Outsourcing is one of those concepts that is either loved or hated. It is loved by those who have found companies and professionals who can deliver on what they promise, and it is hated by those who have had to deal with unreliable or even idiotic sourcers. There are, of course, companies and professionals that run the gamut between these two extremes, but the stigma remains.
So, why sourcing? If there is not a consensus on whether anyone even loves the concept than why do it? You should outsource, because when you do find a company or professional who works for you, it will save you time, money, and ultimately heartache.
I Don’t Have Enough Time
This is an excuse so widely used today that we don’t even think of it as an excuse anymore. In today’s business world the constantly shrinking amount of time anyone has to get the job done makes this excuse even more prevalent. So how can outsourcing save time?
Let’s start by looking at a quick example. Let’s say my boss decides he wants 2500 copies of a brochure that needs to be designed, printed, and made available to all of our franchises where they can print it themselves anytime they want to. Oh, and did I mention that this needed to be done yesterday?
Does this scenario sound familiar? I can’t tell you how many times I have had to deal with this, myself. Did I know how to get all of the different parts of this project done by myself in a very small amount of time? Nope. Not even close. I knew, for instance, who could design the piece, and who would be able to print it for us. I also, from my technical background, had a handle on how I’d be able to make the piece available to everyone else so that they could print it anytime they wanted to. But all of these tasks had to be dealt with by a different person. With a timeline that was anything but long, I knew I would need to manage these different tasks in a way that each task would get done before the other one needed to begin. I would also need to have the next steps figured out before I needed to start them or they would become time-sinks. This was a headache, to say the least.
Saving time here would equal hiring one company to handle all of this. Are there companies out there that can do all of this? Yes. They handle it by using a system called “supply chain management.” And some of them are very good at it.
You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know
It’s a sad but true fact: you don’t know what you don’t know. In other words you may not be the best person to find the solution to a problem, especially if it is not your specialty. And, yet, in today’s world, with worries over the economy causing companies to downsize, more employees are being asked to do things they’ve never had any experience with. Could these employees invest time to find out how to do these projects and also grow their resume? You betcha! However, they may not have the time to find out how to handle these new projects.
Outsourcing to a supply chain management company would also help in this situation. Supply chain management is built on the concept of finding a solution when there’s a problem.
Money: The Deciding Factor
How many times in business does the final decision to use a specific vendor come down to the bottom dollar line? Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand that businesses need to constantly be evaluating where they are spending their money in order to be as profitable as possible. However, I have seen companies put so much emphasis on this that they actually lose money (in their employee’s production) running around trying to find the cheapest price (without considering quality or any other factors).
Supply chain management ringing any bells, here? I hope so. By handing projects like these over to one company, you can pay one lump fee. No more worrying about how many hours your designer took to design that brochure (and whether or not it’s within budget). No More fretting about how much 2500 brochures is going to cost to print in color, double-sided, on 70# uncoated paper. And no more stressing about file storage and customizing for each location. Outsourcing to a supply chain management company would handle all of this.
The Bottom Line
Even if they’re not doing the work themselves, it is stressful for one person to juggle all these tasks. So why not outsource this to a company who has been handling projects such as these for years?