There is a lot of talk about outsourcing in corporate America today. When is it a good idea to consider outsourcing? Which tasks should we outsource and to whom? Outsourcing certainly offers several potential advantages, but at the same time, it is not without some pitfalls.
In the leasing and financial services industry, for example, there are numerous projects that must be completed, many of which require effective communication between the tech and finance people. If you bring in the wrong outside consultant, it can be disastrous for the company. At the same time, you may not have a manager from within the organization that fully understands in-depth how each department operates, how to make complex technical terms understandable for non-tech people, etc.
So the goal of outsourcing is to find the right people for the right tasks to move your organization forward toward carving out a strong position in the market. Or in the case of non-profits, you want to have people who understand your mission and know how to effectively communicate that mission to those who share it and are most likely to support it.
With the right person/persons in place, you can realize several benefits from outsourcing, including:
Cost Efficiency: Employees are either salaried or work on an hourly basis. For outsourced talent, pay structures can vary, but the majority of outside consultants charge on a per-project basis. This means the organization pays only for what is produced, and does not have to pay for any downtime. In addition, there is no need to pay benefits, workers’ comp insurance, and other costs associated with employees.
More In-Depth Experience/Competence: Outside professionals tend to have greater subject matter expertise in their area(s) of focus than someone from inside the organization. Because they work with companies like yours on a regular basis, they can put their experience to work to the benefit of your organization.
Clearer Focus: When internal employees are put in charge of projects that are somewhat beyond their scope of expertise, it tends to stretch their focus and opens them up to numerous distractions. This, in turn, reduces efficiency and productivity. By having an outsider manage these projects, your employees can focus on the tasks they are good at, which helps the entire company operate more smoothly.
No Sacred Cows: An internal employee will naturally be clouded by the politics of the organization; e.g. favorite people, preferred ways of doing things, etc. On the other hand, an outsider brings a fresh perspective and is able to take an objective view of the project; using only the most effective and efficient project management methods based on facts rather than company politics.