Outsourcing jobs, duties, and tasks is an essential part of modern commerce. Due in large part to the Internet, organizations are better able to contact and do business with one another, regardless of their physical location – AKA globalization.
Why do businesses outsource? There are many reasons, though the most common organizational benefits are lower costs of labor and smaller total expenses overall, allowing management to more closely focus on what really matters, achieving rapid output in terms of what’s being outsourced, and better realization of economies of scale.
Unfortunately for businesses, however – and for good reason – outsourcing is a controversial issue. Let’s take a look at manufacturing, to illustrate.
An Alliance for American Manufacturing poll found that over half of United States voters felt “manufacturing is the industry ‘most important to the overall strength of the American economy.'” 89 percent of Americans polled were in favor of government-backed strategies to bring increased manufacturing levels to the United States.
Businesses wouldn’t outsource responsibilities if domestic servicers could offer high-quality, low-cost output. Many responsibilities, including manufacturing, have increasingly been outsourced to other countries, particularly China. Research indicates that roughly 2.4 million jobs were outsourced from the United States in 2015, followed by about 1.45 million positions the next year.
But Wait – Will Outsourcing Benefit My Business?
In short, it just depends. There’s never a clear-cut answer to whether outsourcing or retaining positions will serve your organization best.
Here are several things to think about prior to pulling the plug on your organization’s in-house operations.
Are You Juggling Too Many Responsibilities?
Consider this scenario: you’re an entrepreneur and operate a business by yourself – the area of operation doesn’t matter, but let’s say you’re a tree surgeon. With 40-plus hours per week spent operating on trees, you don’t have much time to take care of organizational necessities, like bookkeeping, advertising, website maintenance, social media posting, and so on.
Whether you’re a one-man show or 100 employees deep, having too many responsibilities to reasonably fulfill detracts from quality of work.
Do you ever find yourself in a situation similar to the one mentioned above? If you regularly need bookkeeping, marketing, customer service, or (insert need here) help, consider outsourcing.
If such needs are seasonal and have or will persist over the long run, consider reaching out to a temp agency.
Given such needs are not regular, delegate them to an existing employee or department.
Can Duties In Mind Be Automated?
With the wealth of technology available around the world, humans gradually lose their jobs to automated machines, software, and – although true “robots” are few and far between in commerce – robots.
Automating repetitive jobs is often significantly cheaper than delegating such tasks to humans. It also increases quality control, as humans are consistently unpredictable; technological devices and programs, on the other hand, are not.
If you operate an online store, you should seriously consider investing in the automation of social media operation, email marketing, content creation, customer support, and accounting. You can almost always find these ecommerce solutions in the form of computer programs, some of which are free.
Do You Need Tasks Handled With Expertise?
Yet another benefit of outsourcing is being privy to loads of highly-concentrated expertise.
While not all jobs require such experience, some hinge solely on workers’ organizational tenure and familiarity with jobs at hand. If you feel any of your business’ responsibilities fit this mold, don’t hesitate – outsource.
Too much outsourcing can result in employees, customers, and local communities coming to view your business negatively. Failing to select reputable, experienced servicers to outsource tasks may yield low quality of work.
With that being said, outsourcing can bring businesses like yours tons of benefits. First, look around locally and ship out responsibilities to them prior to looking out-of-state or overseas. Also, make sure such third-party service providers are highly reputable.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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