Outsourcing. It’s a word that often sends shivers down the spines of owners and business leaders of companies in every field. For many, outsourcing implies a loss of control, or even worse, vulnerability to an outside party whom you’re not sure that you can trust.
But these days, there’s a shift in how companies view outsourcing, as they realize that they can’t be everything, to everyone. With the right controls in place, like air‑tight contracts, referrals from past clients, and proof of performance, companies of all shapes, sizes, and maturity levels should use outsourcing as a strategy and business model.
The key question is: When is outsourcing appropriate and beneficial? The easy answer is to outsource things that are not core to your business. That could be anything from small, day‑to‑day tasks to using an outside accountant, IT service, or a private attorney that reviews contracts or jumps in during legal questions and troubles. And it can go deeper than that. Companies should consider outsourcing jobs that they struggle with, or that are constant time sucks that take away from prioritizing the core business or drain current employees and resources.
The benefits are multifold. A company can cut back on internal resources as well as related support costs and employee liabilities by hiring outside resources. You’re not only saving money spent on salaries, benefits, overhead, and operational costs, but outsourcing allows flexibility and keeps a company nimble. Outsourcing also frees up your team’s valuable time that can be spent focused on their central responsibilities.
The other answer is to outsource when you can find someone else to do a task smarter, faster, and cheaper than you can do it. That can create a stronger market share, as well as better customer service by leveraging that outside source’s expertise.
A prime example: some of the country’s biggest brands hire T‑ROC to garner access to our people and resources. We excel at identifying, finding, hiring, training, managing, and retaining the best talent in the retail space who can knowledgeably sell complicated products and services. These people can be relied on for everything from seasonal work to product launches to special events, or even assembly and store restructures.
T‑ROC is also hired to serve as brand ambassadors for the largest companies in the world. These brand ambassadors visit store locations where a brand’s products are sold to ensure that products are being properly displayed on store shelves, and evaluate how they’re performing compared to competitors. These brand ambassadors are experts in your product and can: educate store employees on what differentiates your product from others; evangelize your product to entice store employees to know and favor it; and guarantee that you’re getting the best real estate in the store. For instance, our clients like printer manufacturer Epson should never outsource patents for developing printers, but they can outsource brand ambassadors that maximize store visits and ensure that Epson is getting all the exposure that they can get while building their market share.
So, what shouldn’t a company outsource to a third party? Anything that is a core offering to their consumer or the entirety of its development. Basically, don’t hand the keys to the castle to someone who could: leave you totally dependent on them (which could be devastating for your company if they go out of business); steal your ideas and offer your same services to clients at a better price point; or go to a competitor and give away secrets. For instance, a mobile network like T‑Mobile doesn’t have to own towers, but they should never outsource proprietary network and technology that millions of customers rely on them for. Also keep in mind, if you’re using foreign entities, consider challenges like a difference in time zones, language barriers, and that it may be difficult to pursue them for money if they don’t deliver.
The best outsourcing relationships should get better and stronger over time. The longer they know your brand, goals, and understand your values and mission, the more efficient they become and better evangelists for your brand. Don’t hesitate, instead, overcome your fears and see what outsourcing can do for your company.