One of the obvious results of outsourcing a business process is that it can save you, the business owner, time. What’s not so obvious is that outsourcing can open you up to a whole set of knowledge that you didn’t have before.
Data is easy to acquire these days (just Google it), but knowledge is not. Knowledge is data combined with experience. Unfortunately, no amount of Googling will provide you with the right knowledge to fit your unique business circumstance. This is where outsourcing to acquire knowledge comes in:
"(Outsourcing offers you) a real business partner who will give you knowledge," said Bobby Harris, CEO of BlueGrace Logistics, whose firm handles outsourced logistics projects. "This is value you won't find anywhere else. You’ll be able to do things you once couldn’t do at a speed you never thought possible."
Outsourcing also lets you leverage more tangible items:
"Outsourcing enables small businesses to benefit from the professional capabilities without the equipment, know-how, software or personnel to complete their work," said Steve Greenbaum, CEO of PostNet, whose firm handles mailing and shipping for it's clients.
The overhead savings from outsourcing a business process can be significant and goes beyond wages and fringe benefits. What if you did have to spend cash on software, office space, and training on your new hire? Where could that money be better spent on your business?
Outsourcing, say, your accounting process, should be an easy process; however, there are business processes and issue to think through and vetting to find the right outsourcing organization:
"First, figure out what your needs are," Jones said. "Interview two or three organizations and do not focus on price at the beginning. Look for those firms that are ahead of the curve with technology, reporting, partner mentality, and complete value-add to your firm."
The emphasis on not focusing on price at the beginning is key.
Talking about price at the beginning creates a situation where the outsourcing organizations spends their time justifying why their pricing is a value to you and you are trying to assess if the value justifies the price. In essence, you’ve moved away from the purpose: to find out if outsourcing a particular business process makes sense for your company.
Price should be the last topic of discussion. Price is negotiable and is often negotiated. It just makes more sense to know what you are negotiating.
The article points out that there may be one drawback:
”The only drawback I can see is the risk of loss of quality or control," Greenbaum said.
While this may be true with some business processes that are outsourced, we don’t find this true with outsourced accounting. In fact, there is an improvement in the quality of bookkeeping, accounting, document management, and financial reporting and analysis. There is an improvement in enabling better business decisions because the business owners knows the numbers behind the business and what drives the numbers.