There are a lot of preconceived notions when it comes to outsourcing. People often think of workers in other countries answering phones or addressing IT issues. Images of workers in bland, no-frills, low-cost buildings working around the clock often come to mind. But the outsourcing industry has become a lot more than just that. Here are 6 common outsourcing myths debunked.
1. Outsourcing = offshore
Outsourcing does not always mean work is done offshore. A company can outsource its work to another part of the city or state with nearshore or onshore outsourcing. While often times outsourcing is done offshore due to economic drivers, outsourcing doesn't refer to geographical proximity.
2. People outsource menial, low-end jobs that they don't want to do themselves
While it's true that a lot of companies will outsource their back office tasks, it's far from the only thing that companies outsource. Some of the best work, most innovative ideas and greatest talent come from other parts of the world. Everything from customer service to back office support to product development and even ideation can be outsourced. Often times, an outsourcing partnership starts off with a simpler task and if the relationship goes well, most companies will entrust their outsourcing partner with more complex work in time. Take one of our clients for example. We started off providing basic email customer support and over time, gained their trust with our capabilities and quality and grew to manage their VIP clientele.
3. Outsourcing = low quality
This is far from the truth. In more cases than one, outsourcing can actually provide higher quality. Think about it for a moment. When you outsource, you have a team of specialists dedicated to a specific part of your business. That is their focus and the success of that part of your business means their success. When working with the right outsourcing partner, low quality should never be an output.
4. Workers are stuck in low-cost, no-frills work environments
We can't speak for everyone, but at TaskUs our employees come first. Providing the best work environment possible is part of our core values and beliefs. Forget rows and rows of workers facing computer screens in a blank workshop space. Instead, we have themed offices that include amenities like sleeping quarters, game rooms, common huddle areas with comfortable chairs and hot desks so our employees don't have to be glued to a workstation all day long. Just to give you an idea, our newest office has a steampunk theme with blimps flying from the ceiling and gears turning on the walls. We have another office that's designed with a coffee house theme, and it actually serves fresh coffee.
5. Outsourcing is reserved for larger corporations with more established resources
Actually, small companies and startups can benefit a lot from outsourcing. Outsourcing allows these newer entities to save valuable capital, tap into higher-level expertise and scale quickly. Cost, time and resources are a common problem amongst businesses of all sizes, but even more so for smaller operations. With outsourcing, small business can enjoy economies of scale and cost structures that help them save and give them an important competitive advantage. By operating more efficiently with lower costs, small companies also become more attractive to investors because they are able to utilize more capital for revenue-producing activities. Outsourcing can also help smaller firms gain access to the same high-level expertise that bigger companies are able to retain on staff. By outsourcing, a company can tap into the expertise of the outsourcing company and it's highly specialized workforce in a cost effective manner. Lastly, by outsourcing some business processes, companies are able to focus on their core competencies, freeing up resources to focus their best effort on attracting and retaining customers to run and grow the business overall. (For more information, check out: 3 Ways Outsourcing Can Help Small Companies Grow Quickly).
6. Outsourcing is on the brink of extinction thanks to technological advancements
This is a huge topic of conversation recently with the introduction of technology like bots and AI into mainstream media. With the rise of technology taking jobs that used to be reserved for humans, people fear that outsourcing is on a downward path. But think about this. Two hundred years ago, the Luddites feared a future without work as their jobs as seamstresses were lost to the sewing machine. While these jobs went, new jobs and new industries emerged. Similarly, as technology continues to advance, the outsourcing industry will transform. People and machine will be able work together to provide even better, more accurate and high quality outcomes. As the world changes and technology enables the human workforce to do more with less, businesses will be able to entrust more and more lines of work to their outsourcing partners. The outsourcing industry isn't on its way out, more accurately, it's in a state of constant transformation. With the right outsourcing partner, businesses will be able to grow and transform along with the speed of technological advancements. (For more detail, check out: Lessons Learned from the Brink of Extinction).