Strategically Outsource to Maximise Efficiency and Productivity
If you’re looking for a quick way to cut costs, boost efficiency and improve productivity then consider outsourcing one or more of your business’ support processes.
Outsourcing has many benefits and can give you a greater competitive edge in your market.
It allows you to tap into a large international talent pool and benefit from external expertise. Your outsourced providers can provide services, innovative approaches, and the latest technology along with cutting-edge solutions that your in-house team might be unable to provide.
It also allows full-time employees to focus on your company’s core competencies.
And it means you have lower operational and recruitment costs. The cost-savings you achieve with outsourcing can help you to release capital for investment in other areas of your business.
But outsourcing does have its downsides. For example, there’s a risk in allowing outsourced providers to handle confidential company data, whether that’s the details of employees or customers or competitive information. Under the GDPR, companies will be held responsible for any third-party data breaches. The penalties for such breaches will be stiff. What’s more, any data breaches will dent your company’s reputation and damage your brand.
Then there’s the risk that the output will be sub-standard or that delivery time frames will be stretched. Both would damage your company’s reputation and possibly result in lost sales.
And there’s a danger that unless the outsourcing is carefully managed, the expected cost savings won’t materialise. This was the case for the UK government. Its programme to outsource back-office functions ended up costing taxpayers $7 million. Officials had predicted the programme would save up to $700 million a year, but after two and a half years, it had saved just $158 million but cost $165 million.
It’s for these reasons many companies are still reluctant to consider outsourcing.
That’s a shame because if the outsourcing is well-managed, the benefits will far outweigh the risks. Take the Alibaba.com e-commerce website, for example. Today, it’s known as the world’s biggest global marketplace but in its early days, its founder Jack Ma had to outsource the website development to a US company. At the time, he couldn’t find development talent in China whereas developers in America had the skills he needed. It also allowed him to overcome the Chinese government’s tight internet restrictions.
Google is another giant that also outsources work to IT specialists, developers and virtual assistants. At one point, Google outsourced phone and email support for AdWords, one of its top-grossing products, to about 1,000 external representatives.
The founders of the hugely popular WhatsApp Brian Acton and Jan Koum also hired the services of external providers. In their case, they used the services of an iPhone developer Igor Solomennikov for the core development work on the app.
What can you outsource?
You can outsource any or all of the following:
- Administrative tasks such as data entry, typing, travel arrangements and scheduling.
- Lead generation and customer service including cold calling
- Marketing including content writing, direct marketing, website design, brand development, press releases, social media, blogging and search engine optimisation
- IT operations
- Sales Directors
- Legal Directors
- Human Resources including recruitment and the management of employee benefits
- Accounting and financial duties including bookkeeping, invoicing, accounts payable and receivable, payroll processing and financial reporting. You can, for example, hire a part-time Chief Financial Officer who knows how to finance a business, deal with growth, present meaningful monthly numbers and get the best deals from banks.
It means you get a highly experienced senior CFO with the experience and knowledge to help you plan, manage and control business growth. The CFO Centre will provide you with a CFO with ‘big business experience’ for a fraction of the cost of a full-time CFO.