Example of Outsourcing: Key Benefits for Small Businesses

  • June 25, 2024
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Outsourcing for Small Businesses: A Key Benefits Overview

First things first, let’s discuss “outsourcing meaning” and then discuss examples of outsourcing.

It is contracting out business processes or functions to third-party providers. Outsourcing is incredibly popular around the world. So, there are many “examples of outsourcing.”

Companies are trying to reduce costs and improve efficiency, at the same time.

Nevertheless, outsourcing isn’t immune from challenges. In this article, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing with examples. 

Pros of outsourcing

Cost savings

Outsourcing offers various advantages. What’s interesting, one of the most important advantages of outsourcing is cost savings. 

Companies can significantly reduce labor costs by outsourcing tasks to lower-wage countries. 

For example, numerous U.S.-based companies outsource customer service and technical support to countries like India and the Philippines. It is no secret that the labour cost is lower in both countries. 

Apart from salaries, companies can save on benefits and expenses. Small or big, all companies need to save money. 

One such company is IBM, one of the most popular global technology companies. The tech giant 

has outsourced a significant portion of its services to India. This move has helped the company to spend less on wages and other costs while maintaining high-quality service delivery.

Access to specialized expertise

Sure, it is important to reduce costs as much as possible. However, there are other topics as well. 

It is worth noting that outsourcing allows companies to access specialized skills and expertise that may not be available due to various reasons. There are tasks that require specific technical knowledge or advanced technology. Not all companies have employees who can deal with such challenges. We can’t exclude other issues as well. 

Simply put, by outsourcing to specialized providers, companies can ensure that their projects are handled by experts.

One good example of outsourcing and its benefits is Apple Inc. 

Cupertino-based tech giant outsources the manufacturing of its products to companies like Foxconn. 

This company has the specialized equipment and expertise required to produce high-quality electronics at scale, allowing Apple to spend more time on design and innovation. 

Focus on core business activities

Many small companies find it hard to deal with a huge amount of tasks. However, there is no need to keep track of every task. 

To summarise, outsourcing non-core functions enables companies to focus on their primary business activities. 

What’s important, small businesses can concentrate on strategic activities that drive growth and competitiveness by delegating tasks such as IT support and customer service to contractors.

For instance, a small law firm might outsource its IT support to a managed service provider. This allows the firm’s employees mentioned above not to waste time on IT-related issues and to focus on their main activities. 

Increased efficiency and productivity

It is impossible to discuss all the advantages of outsourcing for obvious reasons. Nonetheless, it is desirable to mention the most important advantages.

Outsourcing can lead to increased efficiency and productivity. Finding external providers is a good idea as they often have streamlined processes and advanced technologies. 

Quality and speed play an important role in the case of any company. Furthermore, outsourcing can provide companies access to a global talent pool, enabling them to operate around the clock. 

Scalability and flexibility

There are plenty of examples of outsourcing, as small and not-so-small businesses from around the world would like to expand their operations. 

Without exaggeration, outsourcing allows companies to scale their operations up or down based on demand. This is particularly useful in the case of smaller companies. 

It allows smaller companies to adjust their workforce and resources without spending much money and time.  

World-famous companies have to adjust to the ever-changing environment. For example,  Amazon outsources customer service operations to handle the surge in inquiries during peak shopping seasons. The company needs additional staff during peak shopping seasons. However, the top management of Amazon doesn’t want to hire many employees for a limited period of time. 

Problems that may arise 

We can’t forget about challenges. It is important to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing with examples. 

As seen from the information above, outsourcing has numerous advantages. Nonetheless, we can’t ignore problems. 

Owners and managers of small businesses should pay attention to various issues. 

One of the main disadvantages is the loss of control over certain business processes. When tasks are outsourced to external providers, owners, as well as managers, may have limited control and influence over how these tasks are performed. Quality could suffer as a result. 

Let’s discuss one example. Target Corporation isn’t a small company. Nevertheless, even for Target, it wasn’t easy to deal with challenges. 

The company outsourced its website operations to a third-party provider. What happened next?

Target faced significant challenges during a major site upgrade. The lack of control over the outsourced operations resulted in website crashes and customer dissatisfaction. 

