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Executive Summary

ThinSourcing White Paper

Over the past 20 years, a lively discussion has taken place about the merits and demerits of outsourcing vs. insourcing. While both provide advantages, they also have distinct drawbacks. With outsourcing these include the 'hidden expenses' of integrating and managing an outside vendor, plus reduced transparency, control and quality assurance. With insourcing, the drawbacks relate to the difficulty in hiring/retaining qualified employees, maintaining specialized technology and staying abreast of best practices.

ThinSourcing, a newly emerging approach, overcomes these drawbacks. ThinSourcing is an intimate business relationship in which a third party delivers a cost-effective service in a manner that is virtually indistinguishable from the way the company itself would provide it. With ThinSourcing, there is, in effect, a very thin line between the "vendor" and "the client."

Several progressive companies have already been operating in a ThinSourcing manner. For example, UPS runs entire supply chains for some of its clients, and ADP manages other companies' entire human resources functions. At DialAmerica, we manage our clients' sales and customer service functions.

Further support for ThinSourcing comes from a survey that the American Teleservices Association and DialAmerica recently conducted with 24 U.S. companies that outsource over $300 million in teleservices:

  • 94 percent said it was important that outsourcers have business experience in their industry sector.
  • 95 percent said it was important that outsourcers understand the rules and regulations of their industry.
  • The top concern in assessing the value of outsourced customer care programs - cited by 94 percent - was customer satisfaction.
  • 41 percent expressed dissatisfaction with off-shore outsourcing vendors.

A successful ThinSourcing relationship must be built upon five key pillars:

  • Customized solutions that precisely meet client needs
  • An advanced, secure, seamless technology platform
  • Sophisticated recruiting, training and retention programs
  • Comprehensive, timely and transparent reporting
  • Impeccable compliance processes

As companies look to lower costs, reduce capital investments, operate more efficiently, serve customers better and, ultimately, compete more aggressively, ThinSourcing represents a powerful, growing solution.

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