Outsourcing has been the go-to staffing solution for small-to-medium-sized businesses. It’s not as demanding of their time, money and energy as hiring an in-house team, acquiring new technologies, and getting additional office space when they want to expand.
Essentially, these businesses like outsourcing because of the scalability and adaptability they get from it. But, does outsourcing really gives businesses the capability to scale up or down, and still have the financial flexibility to invest in new employees or advanced technology to increase efficiency?
How is Scalability Achieved in Outsourcing?
Outsourcing is a great option when you need to hire more people to keep up with production, but you have a limited budget on recruitment and retention. It’s also your saving grace when you need to shrink the size of your team without getting into the nitty-gritty of terminating employees. This is what scalability means in outsourcing.
To be a scalable business, you have to be ready to ramp up production either by hiring more people or investing in new machines that will automate half of your operations. Machines are good investments, but not everyone can buy an army of smart bots like Amazon did to automate their inventory and warehousing operations. Moreover, many jobs still need a human element to provide warmth and empathy when interacting with customers.
So, how do you leverage outsourcing to scale your business? Outsource non-strategic tasks to optimize your company’s core competencies which bring in more value to your business.
This tip tackles a lot of points regarding outsourcing. One: you’re not handing over work that will give your third-party provider access to sensitive information. Two: you’ll be cutting down the costs and time that will take to do routine tasks each day. These tasks may include data entry work, rerouting of messages, or monitoring eye movements of shoppers.
Another way you can take advantage of outsourcing is to scale up your product development and research. An outsourcing provider will have the competencies you’ll need to succeed in a specific area of expertise. For instance, pharmaceutical companies have been heavily reliant on offshore biomedical researchers to study and test their upcoming drugs, which would have been highly expensive. This not only keeps their R&D costs down; it also helps keep the pricing within an affordable range and avoid putting a strain on the consumer’s finances.
How Does Adaptability Work in Outsourcing?
Change is inevitable; the only thing left for businesses to do is to adapt. As technology continues to advance, the outsourcing industry will be constantly struggling to keep up with the times. These new technologies may even make some jobs in outsourcing obsolete. For instance, telemarketers responsible for collecting data and filtering leads may be replaced with smart bots that can mimic human conversations and quickly identify possible leads based on the information given by human targets.
A new kind of outsourcing is now making waves as the next step in the evolution of the IT-BPM industry. It’s known as knowledge process outsourcing. The work involved may range from non-voice BPM to creative and specialized work processes, such as legal documentation and medical transcription. Employees hired for KPO work have academic credentials that are not normally found in call center agents.
Businesses that outsource will need the ability of service providers to adapt quickly in order to survive a rapidly developing world.
Those that thrive are quick to read and act on signals of change. They have worked out how to experiment rapidly, frequently, and economically—not only with products and services but also with business models, processes, and strategies. They have built up skills in managing complex multistakeholder systems in an increasingly interconnected world. Perhaps most important, they have learned to unlock their greatest resources—the people who work for them.
Thus, your business model needs to change to accommodate the changes that outsourcing will bring to you. This is where adaptability works well for you and your outsourcing partner. As a result, you’re able to scale as you see fit, and make it possible for your business to become sustainable.