Communication Challenges

Outsourcing can lead to communication challenges. Handling issues created by different time zones and cultures is quite difficult. Misunderstandings and delays can occur due to language barriers and differences in work practices. 

Effective communication ensures that outsourced tasks are completed on time. 

For instance, a U.S.-based software development company outsourcing its coding tasks to a team based in Eastern Europe may face difficulties coordinating project updates and meetings due to the time zone difference. 

Confidentiality risks 

No matter how hard someone tries to minimize potential losses, it is impossible to eliminate them completely. 

Managers and owners of companies should keep in mind that outsourcing comes with certain risks, including security and confidentiality risks. 

Sharing sensitive information with outsourcing companies and freelancers increases the risk of data breaches and unauthorized access. It is important to select outsourcing partners with robust security measures, especially when it comes to big companies. 

Global companies are also struggling to cope with confidentiality risks. Several years ago, Marriott International experienced a data breach that affected hundreds of millions of guests. 

The data breach mentioned above was traced back to a third-party vendor that handled Marriott’s reservation system, underlining the risks associated with outsourcing.

Reliance on External partners

The list of potential challenges is long. It is better to focus on some of the pressing issues. Managers should remember that outsourcing can create a dependency on external partners for vital business functions. 

If a partner fails to deliver as expected, it can negatively affect operations, etc. Furthermore, it is both expensive and time-intensive to find a different partner.  

Small and big companies should be careful when it comes to external providers. Let’s discuss the case of Boeing, an aerospace company. 

The aviation giant faced production delays and quality issues with its 787 Dreamliner due to its reliance on a complex network of outsourced suppliers. 

Impact on employee morale

Not everyone will be happy with the decision to hire an external partner. 

It can have a negative impact on many employees, especially if it leads to job cuts or changes in work responsibilities. It is not surprising that employees may feel threatened by the presence of external partners. Some of them may even leave a company. 

Example: A company outsources its customer service department, and its employees may feel demotivated and anxious about their job security. Managers should discuss the issues stated above with employees to reduce risk factors. 

How to find a perfect balance? 

Unsurprisingly, it has its share of advantages and disadvantages. However, the biggest challenge is how to find the perfect balance between them. 

It is vital for companies to carefully consider the potential shortcomings and implement strategies to minimize losses. Here are some best practices for effective outsourcing:

Select the right external provider

Picking the right partner is vital for success. Small businesses, not only small ones, should conduct thorough due diligence to evaluate potential providers’ capabilities and reputation, among other factors. Selecting a partner that aligns with the company’s values and business objectives is important.

Establish clear communication channels

It is hard, if not impossible, to overestimate the importance of effective communication.

Companies should establish clear communication channels and protocols to ensure that both parties are on the same page. Regular meetings and feedback sessions can help prevent misunderstandings. 

What to expect 

Clearly defining expectations and performance metrics is vital for managing outsourced tasks. It is important to have a specific goal as well as a timeline to ensure the partner delivers as expected. 

Monitoring and evaluating performance regularly can help identify and address any issues momentarily.

Implement robust security measures 

As stated earlier, companies must address security and confidentiality issues by implementing 

robust security measures. 

This includes conducting regular security audits, encrypting sensitive information, and ensuring that partners comply with industry standards and regulations. 

Foster a collaborative culture

Last but not least, both sides should join forces to create a friendly atmosphere. Encouraging open communication, mutual respect, and knowledge sharing can help build trust and improve overall performance. 

Final thoughts 

Outsourcing can be a powerful tool for companies seeking to reduce costs, access specialized expertise, and improve efficiency. Nonetheless, it also comes with potential shortcomings, such as loss of control, communication challenges, and confidentiality risks.  

By carefully selecting the right partners, establishing clear communication, and implementing robust security measures, companies can maximize the benefits of outsourcing while minimizing its disadvantages.

Ultimately, it should be based on thoroughly assessing the company’s needs, resources, and strategic goals. By balancing the advantages and disadvantages and adopting best practices, companies can leverage outsourcing to drive growth, innovation, and competitive advantage in today’s dynamic business environment. 

The post Example of Outsourcing: Key Benefits for Small Businesses appeared first on FinanceBrokerage.

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