Outsourcing is the process of hiring a third party to perform a service or task that would otherwise be done by an employee. There are many different types of outsourcing that you can use in your business. It can be a great way to save money and improve efficiency. However, it is important to understand the different types of outsourcing before you decide to take advantage of it. In this blog post, we will discuss the 11 most common types of outsourcing. We will explain what each type is and how it can benefit your business. Let’s get started!
The Different Types of Outsourcing
Outsourcing has been a way for companies to reduce costs and increase efficiency for years. However, not all outsourcing is the same. There are 11 different types of outsourcing that you should know about if you want to make the most of this efficient strategy.
1. Business Process Outsourcing
Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is the most common type of outsourcing. It involves contracting with a third-party company to handle specific business processes. These processes can include customer service, accounting, and back-office support.
Business Process Outsourcing Examples
An eCommerce company hires a team of customer support agents to handle live chat and email support. These agents are interacting with their customers on a daily basis and will handle all sorts of questions and issues.
Some of the different types of outsourcing those customer support agents may work with include:
- Telephone Support: This is the most common type of customer support, and involves helping customers over the phone.
- Online Chat Support: This is a newer type of customer service, which involves helping customers online.
- Email support: This is another common type of customer service, and involves responding to customers’ emails.
- Helpdesk Support: This type of support is provided to customers who have reached out to the company for help. It includes answering questions and providing guidance via help desk software.
A logistics company hires an account receivable specialist to help with its receivables process. This specialist will help to identify and manage receivables, as well as identify potential risks.
Some of the tasks this specialist may be involved in include:
- Managing receivables: This includes tracking the status of all receivables, and making sure they are paid on time.
- Billing disputes: If someone does not receive their payment, they may dispute the bill. This specialist will help to resolve any disputes.
- Analyzing receivables: This involves examining each invoice to see if it is valid, and determining whether or not it should be paid.
- Identifying potential risks: This includes looking for signs that a receivable might not be legitimate and taking appropriate action accordingly.
2. IT Outsourcing
Information Technology Outsourcing (ITO) is a type of outsourcing in which companies outsource their IT needs. This can include everything from providing technical support to building and managing IT infrastructure.
Some of the tasks that an ITO may be involved in include:
- Providing technical support: This includes helping customers with their tech issues and providing advice on how to use the company’s technology.
- Managing IT infrastructure: This includes setting up and maintaining company computers, servers, and other hardware.
- Building and managing software: This includes creating, testing, and maintaining company software.
3. Professional Outsourcing
Professional outsourcing is a type of outsourcing that involves the use of external professionals or specialists to perform tasks that would otherwise be done by employees. This can include everything from providing marketing services to performing accounting work.
Some of the benefits of professional outsourcing include:
- Lower cost: Professional outsourcers are often cheaper than internal employees, which can save the company money in the long run.
- Higher quality: Professionals typically have more experience and expertise than most internal employees, which can lead to better results.
- Ease of access: Many professional services are available online, which makes them easy to access and use.
- Variety: Professionals can provide unique skills and perspectives that cannot be found within the company’s own workforce.
4. Project Outsourcing
Project outsourcing is a type of outsourcing that involves the use of external contractors to complete specific projects. Projects can be large or small and can range in complexity from simple tasks to complex projects. This can be anything from developing a new website to designing a new product.
Some of the benefits of project outsourcing include:
- Increased flexibility: Project outsourcers can be hired and fired as needed, which gives the company more flexibility in its workforce.
- Ease of access: Project outsourcing can be done online, which makes it easy for companies to manage and track the progress of the project.
- Variety: Project outsourcing allows companies to find contractors who have the skills and experience they need to complete the project successfully.
- Short timeline: Projects that are outsourced typically take less time to complete than projects that are done in-house.
- Higher quality: Professionals typically have more experience and expertise than most internal employees, which can lead to better results.
Examples of projects that are outsourced
- Web design and development
- Product design and development
- Graphic design
- Marketing campaigns
- Data entry and processing
Multisourcing is a process of combining multiple suppliers to create the best-of-breed teams. Most of the time, this type of outsourcing requires a business to have a comprehensive strategy and a network of governance and relationships. Multisourcing is most common in sectors that rely heavily on technology, avionics, the car industry, or space travel.
