by Barbara Dove, Sickle Brook Services, Inc.
Outsourcing a non-core function can save you time and lower your costs. It can give you access to added expertise, and can provide you with a valued partner in your business as the outsourcing relationship grows. In summary, here are reasons to outsource and reasons not, as well as how to get started:
- Broader expertise — outsourcer specializes in areas you don’t want to
- Lower costs and personnel work-time
- No benefits, vacations, or sick days are covered
- Outsourcer has broader experience in other industries to bring to the table: outsourcers may see the bigger picture
- Your IP assets may be at risk
- Your company’s philosophy and outsourcer’s don’t mesh: you have different value sets
- What you think you can outsource may in truth be a core competency
- Decide what you want to outsource and assemble the key players in your company who will have input to the decision.
- Brainstorm the 7 criteria you want the outsourcer to meet – for example:
- How do they treat their own employees?
- Their financial status (how likely are they to be in business as long as you need them?)
- Do they have the expertise you require?
- Can they cover the hours you need?
- Pricing is very important, make sure their service fits your budget.
- Validate your value system against the top three candidate companies. Do they match? Are there any warning signs?
- Choose the best company and set regular meetings; more frequently at first to evaluate the progress. Set goals as you would with any department.
Barbara Dove is the President of Sickle Brook Services, Inc., an Outsourced Helpdesk Provider for small and medium sized businesses. With offices in Lexington center, she can be reached at 781-862-8855, www.sicklebrook.com.