced one. They must answer the question: In the long-term, will an outsourced solution be more efficient and cost effective?
Brand is everything –
If outsourcing is completely antithetical to your brand, it does not work out well for anyone involved, including the outsourced partner. However, businesses can be too cautious and hang on to brand and industry stereotypes rather than facts and performance-based evidence.
Quality, quality, quality –
Ask your prospective outsourcing partner these questions regarding service quality:
- Can the prospective partner effectively and proactively measure its success in the context of client business results?
- What are their hiring and HR practices, and how do they ensure their employees are capable across the board?
- How long has the partner been doing what they’re doing / what is the tenure of the managers you’re negotiating with?
- How up-to-date are their practices and technology, and can they keep pace in the long term?
When outsourcing, quality is everything. If it is the right decision, make sure you are engaging a partner that can synchronize with your brand, your management philosophy and your fiscal priorities and provide consistent, quality service.