This type of outsourcing is focused on outcomes by partnering with other providers. This way, everyone can share resources and knowledge while still achieving their individual goals. Ultimately, this leads to better performance for all involved parties.
6. Process-Specific Outsourcing
Process-specific outsourcing is a type of outsourcing that is focused on improving a specific process within the company. This can be anything from customer service to manufacturing. The goal of this type of outsourcing is to improve the efficiency of the process and reduce the cost.
Three Types of Process Outsourcing
Recruitment process outsourcing (RPO)
RPO is a process that is used to outsource the recruitment process. This can be used to reduce the cost of hiring new employees or to focus on specific tasks within the recruitment process. In this case, the HR agency becomes responsible for sourcing and screening candidates according to the hiring company’s specific requirements.
Knowledge process outsourcing (KPO)
KPO is a type of process-specific outsourcing that involves the use of external experts to perform tasks that require knowledge or expertise. This can include anything from market research to legal work.
Legal process outsourcing (LPO)
LPO is a type of process-specific outsourcing that involves the use of external legal professionals to help with the processing of legal documents. This can include anything from contract negotiations to the drafting of contracts.
7. Manufacturing Outsourcing
Manufacturing outsourcing is a type of outsourcing that involves the use of external manufacturers to help produce products. This can include anything from custom clothing to complex medical devices.
It is a model in which the development and manufacturing of an item are handled by separate entities. For example, Apple typically designs its products in California, but the manufacturing takes place in China. This way, companies can save money while still getting high-quality products.
The countries that assemble the product are Malaysia, Thailand, and China. In fact, many major electronics brands have outsourced their production needs to these countries because of the low costs and high-quality products. Manufacturing outsourcing allows businesses to save a lot of money and get high-quality products from overseas.
Many people think that contracting your production needs to a manufacturing company means sacrificing quality, but this is not always the case. In fact, many manufacturers have strict quality control measures in place that ensure your product meets your exact specifications. Furthermore, by contracting with a manufacturing company, you can save significant costs while also maintaining quality. So if you’re looking for ways to reduce expenses without compromising on quality, then manufacturing outsourcing may be the perfect solution for you!
8. Operational Outsourcing
Operational outsourcing is the practice of hiring a third-party provider to help with specific operational tasks in order for the business to run smoothly. It can be done on a full, temporary, or targeted basis, depending on the needs of the company. Full outsourced services come with a contract, while temporary outsourcing does not.
Third-party providers can work alongside your in-house team to help with specific tasks or goals that need to be achieved. This type of outsourcing is often called “targeted” because it focuses on certain areas and leaves other areas under the control of the business.
Operational outsourcing is a popular practice that allows companies to focus on their core agendas while also benefitting from the expertise of outside parties who have the necessary tools and training at hand. Operational outsourcing involves outside contractors providing services like equipment repairs and maintenance.
Types of Outsourcing Strategies
There are several types of outsourcing strategies depending on the location that businesses can use to help them achieve their goals.
9. Offshore Outsourcing
Offshore outsourcing is the process of contracting part of your business process to another country. This typically offers cheaper labor compared to doing it locally or domestically. This type of outsourcing is often used in situations where it is difficult or impossible to find local workers who have the required skillset. The idea behind offshoring is that you can overcome local regulations that prohibit particular activities, and also take advantage of global skills.
Offshore outsourcing has become an accepted idea in recent years, as companies have looked for ways to cut costs and boost profits. When most people think about offshore outsourcing, they picture call centers or customer service reps located in countries like India or the Philippines. However, the practice extends far beyond basic customer service functions. American Express, for example, offshores its back office in India for extensive support. And Cisco provides 24/7 technical support to their Indian customers.
10. Nearshore Outsourcing
Nearshore outsourcing is becoming more and more popular these days, as companies look for ways to save money and improve efficiency. Nearshore outsourcing is the practice of outsourcing tasks to a nearby country, often in conjunction with offshore outsourcing, which refers to the practice of outsourcing tasks to a country that is located overseas. The idea behind nearshore outsourcing is that you can overcome some of the cultural and logistical challenges that come with working overseas.
