What to Consider if You're Bringing in an Outsourcing Resource
At AJL we know that outsourcing is a great way to help your business focus and we know we are good at it, but we want all our partners and potential partners to enter an outsourcing decision with all the facts in mind, to make it work better for us and more importantly for you.
Like other business decisions, outsourcing requires careful planning and consideration. It is worth considering the following:
This can fluctuate and does not always match that of internal staff. If your requirements are not a set project, then it is worth looking at when you will you need an outsourcing resource and discuss to agree flexibility around productivity fluctuations to maximise your investment and return.
Equally, as a manager of the relationship you need to look at your own time - are you prepared to spend the time and energy required to manage the outsourcing relationship? How high or low maintenance is your potential outsourcing resource? If you agree in advance what time you can and cannot give to them and what you expect and find a partner who is a good ‘fit’ with your business, then you can easily manage your time.
Poor communication can cause problems, and these is turn cause errors, delays and lower productivity. It is vital to ensure that all stakeholders involved know what is expected – and your outsourcing partner has access to the right people at the right time. Equally spending some time with them at the beginning of the project or schedule will pay dividends.
Does the person/people from outside understand your company culture, industry and way of working? You just need to ask yourself if they are a good fit with your in-house resource? A lack of cross-cultural understanding can lead to miscommunication. If your outsourcing partner has good industry knowledge and network then it is likely that they will understand your business culture well and as such you will benefit for quicker, effective results.
Your Business Core Strength and Infrastructure
What are your core strengths and what are secondary? What processes are you thinking of outsourcing and why? Is the function a key task which your business needs to control directly to ensure its future competitiveness? Core strengths ideally need to be completed inhouse, to allow you to focus on your strengths whilst secondary tasks and set up projects are ideal for your outsourcing resource.
It is also worth looking at anything in your infrastructure, such as weaknesses in your internal systems and processes and understand how this will affect the productivity of an outsourcing resource. Or indeed if this is something they can work with you to resolve for the future.
What is the actual cost of your outsource resource from overheads and travel to management required? Cost savings are one of the most common reasons businesses outsource. However, the total cost of outsourcing isn't always easy to work out. Make sure that you fully consider all costs, and reflect on other key areas, before outsourcing business-critical functions. What are the costs of doing it in-house? Include hidden costs such as office space and staff costs. Also, what are the costs of not outsourcing? Will your business suffer if it does not invest in the expertise or the facilities that an outsourcing partner might provide? Ideally you want to work with a partner who can give you a price based on your needs with no hidden surprises.
We would be delighted to talk through your business requirements and how we can help on any projects or plans. Contact us for a chat any time.