Why is “Outsourcing” such a dirty word?

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Why is “Outsourcing” such a dirty word?

For most, when we hear the word “outsource” we immediately think of off shored, cheap labor, exploiting our fellow human-beings in a land far away. Or, we think of the last time we tried calling our telco or bank to ask a simple question, only to be passed around from consultant to consultant, all of whom don’t seem to know what exactly our challenge is or whom do not have a supervisor available.

Many organisations that outsource certain business processes don’t just do this for a cost-cutting exercise. More often than not, these organisations require expert knowledge in very specific areas. For example, IT consultants.

These clever cookies are:

Experts in their field
Usually are required to work on short-term projects
Quote by days/charge by days
Can provide a scope of what is required, the time required to complete this & technical support after the fact
Another reason why some businesses outsource tasks is for risk-sharing purposes. Being able to shift certain responsibilities to a vendor helps the business to alleviate some of the risk associated with the task. A risk analysis prior to the engagement of a third party is a very crucial factor when determining which vendor will be completing the work.

Staffing flexibility is another objective achieved through outsourcing. Businesses that experience seasonal or cyclical demands (accountants during tax season?) use third parties to meet those demands, allowing the business to release the staff when they are done.

Another reasons why outsourcing can be a good thing: having on-site outsourcing staff with a specific skill set, working alongside your internal staff can also provide a wealth of knowledge and professional development opportunities for your employees and by outsourcing certain business components (such as payroll), organisations can better allocate their resources to strengthen its core business processes.

Most of us don’t fix our own car, we engage an expert. So why is the word “outsource” still such a dirty word?

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