Written by Nicholas Hastings, CEO and Founder, hammerjack
Successful business owners throughout Australia are always seeking to leverage any available advantages to get the highest levels of product or service quality, whilst making sure that costs don’t blow out. For many such executives, outsourcing some of their business functions to an external supplier presents exactly this kind of opportunity.
There are, however, various levels, or tiers, of engagement with an outsourcing supplier. You may need a full-time, dedicated staff member, or alternatively may require shared staff services on a job-by-job basis. These outsourced workers may be based either domestically or overseas. There are a great many variables to consider. Knowing exactly which options are best suited to you can be a confusing exercise, so let’s clarify some of them for you.
Before we begin, it is worth noting that specialist outsourcing suppliers such as our hammerjack team are uniquely qualified to be able to assist in identifying which of these options best relates to you. Throughout this process we’re more than happy to offer consultation, and provide advice tailored for your business. Understanding the specifics of each client’s position allows us to use our expertise to create a prosperous partnership.
Dedicated vs. Task-by-Task
A good starting point is to consider whether you need a permanent staffing solution, or simply an additional team member/s for only the duration of a particular project. In the first instance, you may be seeking to expand your full-time, dedicated staff, or looking to externalize an entire division of your company, such as Accounts, for the foreseeable future. This is outsourcing with a more permanent, long-term view. The second instance is conceptually more like a freelance arrangement, using third-party services task-by-task, on a shorter-term basis.
A longer term, dedicated, outsourcing solution requires a higher time investment in skilling up the outsourced capital, and ensuring that they integrate seamlessly into the long-term framework of your business. Your outsourcing partner, such as hammerjack, has the capacity to act as the glue in establishing clear communication pathways with your external team, as it is essential that all employees of your business be on the same page.
There are also outsourcing options for the short term, the one-off job that you need done now, however you don’t have the available staff within your business to do it. Subcontracting to any given third party on a job-by-job basis is really a form of short-term outsourcing. Quickly identifying the most appropriate supplier for your job without costs blowing out is the name of the game here. Be sure to explore more than just a few options, as not all third-party providers are the same.
Many business owners also wrongly believe that if the need is short-term then the solution has to be located domestically. There are, however, numerous high-quality solutions for various subcontract jobs to be found offshore. This leads us neatly towards our next category…
Domestic vs. Offshore
The next option to consider is where you would like your external worker, or workers, to be located. There is a layman’s interpretation of the major points of difference between using domestic and offshore workers, and it’s really only partly true. The traditional thinking is that offshore solutions are cheaper, however domestic Australian third-party suppliers are typically higher in the quality of their output.
There is little to no doubt that there are usually lower-cost options to be found offshore, across a broad suite of jobs and tasks. However, the belief that this will lead to diminished quality is perhaps misplaced. There is such a spread of the quality of workers available offshore, at various price points, that it’s impossible to say definitively that the work will be sub-standard. The trick is finding the worker whose quality matches your need, at a price that works. This is the specialty of outsourcing specialist partners such as our hammerjack team, who have already established offshore solutions that have proven their quality and productivity.
A regular point of concern with regards to deciding between domestic and offshore is that of communication. It’s been clear for a while now that if businesses attempt to engage with offshore assets directly without an expert partner acting as the intermediary, then communication issues are more likely to rear their head. So, take advantage of the offshore supplier businesses that you partner with. They should already have well-developed lines of communication that will make integration far smoother.
One vs. A Team
It seems a simple enough problem, however it’s actually sometimes tough for many owners to pinpoint exactly how many workers they’ll need to adequately perform the tasks they need done. This is made even more difficult when adding a new function to the business or expanding to offer products or services they have less experience in supplying. There might be an expectation in terms of what the business thinks should work, however until they start production it can all slightly be guesswork. In fact, many business owners have entirely unreasonable expectations sometimes in terms of both how long a task should take, and how many workers will be required to execute it.
The clearest solution to this issue is to look at how it’s been successfully done before and use that as a yardstick for what should be expected. The easiest way to access that information is to speak to your expert outsourcing supplier who will, likely, have some level of experience in providing this solution already for businesses in a similar position to yours. Our team at hammerjack has implemented a wide range of solutions across a broad suite of industries and will be able to assist in setting reasonable expectations for business owners and management.
As you may have determined by now, there are so many outsourced options available that can be tailored to your requirements. There is outsourced capital ready and willing to complete any given task, whether that be in the short or long-term, based domestically or offshore, as an individual or part of a larger third-party team. It can appear daunting to sort through at first, however it’s not so complicated in coordination with some appropriate guidance from your outsourcing specialist partner. It should be a mutually beneficial arrangement for both partners, as it is in our best interests to supply your business with the most appropriate solutions.
Once you understand which solution best caters itself to your specific needs, you’ll feel confident knowing that you have all the tools at your disposal to be able to make the best and most profitable decisions for your company. Armed with your new capital, you’ll be establishing the best possible pathway towards future success.