People increasingly expect easy engagement, easy terms, and limited complexity. Outsourcing offers an incredible opportunity for businesses, but it has generally been a complex thing to get into. This is why we have launched the outsourcing superstore – we are making outsourcing easy…
One of the biggest catalysts for the outsourcing, online, and remote ‘movement’ is the technology enablement.
Outsourcing is not really possible without cheap and effectively communications. Prior to the internet, international communications were generally expensive. At the start of the internet, it too was expensive – if you consider the full infrastructure requirements. But in the last 5-10 years the cost has become almost negligible. This factor alone enables incredible commercial opportunities. For outsourcing, it allows for workforces spanning the globe to communicate, work alongside each other, interact, and produce, like never before…
The last 5-10 years has brought technology which makes it increasingly easier for people to interact online. Things like Skype revolutionised communications – both from a cost perspective, but also a interaction perspective…. Never before could you have have live, video interaction with anyone anywhere in the world…. Suddenly Sype came along, and you could. Plus…. It’s completely free. Incredible.
The world has come along way since then though. New software products make interacting with people, planning workloads and tracking efficiency easier than ever. There are endless softwares on the market that makes remote work more trackable, transparent and efficient than ever…. These softwares are all supported in the cloud, offer one-click install, and mostly cost nothing, or very little.
Technology is quickly removing all geographical relevance of location-based work.
People are now so used to technology helping them with their research, search and purchasing requirements – yet there has been no easy interface for outsourcing research until now. Outsource Accelerator provides the world’s most comprehensive outsourcing platform, We connect business in the West with the world’s best outsourcing suppliers.
A big aspect currently inhibiting remote working is the sense of normalcy… At the moment, outsourcing and remote work is a little uncommon…. Thus it feels a little unusual…. Society is gradually building new norms around these new workplace paradigms. This will inevitably change with time though, as location-independent work options become more common, and eventually ubiquitous.
It wasn’t long ago that everyone thought it crazy that you would look at photos on a screen, and that you would read a novel from anything else other than a book…. Now, it is rare to ever look at hard copy photos, and more and more novels are being consumed on Kindles, iPads, mobile phones and in audio…
Remote working will not only become normalised, it will eventually be considered quaint, or retro, for everyone to go to ‘work’ to a central office, of a morning…
The network effect of world trade has long been known…. It is a well accepted fact that big cities have more productivity and higher skilled output then small towns, and small towns have higher productivity and skills than tiny villages….
In all of history there have been few major cities, which aren’t at the centre of some major trade route or port (New York, London, Cairo, Rome, etc)…. There have hardly been any major cities that have existed in isolation, and certainly none that have prospered directly as a result of that isolation…. Instead, the most prosperous cities, have been central world trade portals of their time….
Equally, countries that are open to trade, with limited trade barriers have always performed better. It is the closed countries (think Cuba, North Korea, Myanmar, China, USSR) that have underperformed…
Things that are networked have more efficiency, increased specialisation, and enhanced optimisation. Networks can take advantages of a greater skill set, and a larger pool of skills, and higher levels of specialisation…. A group of 10 people can’t afford to specialise…. Whereas a group of one billion people, would produce a cross section of almost every specialisation known to man…
Increased connectivity and networking allow for greater advancement, evolution, and process efficiency…
And this is why the internet, and outsourcing will flourish – because it is an extension of the networking principles…. Outsourcing and remote work is increasing the networking between civilisation…. And these principles are enabled by the advancement of communications and technological connectivity.
Outsourcing is a win win
Some fear the ethical concerns of outsourcing, and globalisation. For the reasons set out above and others, outsourcing is a win-win proposition.
Outsourcing isn’t about having money, it isn’t about cutting jobs. It is about finding the most efficient route to running an awesome, profitable business. Running a successful business allows for more profits, more specialisation, more improvement, and increased growth. A more profitable company benefits the employees within that business, and the community around that business. When a business is flourishing, expansion is likely, more taxes are paid, and the community, city, and country all benefit.
