Outsourcing has grown in strategic importance in recent years, as companies that once regarded it solely as a means of reducing cost now recognize outsourcing as a source of competitive advantage.
Among the many reasons companies may employ outsourcing are:
- To improve service, quality, and speed as well as to reduce cost;
- To tap into a deeper talent pool than might otherwise be available;
- To free up management time and attention so that it can be devoted to those things most critical to building and maintaining competitive advantage;
- To reduce operational risk;
- To reduce budgetary uncertainty or convert a fixed to a variable cost;
- To shake up an organization for purposes of dealing with persistent, frustrating performance problems and the sense that it has become unresponsive.
With success stories in functions as diverse as market research, engineering design, and claims administration, outsourcing is increasingly used to improve the performance of core as well as support functions.
As with most endeavors, both the outsourcing decision and its implementation benefit from experience. Selecting the right vendor is only one part of the puzzle, and in many ways the most straightforward. Other key questions along the way include:
- Which functions, given a company's strategy, competencies, and priorities, should be candidates for outsourcing?
- When should a function be outsourced to a single provider, and when might there be benefits to multi-sourcing?
- What challenges will the company face getting multiple providers, including internal providers, to work together seamlessly, and what is the best way of dealing with them?
- How will intellectual property be best managed across partners?
- When is a supplier management function required?
- What measurement and incentive system will lead to the best outcomes?
- Independent of measures, what level of involvement should a company seek in decisions about how outsourced functions will be delivered (e.g., onshore or offshore)?
Bridge professionals have extensive experience helping companies to come up with the answers to these and other important questions. At Bridge, we pride ourselves on applying approaches and developing solutions that are specific to the unique needs and circumstances of each company. With our focus on results, we aren't satisfied until clients are daily experiencing the benefits of their outsourcing decisions.