Nearshore outsourcing has many benefits, including reduced costs, improved quality, and shorter turnaround times. However, there are also some risks associated with nearshore outsourcing, such as language barriers and cultural differences. Nevertheless, if you do your homework and find a reputable nearshore provider, the benefits of nearshore outsourcing far outweigh the risks.
11. Onshoring or Local Outsourcing
Onshoring, also known as local outsourcing, is the practice of hiring a third-party provider within your own country. The idea behind onshoring is that you can overcome some of the cultural and logistical challenges that come with working overseas. This type of outsourcing often comes as a result of political pressure to bring jobs back to the home country. Onshoring can also be done for reasons of quality control or security.
Onshoring often brings with it increased costs, as local workers typically demand higher wages than their counterparts in other countries. However, it has also some advantages, one of which is having a similar or identical working culture and time zones. Onshoring can also lead to improved quality and faster turnaround times. In addition, onshoring can help to build goodwill with the local community.
Advantages of Outsourcing
The main advantage of outsourcing is that it allows businesses to take on tasks that are either too complex or too time-consuming to be done in-house. This can be a great way to economize on resources and increase efficiency.
There are many advantages to outsourcing, including:
Outsourcing can also lead to cost savings for businesses. This is because businesses can often find cheaper labor in other countries. In addition, outsourcing can help reduce the amount of time that a business spends on administrative tasks.
Outsourcing can also lead to improved quality, as businesses can access a global pool of talent. In addition, businesses can often find contractors who are more specialized and experienced than their own employees.
Outsourcing can lead to increased efficiency, as businesses can focus on their core competencies and leave the rest to outside parties. This is especially important in today’s business environment, where it is increasingly difficult to find qualified in-house employees.
Outsourcing can be a flexible arrangement, as businesses can scale up or down their outsourcing arrangements as needed. This is an important consideration for businesses, especially as the global economy continues to fluctuate and new technologies emerge. When done correctly, outsourcing can provide a cost-effective solution for businesses that need additional manpower or resources but don’t have the financial capacity to invest in new employees or equipment.
Access To New Markets
Outsourcing can also give businesses access to new markets, as they can tap into the global economy.
Access Talent from Anywhere in the World
By outsourcing, businesses can find talented employees from around the world. This is especially important for businesses that need to reach out to new markets or expand their operations into new countries.
Save on Office Space
By outsourcing, businesses can reduce the amount of space that they need in their offices. This can be especially important for small businesses, which often cannot afford to devote an entire office to outsourcing.
Access to Technology
Outsourcing can be a great way to access new technology, as outside parties often have the latest and greatest products and services. Some common types of outsourcing include contract manufacturing, information technology consulting, and advertising and marketing services. By tapping into the expertise of other businesses, companies can save time and money on their own projects.
Tips For Successfully Outsourcing Your Business Processes
When done correctly, outsourcing can be a great way to improve your business. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when outsourcing your business processes. Here are a few tips:
Be Clear About What You Want To Achieve
Before you start looking for an outside party, take some time to think about your goals. What do you want to achieve by outsourcing this process? What are your expectations? By being clear about your goals, you’ll be able to find a vendor that is a good fit for your needs.
Do Your Research
Not all vendors are created equal. When you’re looking for an outside party to help with your business processes, it’s important to do your research. Make sure to read reviews and compare pricing. You should also ask for referrals from other businesses.
Get Everything in Writing
Once you’ve found a vendor, it’s important to get everything in writing. This includes the scope of work, the price, and the timeline. By getting everything in writing, you’ll be able to avoid any misunderstandings down the road.
Outsourcing can be a great way to improve your business. By following these tips, you can find a vendor that is a good fit for your needs and get started on outsourcing your business processes.
Choosing The Right Outsourcing Model
There are many different types of outsourcing, and the right model for your business will depend on your needs. The most important thing is to do your research and choose a reputable company that can provide the services you need at a price you can afford.
Contact us today to learn more about our outsourcing services.