Equally, the outsourcing destination country benefits from outsourcing. Their workforce has access to great jobs, a good work environment, and an opportunity for them to upskill, and connect with workers and opportunities in the West…. This is a symbiotic relationship that epitomises the network effect, and one where everyone benefits…
AI and outsourcing, the future of employment
A lot has been written about the future of outsourcing and employment in regards to the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI)… If you haven’t already realised, ‘employment’ as we know it now is being challenged from every angle.
Opinion is fiercely divided over the extent of the impact of AI and automation on the world. Some people think that AI will take over the world, and render humans useless in as little as 20 years, whilst other people suggest little will change, and broadly functional AI is just science fiction…. Without doubt, process automation, AI, and algorithms will all have a big impact on productivity and employment over the coming decades…
There is a lot of concern for the outsourcing industry. People suggest that these could be the first jobs to be removed, and as such, the industry has a finite ‘shelf life’…. This is an incredibly short sighted and simplified perspective.
Outsourcing is no more under threat from AI, as any form of employment. Yes, it is likely that the low skilled jobs will be replaced by automation quicker than the higher skilled jobs – and outsourcing has a disproportionately high ratio of lower skilled jobs. However, the outsourcing sector is quickly up-skilling, with the sector now offering literally any b business function possible. Outsourcing is no longer just call centres. Outsourcing can supply skilled roles for almost any role one business. As mentioned above, there is less and less distinguishing ‘outsourcing’ from general ‘employment’.
Of course it is the responsibility of the employees, companies, community and countries to ensure that their workforce remains suitably skilled, relevant and valuable to the marketplace. There is pressure to upskill, and perform… But this has always been the case.
It will be along time before highly skilled human jobs are replaced carte blanche by computers…. And even if they are, it will be jobs across the globe, across all industry types. AI and automation is no more of a risk to outsourcing, than it is to employment generally.
Progress is inevitable, and it is likely that progress will being some pain, but an even greater amount of pleasure, and benefit.
Source Superstore [3/7]: You can’t afford not to outsource
Outsourcing is incredible for you bottom line. Businesses are dependent on their Human Resources, they can make or break a business. Yet, people are very expensive and staffing costs are typically a dominant part of any company P&L.
Outsourcing, not just about cost savings
Outsourcing can provide 70% savings on your staffing costs. That’s incredible. It is possibly one of the most potent business tools available to business today.
Yet, outsourcing is not just about cost saving, and in fact it is only a small part of the transformative benefits the outsourcing offers…
Outsourcing really gets exciting when you realise that outsourcing affords you greater access to more abundant, highly qualified resources, which enable you to add rocket fuel to your business.
By accessing cheaper, more abundant resources, it means that you can hire more easily. It means that you can hire more people. It means that you can do more market testing, launch more products, and enter new markets. It means that you can have more sales staff, more marketing experts, and create more content. Access to more staffing, means that you can attempt to grow with less risk and less exposure. Hiring via outsourcing means that employing your next employee is less of a lumpy financial undertaking, which reduces the burden on your P&L. Ultimately, outsourcing means that you are better able to out-compete, and out-strategise your competitors. The sky really is the limit, once you properly integrate outsourcing into your business.
The big businesses have known and acted on this for a long time, and now it is the turn of the smaller business. Outsourcing really is the most powerful business tool available today…
The difference between outsourcing and freelancing
There is outsource and freelancing. The two things should not be confused – they are very different. Freelancing has become really popular in the last decade. It was popularised by Tim Ferriss’ book, the 4 Hour Work Week, and the flexible work-lifestyle movement, amongst other things…
Freelancing has been helped along in popularity by the explosion of freelancing platforms such as Upwork, Freelancer, 99Designs, Fiverr, and dozens more. These websites allow you to post project-based jobs, for set prices and have people bid for the work.
However, there have been many disappointed customers of these freelancing portals. There is little or no quality control, and you have little control over your contractors. Some contractors are good of course, but you might need to kiss a lot of frogs before you find you prince.
