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Outsourcing

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Now more than ever, some companies are opting to outsource certain aspects of a business, or transfer management of that area to an external company that specializes in that area. Some forms of business that are typically outsourced include information technology, tech support, accounting, call center duties, or property management.

Outsourcing has a number of benefits, depending on how you look at it. Many companies opt to outsource to foreign markets because the cost of labor is so much cheaper, and they can save money by outsourcing rather than paying a higher salary to employees in-house. In fact, companies who outsource spend roughly 40% less on training employees than do companies who do not. Even companies who outsource nothing but say, their technical staff, will save a larger amount of money in the long run.

Many companies also feel that by outsourcing certain aspects of their work, they are able to better focus on and spend more money on the key competences their business is responsible for.

However, there are also a number of cons associated with outsourcing that you will need to be aware of before you outsource any area of your business. Some of these drawbacks include:

- Loss of control over processes. When outsourcing, the company transfers ownership of that portion of the business over to the service provider. As a result, the company may lose control over its processes. For this reason, it is extremely important to be thoroughly knowledgeable about the service provider and be certain that it is providing the level of service you are satisfied with. Customers and clients may not know you outsource certain aspects of your business, so poor quality service providers will negatively affect the way your business is viewed.

- Criticism from current employees or American citizens. One of the main drawbacks associated with outsourcing is the attitude towards it. Many feel that it is unfair to American workers to outsource to developing countries, since doing so results in fewer jobs for Americans. In addition, current employees of the country could feel threatened and/or angry if there is a chance they will be downsized as a result of outsourcing their jobs to workers in another country.

- Security. Criticism and concerns also arise over security when certain aspects of a business that require the use of customers' personal information are outsourced to developing countries that have less stringent security measures. Some feel that security is compromised with regards to access to account numbers, social security numbers, and addresses when outsourcing overseas.

- Risk factors. There are a number of risk factors involved with outsourcing that could pose a large problem for companies. If a service provider refuses to provide services due to a lack of funds, bankruptcy, strike, or country turmoil, the company could run into serious problems that could ultimately affect their bottom line.
There are many companies who have made the decision to outsource and are more than happy with their decision, as it often involves savings and increased productivity. However, there are a number of risks associated with outsourcing as well; if a company picks the wrong service provider, their business's entire future could be at stake. Because of this, it is very important to weigh the pros and cons of outsourcing before deciding to outsource.

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Posted by DF
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