Outsourcing: Three factors to consider
Outsourcing is often a polarizing topic around the table. The two camps of: “I love it” and “I hate it” are alive and well. We get that as we have also had these discussions around our own conference room table. As a team that’s been on both sides of the discussion, here is some of our advice on the topic. We would be delighted to continue this conversation with you around your company’s table and main concerns – just say the word. Here is our outsourcing advice:
Who are you?
Yeah, that feels a little like it needs a couple beers in order to discuss, but it really is a simple and straight forward question you should be able to immediately answer. Who are you as a company? Not who do you want to be (aspirational thinking has a place; I wouldn’t advise it for this exercise) but the reality of who you are today as a company. If you haven’t given this question thought, create time to reflect on it. Walk through your company’s building with an investigative hat to see how everyone else would answer this question. How will your clients answer this question?
If you arrive at a place that is a company that’s open to learning from others vs having a fixed mindset, open to collaborating with experts instead of thinking you know it all already, and able to sit your own ego aside in order to be open to learning from your newfound partners, you may be strong enough to outsource with a partner.
Where do you want to invest in your company?
In today’s political and business climate, American businesses are poised to grow. As you grow, that’s hopefully driving revenue for your company. Where do you want to invest that growth? Is it an across the board need or is it wise to double down in specific areas and consider outsourcing others? Is one area of the company simply not profitable and could be outsourced? Is one area of the company a pain to manage or find talent? If it’s possible to remove the headaches and leave a runway for strategic initiatives, outsourcing could be a perfect fit.
What are the consequences?
All decisions have consequences and they’re not all bad outcomes. Look for the good and bad and see where you land. Run through as many steps ahead to both keeping the business in house and outsourcing and see if you can play out the consequences to each side. Using one of my favorite decision-making tools, Suzie Welch’s 10-10-10, how does that decision keep playing out for you and your company’s future?
These key questions are sure to help you arrive at a more comfortable spot when making the decision to outsource. If the outsourcing decision comes down to your service desk, our Build Vs. Buy guide can further enhance your exercises around this decision.
Outsourcing’s more obvious perks of cost savings, leveraging skilled talent, taking advantage of time zones or 24/7 work models, and finding increased efficiencies only works if those above three areas are good to go. Good luck.