In contrast, outscoring offers access to a highly professionalised Human Resource supply industry. Not only does outsourcing provide the qualified and vetted people to do the job, but they offered highly structured environments that provide significant quality control, training and oversight.
The difference between outsourcing and freelancing is stark…. it’s a little like getting a part-time university student to do some work for you during their vacation, compared to engaging a Wall Street professional services firm for services.
Project based work versus ongoing services
One of the biggest differences between outsourcing and freelancing, is that outsourcing typically requires a staffing commitment of at least one full-time role, on an ongoing basis. Typically freelancing is project-based. Typically for outsourcing, you have your team in one place – all under one roof, with infrastructure, management and oversight included.
Productised services – not to be confused with freelance projects
Since the Superstore sells ‘productised services’, it may be easy for our clients to confuse them more as ‘project work’, which is more common in the Upwork freelancer model. This certainly isn’t the case. The products offered in Source Superstore represent a contained (productised) version of an ongoing outsourcing service, provided by a leading outsourcing supplier. The intention of the product is to allow for an easy obligation-free assessment of the supplier, the deliverables and the suitability of the services to your business.
Below are some key differentiating factors of outsourcing to freelancing:
- Ongoing roles (not project jobs), typically requiring a minimum of one full-time ongoing position
- Supported and managed environments (HR, training etc)
- Accountability hierarchy and account management
- Established high-quality offices offering superior infrastructure, internet connectivity, security and hardware etc
- Allows for greater scalability of roles, teams and space, providing enhanced institutional growth prospects
- Producing far more reliable and professionalised results
Outsourcing is an essential efficiency
We have discussed that outsourcing is on the rise. We have seen the reasons why it is likely that eventually every business will be outsourcing. If you believe that communications, IT, technology, and trade progress, then it is a natural conclusion that outsourcing will accompany that development.
Outsourcing is so advantageous, that you simply can’t afford not to – at least – properly consider it for your business. You also need to consider that if you aren’t properly considering outsourcing, your competitors probably are. Consider that if you aren’t outsourcing, your competitors probably are, or will do…
Can you afford not to outsource?
Cheaper, more flexible and easier to engage
We will see that outsourcing is easier than ever to get started in. The benefits of outsourcing can be applied to almost any business, in any business sector. It can be easily integrated, and savings can immediately be seen.
And now with the Source Superstore, it’s easier than ever to start on your outsourcing journey.
The Source Superstore stocks the widest range of outsourcing services. Each service has a distinct deliverable, within a distinct timeframe, and a clear price. We work with only vetted and verified outsourcing ing suppliers – some of the best in the world.
The Source Superstore products are suitable for both the newcomers to outsourcing, and seasoned veterans. There are a whole range of outsourcing products, and even consulting and educational items which can add incredible value to anyone that is outsourcing, or about to start.
Source Superstore [4/7]: Marketplaces and aggregators
Outsourcing is probably the most powerful and transformative business tool in existence today. It can save you 70% on staffing costs, whitest driving innovation and growth. Not only that, outsourcing is a win-win for solution for all parties involved. It is a boost to the company, its employees, the community and country – plus it benefits the outsourcing supplier and its country as well.
Outsourcing for all
Outsourcing has been a common practice for the big corporations for two decades, but was, until now, largely unavailable to the small and medium sized businesses.
Things are now different. Outsourcing has been democratised over the last 5-10 years, and is now cheaper, more accessible, and more flexible than ever.
Yet, despite the obvious advantages, as of yet, only a tiny fraction of the SME sector that is taking advantage of this incredible resource.
One of the main reasons for this slow uptake is the general lack of awareness, uncertainty and unease over exactly ‘what outsourcing is, and how it is done’. This uncertainty is not helped by the fact that there is very very little independent information out there to help people on this journey. That has now changed…
The world’s first outsourcing marketplace
Now, this has all changed. Outsource Accelerator is the world’s most authoritative independent information hub and marketplace for outsourcing.