Alright. Let’s say you work in some big company or you even own a big company. You may think that outsourcing is just a side strategy for small businesses and start-ups.
Well, the thing is you’re not wrong, but also not right. Outsourcing is often associated with small businesses primarily because it’s a model that saves a lot of time and money (something that every small business needs more than anything).
However, at the end of the day, it’s just a business process and strategy that can be used by a company of 2 employees or a company of 10.000+ employees.
Now that we established that this business process is literally for everyone (if they find a purpose in it of course), here are some of the reasons you might wanna consider outsourcing - even if you’re a big shot.
Benefits of Outsourcing for Large Companies?
Outsourcing offers several advantages for large companies that go beyond cost savings. These benefits include:
- Increased efficiency and productivity: When large companies outsource, they have much more resources to focus on their core competencies and strategic goals. While delegating non-strategic functions (from support roles to engineering roles) to specialized service providers (outsourced workforce), they can improve their business.
This can lead to increased efficiency and productivity so companies can arrange resources more effectively.
- Access to specialized expertise: It’s not always easy to find someone who has the necessary skills and knowledge to perform specific tasks. Outsourcing enables large companies to tap into the specialized expertise of service providers, even if they are not in the same country as them.
- Scalability and flexibility: Market trends are changing day-by-day and if your company isn't following them, sooner or later you’re gonna face some boundaries. Outsourcing offers large companies the flexibility to scale their operations up or down according to their business needs without incurring additional costs.
- Reduced overhead costs: Office rent, utilities, legal fees, supplies, ads, salary… That’s probably just a small part of the overhead costs that your company is dealing with. Outsourcing can help large companies to reduce these overhead costs by eliminating the need to hire and train additional staff. When you outsource, you already have a workforce that is ready to hop in.
Differences between outsourcing for large companies and small businesses
When it comes to outsourcing, large companies and small businesses face different challenges and considerations. While the basic concept of hiring a third-party provider for certain tasks or services is the same, the scale of operations, financial capabilities, and overall needs can vary greatly.
So let’s explore the main differences between outsourcing for large companies and small businesses, and what factors to keep in mind when making outsourcing decisions.
Scale of Operations
Large companies often work on much larger and more complex operations than small businesses. They may even have multiple departments, business units, or locations for all types of services they need. In that case, it is probably easier to get someone in-house if there is enough work for a part-time or full-time job.
Small businesses, on the other hand, are much easier to control through the process of outsourcing. They may only have a handful of employees, which can make outsourcing easier to manage.
Budgets and Financial Capabilities
It’s obvious that large companies also have larger budgets, which can give them more flexibility in terms of outsourcing options. Besides the fact they can afford to have someone in-house as long as it is profitable. On the other hand, they may be able to afford to work with larger, more experienced vendors or invest in more advanced outsourcing solutions.
Vendor Selection Process
In large companies, especially for high-paid positions, there are often more than 7 circles that you need to go through - with hundreds of other candidates just to be seen by the CEO. It’s the same process for choosing a vendor.
Large companies may have a formal procurement process in place and may work with multiple vendors for different outsourcing needs. Small businesses, on the other hand, may rely more on personal connections and referrals to find vendors.
Project management is a critical aspect of outsourcing, and the approach to project management can be very different within large and small companies.
Large companies usually have dedicated project management teams or software to help manage outsourcing projects. In small businesses, the CEO or top management often takes that responsibility.
Legal and Regulatory Requirements
Large companies may have more complex legal and regulatory requirements than small businesses - particularly if they operate in multiple jurisdictions or industries. Now, this could be a bit of a problem ‘cause vendors may need to comply with a wide range of legal and regulatory requirements.
Small businesses' legal and regulatory requirements are quite easier to follow and manage.
Communication and Collaboration
Communication and collaboration are key to any successful relationship, including outsourcing. Depending on the size of a company they may even have dedicated teams and tools in place to facilitate communication and collaboration with vendors, follow their workflow, track results, and more,
Small businesses prefer traditional communication channels such as email, phone calls, video calls, etc.
Impact on Internal Operations
The impact can vary depending on the size and complexity of the organization. Large companies may need to dedicate more resources to managing outsourcing relationships and may need to make significant changes to internal processes. Small businesses, on the other hand, may have less complex internal operations, which can make outsourcing a bit easier.
Whatever you do for your business (for your life as well), there’s a certain amount of risk. And when you’re outsourcing, there’s a risk your vendor is irresponsible, you lose control over the process, you approach some security risks and many more.
All in all, outsourcing always involves some degree of risk.
Large companies may have dedicated risk management teams and may invest in risk management strategies to reduce those risks. Small businesses may have more limited resources for such a task.
Factors to Consider when Outsourcing for Large Companies
Let’s say you finally decided to outsource, but you’re not sure how to pay attention to some important details. We got you! Here are a few key factors to keep in mind:
What is your goal with outsourcing? To save money? To save time on spending weeks looking for a perfect candidate? Whatever the reason, write it down because that will be the foundation of your successful outsourcing process.
The outsourcing strategy should align with the objectives and goals of your company. For example, if a company needs to develop new software or update its existing software, outsourcing the development or maintenance of the software to an external team of experts can help the company reduce the time and cost of development.
Scope of Services
What do you expect from your outsourcing partner or vendor is a perfect question to ask yourself or your team at the next meeting. Identify which services will be outsourced, which will remain in-house, and how the two will integrate.
The scope of services should be clearly defined to avoid confusion. Also, define it for yourself, but also in a contract between you and your BPO vendor (which leads us to the next section).
Proper contract management includes negotiating and drafting contracts that clearly outline the terms and conditions of the outsourcing agreement. It's important to include provisions for service level agreements (SLAs), termination clauses, and dispute resolution procedures.
Easily forgotten, but cultural implications are very important for the outsourcing process. This includes understanding the vendor's values, work culture, and communication style.
A lack of cultural fit can lead to misunderstandings, delays, and poor collaboration. And at the end of the day, what is the point of collaborating with someone that gets on your nerves?
In conclusion, outsourcing can be a valuable strategy for large companies looking to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and access specialized expertise.
And while outsourcing can be beneficial, it is important for large companies to carefully evaluate the costs and benefits before diving into this awesome process.
With proper planning and execution, outsourcing can be a powerful tool for large companies to achieve their business objectives and gain a competitive advantage in today's fast-paced business environment.