Advantages and Disadvantages of Outsourcing
Outsourcing has become a familiar term for organizations in almost every sector. Many outsourcing companies look for potential clients to provide the best and cheapest services maintaining business relationships. Outsourcing is not just limited to the IT sector now, the business methodology has also widespread to e-commerce, customer support, finance, and training administration. The Advantages and Disadvantages of Outsourcing pin out the possible benefits, limitations, and pitfalls to let you decide.
What is Outsourcing?
Outsourcing refers to allocating specific business processes to an external/third-party service provider specialized in the domain. The ease of doing business and distribution of projects are the primary reasons why many companies prefer to outsource their projects.
The third-party service provider undertakes the responsibility to execute and deliver the project within the specified deadline and budget. The same company has dedicated teams for carrying out the tasks and maintaining the organization’s assets.
A company may decide which service provider they want to choose to get the project delivered, onshore, offshore, or nearshore. Considering the geographical and cultural factors, a company can assign work to specific job functions to another organization to save huge money and maximize the output.
Examples of Outsourcing
Depending on the needs of the business and industry, outsourcing is done majorly for the following activities.
- Computer programming services
- Content Management System/Content Writing
- Customer support service
- Human resource management
- Supply chain management
- Tax compliance
- Training administration
Advantages and Disadvantages of Outsourcing Projects
Companies generally from the IT sector regularly depend on outsourced projects due to many reasons. The software development industry has boomed in the last decade generating more income and gaining trust from reputed organizations in the market. Have a look at the Advantages of Outsourcing and figure out its positive side.
1. Huge Cost Saving
Outsourcing can save you huge costs in recruiting, appointing, and training new or current employees in your organization. Training existing employees also lead to miscellaneous expenses that can add to further costs ranging from trainer’s fees to pleasantries.
Once you outsource your current project requisites to another organization, it’s totally their responsibility to take care of the deliverables and the deadline. The average cost per hour in the US market is $100, while the same amount of work can be done at an hourly rate of $55 when outsourced.
2. Timely Delivery
Generally, the third-party companies are paid upfront with half the stipulated price. Given the deadline and estimated time for project deliverance, the distributed work is more likely to be completed within the period as per the contract.
External collaboration lets you finish the project much faster and in an efficient manner. When a large project is broken into modules, individual units can work efficiently. For example, the finance & marketing division, customer service department, and tech support processes can work separately in an organization to improve work efficacy.
3. Company can focus on what’s Relevant
Losing focus on the key concept can result in severe setbacks in project estimates, deliverables, and ultimately, the end product. Many entrepreneurs suffer due to a lack of proper gameplan and execution, probably due to limited resources or staffing. Collaborating with third-party outsourcing companies can be dealt with efficiently as the other processes are their responsibility to take.
Allocating the key projects to another company is always beneficial when you have other important projects to deal with. You can pay your time to more extensive and complicated projects quite efficiently. With your in-house team concentrating on vital points, your company can maintain business integrity by dividing the deliverables among third-party vendors.
4. Third-Parties have in-House Experts & Experience
Startups lack to experience the most prominent needs, experience and expertise when launching a new business in the market. Third-party vendors can help you sort out the tentative future problems efficiently. Market demands projects based on the latest technology and updated framework.
Outsourcing companies stay up to date and well-versed with the latest technology to deliver the undertaken projects as stipulated. On the other hand, if you consider shifting to new technology, consider the overhead expenses incurred for upgrades and training.
Regular brainstorming with the outsourcing vendors and discussing the project campaigns with them can help you learn a lot. Outsourcing can be the right deal to crack when your team is new or lack expertise.
Outsourcing can be a vital hope for your organization as the external parties give you the best alternatives to develop your business. With gained knowledge, you can achieve the goals.
What are the Disadvantages of Outsourcing?
Outsourcing has reshaped the business model entirely with its benefits in almost every sector. On the contrary, the Disadvantages of Outsourcing in Banking, Supply Chain Management, Healthcare, Manufacturing, and business are relatively the same.
1. Risk of Loss of Sensitive Data
Outsourcing banking information can be risky for your organization as the vendor companies handle all the confidential data. It’s better to back up all the information to mitigate the loss of critical data required for business projects.
As you hand over the source blueprints in the form of business data, you expose your company’s data directly to unknown groups or individuals. Therefore, it’s imperative to do background checks and review the vendor’s history.
2. Risk of Loss of Control
By giving access to the core business functions to the third-party vendor, you let them control the project. Being unaware of what parts of the project you actually administer can be the question to surface during the project delivery. Losing parental control of critical business functions means that you may no longer control the operations and deliverables of the outsourced activities.
An outsourced website can be the best example to explain the situation. The outsourcing company or individual who develops it knows more about the loopholes that you do. You may never know what sort of damage or security issues can creep up in the future. Prevention is the key, and careful consideration should be given to the terms and conditions.
3. Communication Barriers
Communication is the key to every business; According to market research, Asian Companies dominate the global outsourcing industry. Most companies work with professionals with adequate communication skills to understand the business concept from the start till the end.
However, outsourcing business can run into problems if there is a language barrier or the vendor company cannot understand due to communication problems. The language and the technical issues arising in communication may also cause a bottleneck in the whole campaign leading to delays and errors.
4. Cultural Conflicts
If you have allocated your project to a country like China, Bangladesh, India, or the Philippines, understanding their culture's roots is the best idea to start with. There may be some adjustments you need to make when it comes to accommodating certain cultural and social practices of the third-party service provider.
Facing a conflict in work ethics, working schedules, and time zones are common disadvantages of outsourcing to India, China, or other Asian countries. Some countries have no holidays on holidays on weekends. While some may have national holidays as the companies in the UK, USA or Canada are open.
5. Quality can be the Issue
Almost all outsourcing providers are driven by profit. The faster the project delivery, the quicker will they earn. In the wake of delivering the project campaign earliest, the vendor company may not tend to the minute details meeting the standards and quality.
You may not be the only one the vendor is tending to; there can be several other projects they might be working on simultaneously. They might not be able to give 100% time and attention to a single company due to workload and multiple clients. Outsourcing companies emphasize making a profit out of the services they provide to you and other businesses like yours.
6. Estimated Cost may go higher
Minimal expenses are the main reasons most companies decide to outsource, but you need to be aware of potential hidden costs. Budgetary matters are discussed verbally, and the estimates are written in a business development plan first. However, if there is an upgrade or addition to your project, the overall budget is most likely exceed the one initially planned.
Adding more functions to every project directly results in higher costs as it also increases the vendors' workload. Therefore, considering the business continuity plan and possible exceptions in the future is always better. If the project's financial side is not taken care of in the initial phases, the outcome would be counted as one of the concerning disadvantages of outsourcing business.
7. Replacing outsourcing vendors can be problematic
Reallocating the previously built project to a new outsourcing vendor can be troubling for your company. Finding another outsourcing service provider means starting from scratch. On the other hand, the new vendors may not be able to understand core functions properly as they may not have knowledge about the existing operations.
There may also be problems describing the services to the new vendor. On the contrary, handing over the existing project to the initial service provider can help you save both time and money. They already know which parts of the project need upgrades and what source codes need to change.
You may come across both Advantages and Disadvantages of Outsourcing at the same time. Outsourcing isn’t always a bad option for a company, but there needs to be some serious consideration before allocating a project to a third-party vendor. Cost, Quality, Technology, and Culture come next on the list. Communication is the best part to start and learn about how good the outsourcing service providers are.